Countrywide floods: Guyana tells Caribbean partners of need for mobile pumps, air transport, boats

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With the magnitude of the flooding disaster across the country becoming clearer, Guyana Thursday morning briefed the United Nations and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) on the country’s needs.

There is a “great demand for transportation and equipment” and other needs include “food, cleaning supplies, cots, boat engines, aluminum and inflatable boats, aerial transportation and diesel driven hydro flow mobile pumps,” the CDC stated.

These needs were communicated by Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) Lieutenant Colonel Kester in a call with CDEMA and the United Nations Resident Coordinators’ Offices in the Caribbean.

Given the record levels of rainfall, which has ducked houses in some interior regions and wiped out farmlands, the CDC deemed the flooding a Level 2 event, opening the way for the country to pursue foreign aid.

Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant-Colonel Kester Craig (Photo: News Room/June 2, 2021)

“The Regional Partners were told that homes are almost completely inundated, livestock and domestic animals in distress and farmlands inundated resulting in crop damages, with regions 2, 5, 6, 7 and 10 surpassing their regional capacity,” the CDC stated in a press release.

National, regional and local authorities have been battling the disaster, but resources are needed; the government will Monday move a vote in the National Assembly for $10 billion.

To date, 28, 427 households have been affected with the CDC having to evacuate 149 persons to six shelters, and there are plans to establish another three shelters.

According to the CDC, Executive Director (ag) of CDEMA, Elizabeth Riley expressed solidarity with the people of Guyana and indicated that the details of the situation will be shared with other regional partners to allow them the chance to respond where necessary.

The Director-General also informed the regional partners that rainfall in May, 2021 was 607.7mm, the second-highest since 1981 with the latest outlook suggesting that wetter than usual or above normal rainfall can be expected throughout August.

Lt. Col. Craig said flooding is a concern at least for the period June to mid-July, in areas that are already under water and mudslides being a concern over hilly areas.

The need for a more detailed assessment of the flood, post-disaster assessment and a socio-economic impact assessment was also discussed with the regional partners.

Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency Dr. Joy St. John and UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka, were among those attending the meeting.

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