CDEMA recommends monetary support, relocation of farms after flood assessment

- PM says report will guide recovery efforts


Monetary support for farmers who have suffered due to the nationwide flooding, as well as the relocation of farms, are among the key recommendations made by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

CDEMA’s recommendations were stated in a press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday night, following a high-level meeting with Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, the CDEMA teams currently in Guyana, members of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and other ministers of government.

Five teams from the CDEMA in collaboration with the CDC spent a number of days travelling across the five regions of Guyana that were severely impacted by the recent nationwide flooding.

One of the team of officials from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) conducting the flood assessment (Photo: DPI)

The teams conducted a detailed Damage Sectoral Assessment in Regions Two, Five, Six, Seven and Ten – the five regions that recorded a Level III disaster since they were worse affected by the nationwide flooding.

On Wednesday afternoon, the team, including the Executive Director of CDEMA, Elizabeth Riley presented some of the preliminary findings at the high-level meeting.

Key recommendations presented were: the need for monetary support to be provided to farmers whose income was impacted, the relocation of farms in some areas, the procurement of planting materials, and the provision of food supplies to affected residents.

The Executive Director, following that meeting, told some members of the media that the CDEMA teams had been able to assess the coordination of support services by the CDC, the coordination at the regional level, and the ability of the relevant authorities to mobilise support in specific sectors.

Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig with Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Elizabeth Riley (Photo: DPI)

“…we looked at water and sanitation issues and understandably, there are some challenges that are being faced with respect to water and sanitation in the aftermath of a flood of this magnitude.

“We also assessed housing and the potential steps that can be taken to address these and the sheltering arrangements as well for the arrangements that have been in place,” Riley related.

She related that the “critical findings” of the assessment done, coupled with the recommendations presented, would guide how CDEMA can support the government as it moves forward with recovery efforts.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phillips, who has oversight for disaster management locally, emphasised, “… what it (the assessment) helped to do is  start the recovery process in an informed manner because the report will spell out the sectors that were severely affected by the flooding that affected every region of Guyana.”

Of particular importance, he emphasised, will be rebuilding infrastructure and restoring the livelihoods- such as farming and mining- that were adversely impacted.

In the months of May and June, severe rainfall coupled with higher-than-usual tides resulted in significant flooding across Guyana. As of June 7, President Dr. Irfaan Ali declared a disaster in Guyana due to flooding. Then, the flood situation was categorised as a “Level Two” disaster, wherein the national capacity to respond is not overwhelmed, but some external assistance is required.

Stil, Regions Two, Five, Six, Seven and 10 were worse off than other parts of Guyana and were categorised as “Level Three”.

Meanwhile, Director General of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig highlighted that the assessment done by CDEMA has already allowed the CDC to recognise what are some immediate actions that can be taken to improve their response in some of the affected communities.

He also explained that even though the assessment was only conducted in the five of the affected regions, it provides a base for further assessments to be done- extending to the other regions categorised as facing a Level II disaster.

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