‘Multi-agency response’ as Linden battles severe flooding

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See below full statement from the Office of the Prime Minister: 

The Government of Guyana is deeply concerned about the severe flooding that has impacted the community of Linden, Region Ten.

Let me assure residents directly impacted by the flood that we are fully committed to providing swift and effective relief to you.

In response to the current situation, a multi-agency response has been activated. The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has engaged private contractors to clean and clear the drains to facilitate better water flow and reduce flooding.

Bosai Minerals Group (Guyana) is providing crucial support with equipment to assist in the drainage and cleanup operations.

To ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) will be establishing two shelters to provide temporary accommodation and essential supplies for displaced residents. These shelters will be located at Egbert Benjamin Hall and another location to be announced shortly.

The Ministry of Public Works (MoPW), in collaboration with the Linden Town Council and the Office of the Regional Democratic Council, is working assiduously to clean and clear debris in critical areas, including alleys in Wismar and the Retrieve area in Linden.

Our government is working tirelessly to ensure that all necessary resources are mobilised to address this crisis.

Explicitly, the recent flooding is directly linked to heavy rainfall over the last 48 hours, compounded by the municipality’s neglect of the drainage system.
Central government officials previously observed this issue during a visit, prompting a cleanup of drains in the central Mackenzie areas, including in front of the Mayor’s office, in preparation for the 58th Independence Anniversary Flag Raising Ceremony last Saturday evening.

From all indications, the areas affected by flooding are a direct result of the ineptitude of the current Mayor and Councillors who are focused on collecting revenues from all possible sources while failing to maintain the drainage infrastructure essential for the safety of the residents now suffering from the floods.

The call for a swift response from the central government—commendably coordinated and delivered within 24 hours in the form of clearing drains, setting up shelters, and distributing relief supplies—is the easy part.

What truly needs addressing is the failure of local and regional governance of Region Ten and the Mayor and Town Council of Linden.

Their collective failure to perform their duties, including taking advantage of the long dry season to clear the drains and clean up the entire town of Linden, is unacceptable. They even chose to boycott the town’s cleanup before the independence flag raising ceremony.

Given Linden’s highest per capita budget, surpassing any other administrative region in Guyana, it should be better prepared for flooding.

Both the RDC and the Municipality of Linden must now lead a massive cleanup operation before the next deluge. With the La Niña weather phenomenon predicting more rainfall in the coming months, immediate action is imperative.

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