No sign on Kwakwani floodwaters receding

first_imgMost of Kwakwani, in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice), continues to be under floodwater, started over the weekend because of heavy rainfall. In some areas, water is as high as six feet, with very little signs of it receding soon, according to residents.Another section of the community under waterLamp Island and the Waterfront are the most severely affected areas, but acting Director of the Guyana Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Major Kester Craig, has said there is no need for emergency shelters to be set up at this time.Craig told this publication that a team from the Public Health Ministry, along with members from the CDC and the Regional Democratic Council, visited the community on Friday to assess the water level.“CDC had some volunteers who are specialised in meteorology (and) agriculture, and we were able to visit Kwakwani, particularly Lamp Island and the Waterfront area, where we observed the water level was 6 feet above the ground. But where it’s flooded, over the years, I think the residents would have taken up adaptation measures; so even though the water level is high, many of the houses aren’t flooded. So most of the homes are constructed to take up the effect of that level of water,” Craig said during a telephone interview.He explained that over 300 persons are directly or indirectly affected, and outlined that although the residents have adopted adaptive measures, there are some whose homes are completely flooded, and they would have had to move to higher ground.“At the time of the visit too, what we found (was that) people were cooking and had adequate food supplies, and they have taken measures to reduce mosquito-borne diseases. They were using bleach in the water, and we asked the Region and the Kwakwani Sub-District to continue to monitor and gather data on the situation.“Once things escalate, we would give them additional support as required; but as for now, we are sending water purification tablets for the families, and also some bleach so people could continue to purify the water, because we do not want any outbreak within the community,” Craig said.The CDC Head said the CDC would continue to work closely with the Regional Administration to ensure there is no preventable damage to the residents. Explaining that the affected areas are mostly low-lying communities, he said residents had been given house lots to relocate, but they failed to so do because of a number of factors.RDC unaware of floodingAccording to an official from the community, over 100 households are affected by the floods. However, Regional Chairman Renis Morian on Friday indicated that the RDC was unaware of the situation as it unfolded, despite having a regional officials stationed in the community.“We have an officer up there serving as Assistant Regional Executive Officer, who would have known about this flooding about two or three days, and we weren’t informed. As soon as we got word that there is flooding in there, we notified the CDC; and I know for sure that a team has gone there,” Morian stated.Residents have complained of household appliances and belongings being damaged due to the flood situation, which they believe was caused by the inclement weather pattern and overtopping of the Berbice River. The community has reportedly been experiencing significant high tide since last weekend.Regional Chairman Renis Morian has said there is need to understand against what backdrop the flooding is taking place, as he pointed out that due to increased rainfall, there is presently high tide in the river. He said those affected are mainly from low-lying areas. He warned that, should persons continue to live in such areas, they would experience flooding.“Most of the persons who are (experiencing) flooding live on an island called Lamp Island. The Government did ask them to relocate and, you know, offer them land and so on, but they refused. So, once persons stay in these low- lying areas and the river rises, you will get flooding”, he explained.He noted how unfortunate it is that while higher lands are available, affected persons are refusing to occupy them. Nevertheless, he said the team is working, and the RDC would also move to take necessary action.“What we’re doing is trying to mitigate the impact of the flooding, hence the team is up, and I think they would have walked with support. But coming back from that report, the RDC will move again to do what we have to do,” Morian has promised.For now, the residents are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure that damages are as minimal as possible. Residents are utilising boats as the mode of transportation, since most of the roads are inundated.last_img read more

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