The Government of Guyana says it welcomes a donation of G$5M from ExxonMobil Guyana, which will be handed over to the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to assist in relief efforts for flood affected areas in Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) and Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight).
Senior Director, Public and Government Affairs at ExxonMobil Guyana, Ms Kimberly Brasington made the commitment on Wednesday to Acting Director General of the CDC, Major Kester Craig.
Kimberly said that the company takes it corporate social responsibility to the citizens of Guyana seriously and added that in times of crises it is important that resources are combined to ensure a rapid response. “We would like to support the CDC and the Regions to respond rapidly to address the needs of the affected residents. Anywhere ExxonMobil operates, including Guyana, we take our corporate social responsibility seriously and this is a situation and opportunity, where the communities are in need and we can come together and find a way to help,” she said.
Minister of State,Joseph Harmon, who has responsibility for the CDC and disaster response and risk management, welcomed the donation and said that the Government thanks all members of the private sector, including ExxonMobil that have made resources available to the CDC to support their work.
“I want to thank all the companies for their response and for making their resources available to the Civil Defence Commission. We will ensure that whatever donations are made cater to the needs of the people. It is heartening to see everyone coming together and doing whatever they can at this time to bring relief to the residents affected and it is a culture like this that we want to promote in Guyana; where we all come together to do our best if our brothers and sisters are affected,” he said.
Acting Director General of the CDC, Major Kester Craig said that the donation will go a long way towards providing immediate relief to residents in affected areas. “On behalf of the Civil Defence Commission and the Government of Guyana, I would like to express profound appreciation and gratitude for the timely and most appropriate intervention for bringing relief to the residents of the affected communities. I can assure you that the grant will be utilised to ensure that the most suitable needs are given to the affected,” he said.
To date, the Government has spent more than $8M on disaster response and relief activities as a result of flooding in the affected regions. This amount, government says, does not reflect donations, which have been made by private individuals and companies over the past few days.
Meanwhile, Digicel Guyana handed over a quantity of supplies to the CDC which will be deployed to flood affected residents of Region 8, Pataro Siparuni and Region 7 Cuyuni Mazarauni.
The donation consists of a substantial quantity of food items from the requested list and cleaning supplies. “We empathize with those residents who have lost their livelihood and have been displaced, we hope that these items bring some sort of relief where it is needed most. We are confident that this donation will reach the residents who are in need and that our efforts and that of corporate Guyana will get to the areas that are hard hit by the recent flash flooding” noted Digicel’s Vidya Sanichara.
According to Digicel, Ms Laura George, Governance and Rights Coordinator and several staff members of the Amerindian Peoples Association are working with the CDC in coordinating relief efforts to ensure that this donation makes it way to the residents in region 7 that are affected also.
Ms George mentioned that it is imperative that persons keep up their support and was very thankful for Digicel’s donation. “Every little bit matters, you may not be able to give in the magnitude that Digicel did today but whatever you can offer will be appreciated” said George.
Areas that are likely to benefit from Digicel’s donation are Jawalla, Kamarang, Kako, Paruima and Philipai. Emerging reports indicate that over 3000 residents are affected as homes, farms, roads and other areas of dwelling have been destroyed.