Guyana is at present experiencing prolonged dry weather conditions which have led to an intensified drought situation in most regions. In Region Nine (Upper Essequibo-Upper Takutu), especially, this situation has resulted in numerous hardships to farmers and residents in the area.
Other affected Regions include Regions One (Barima-Waini); Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); Five (Mahaica-Berbice); Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).
In light of this, the Government has embarked upon a multi-stakeholder approach which includes visiting affected communities and meeting with residents. The Civil Defence Commission has also been integrally involved with various Ministries to assess and tackle the ongoing situation.
Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock, through the Government Information Agency (GINA), related that “at the moment there are plans to get funding and sourcing of equipment to help the communities which are affected. The rainy season that we are accustomed to never came. Normally in the May /June period, the river banks are overflowing. This never happened.”
In the GINA release, it was noted that although there was a “good flow” of water in Regions One and Eight, mining in those areas contributed to the water being contaminated.
Locals use the water from creeks and rivers for drinking purposes and general use.
Government said it intends to acquire the “appropriate equipment” to dig deep wells in South Rupununi and plans for “short- and medium-term operations”.
The Ministries of Agriculture, Public Health and Communities are said to be in collaboration to offer support to the affected communities.