Flood-affected riverine communities in Region 10 receive needed assistance

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Relief packages distributed to flood-affected residents in Region 10

…Gov’t to look at a permanent solution to the problem – Min. Edghill

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill says the Government would soon look at a permanent solution to the flooding situation in Kwakwani, Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10).

On Saturday, the Minister visited several riverine communities namely: Kwakwani Waterfront, Ladern’s Ville (Aroaima), and Hururu.

At the Waterfront, the Minister met with affected residents from that area and from Lamp Island, where he addressed the situation and the Government’s intended approach.

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill speaking with residents

“I am here on behalf of His Excellency President Irfaan Ali. I have come here today to join the Civil Defense Commission (CDC), to ensure at a higher level we do an assessment of what needs to be done. The CDC has been on the ground since Wednesday when we heard of the Berbice River rising.”

Minister Edghill assured residents that beyond the assistance of food and cleaning supplies, shelters have already been set up by the CDC to accommodate families that have been severely affected.

Meanwhile, on the reccurring flooding , the Minister described the situation as distressing.

Residents collecting the flood relief hampers

“We have gone full circle here like we were earlier in the year, and this is distressing because earlier in the year we came and we thought that was a one-off phenomenon but it’s clear that it was not a one-off phenomenon, we have water at heights here again that we have to address.”

“The First thing you have raised with me is a discussion that we ought to have in a more informed and enlightened way because you can’t be in the low place and every time the river rises you are flooded, like the way you are flooded now.”

Minister Edghill said the government would look at ways of improving this situation.

“So, as a government, we would have to, through the Ministry of Housing and Water and Central Housing and Planning Authority make a definite engagement with you to come up with a more permanent solution, and that is something that will require buy-in from everybody.”

One of the flood affected areas

“You can’t trick the system when water is high you flood, you want to move to the highland, so you get a room on the highland, and when the water is not high you come back. If we move people from the low waterfront area to the highland, that means we cannot continue to have people living the way they are living right now. That is why I said we need to have a more informed and enlightened conversation,” he stated.

Minister Edghill said a report will be made to the Cabinet on the situation.

Earlier this week, the overtopping of creeks and rivers, due to periodic heavy rainfall left many homes in those Region 10 riverine communities inundated, as a result, teams of government ministers have been dispatched to regions currently experiencing flooding, to assess and render assistance.