As floodwater levels at Kwakwani in the Upper Berbice Region of Region 10 continue to fluctuate, some residents of Lamp Island who have been amongst the most affected are now contemplating to relocate to other areas.
This is according to Regional Councillor Elroy Adolph, who is tasked with compiling flood reports for the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) on a regular basis. Assessing the situation recently, Adolph explained that the water level at Kwakwani had risen to approximately eight and a half feet and continues to fluctuate over time.
“It goes down and then it comes back up,” Adolph explained as he noted that residents are hopeful that normalcy is restored to their lives.
“They’re eager for the water to go down…some start their cleaning and they had to stop because the water came up a little,” Adolph related.
Over at Lamp Island, however, the Councillor said floodwaters are still at a high level. The situation has gotten somewhat dangerous as it relates to electricity supply.
“The slightest issue that they have and it is very dangerous…those in the Lamp Island area, they had to cut the current…but they want it to go on back because they have fridges and freezers…nobody can help them because (they’re afraid) somebody might get shock…people using their generator…that’s at their own risk but you can’t get water and current, that don’t mix at all,” Adolph pointed out.
The Councillor explained that some residents have expressed willingness to relocate, with some stating that they will do so when the water completely recedes. The authorities have been pleading with residents to relocate for years owing to the severity of flooding in the Lamp Island community, which consists of over 100 residents, with approximately 50 homes.
“We need Lands and Survey to come in to have a part over at the Jeep Landing…if they come and regularise…a few people said they would move…so if they come and survey…they could put persons there. So those who want to move (can do so) because I understand this might be an ongoing thing…with the floods…because of global warming and so many things,” Adolph related.
He further noted that presently food supplies are not an issue while praising the work of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) in rendering assistance during the intense flooding.
“The CDC has done a wonderful, marvellous…job throughout the floods…I was one that helped with the shelter and they come and take over the shelter and run the shelter. They also supplied food and assist in giving help to the needy…where the hampers are concerned, they help play a major role,” the Councillor added.
He also complimented the Regional Education Department for opening up the schools at Aroaima and Kwakwani to be used as shelters, as he noted that persons are currently still utilising them.
In addition, he stated that overseas-based Guyanese and organisations have also contributed in the flood relief efforts. “The Christian Association worked through the Region (RDC) and was also able to supply hampers for the people, not only in Kwakwani but as far as Ebini down the Berbice River which is also affected by the flood. We went to Wiruni…Ebini and Hururu (where) we were able to share out hampers for persons who were affected…the CDC and the Government did not leave the people on their own and other private partners, private citizens did not leave Kwakwani out. It was one of the highest floods, I was told…A lot of persons gave small and medium sized help,” Adolph said as he noted that assistance also came from persons at Kimbia.
The region, especially Kwakwani, was devastated by the May-June rainfalls which saw several homes being submerged as well as mining operations severely affected. According to reports, over 30,000 persons were affected by flooding throughout the country.