Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill has assured residents of Kwakwani, Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10), that Government will continue to make provisions for their health and safety as they enduring the floods.
Minister Edghill gave this assurance as he wrapped up his emergency response visit to the Region on Monday.
“President [Dr. Mohamed Irfaan] Ali has mandated that his Cabinet make sure that we reach out and connect with the people, wherever they are and especially those being affected by recent flooding…
“We will have to do an assessment of damages as a result of the flood and the high waters but in the immediate term, we want to be able to get food to you because if you can’t go to your farm to get food, how will you eat? Your Government is sensitive and responsive, your needs are very important and of much concern to us.”
Heavy rainfall, coupled with the overflowing of the Berbice River in Region 10 over the last 15 days left several communities in Kwakwani inundated. These include Waterfront, Waterfront Road, Ladern’s Ville, Hururu Mission and Wikki-Kalkuni.
In Linden, areas such as Speightland, Block 42 Lower Amelia’s Ward, Kara Kara, Rockstone, Mackenzie and Wismar have also been affected.
On Saturday, President Ali visited Kwakwani and several other areas across the regions to get a first-hand look at the devastation. The President has also dispatched a team of Government Ministers to areas experiencing severe flooding.
“Our first intervention here, as you know, is to save lives, save livelihood, to get the water quickly off of the land, to provide shelter and medical. Those are the priorities right now,” President Ali had said.
The President’s promise was executed the following day. It was led by the Public Works Minister, who indicated that the Government has been able to reach all the affected communities in Region Ten sub-district two.
“Councillors made representation for communities and we ensured hampers reached everyone in need,” Minister Edghill said.
Food and cleaning hampers were given to flood-affected residents in Wikki-Kalkuni (80); Lamp Island (78); Waterfront (136); Waterfront Road (25); Bamboo Landing (20); Ladern’s Ville (180) and Hururu Mission (170).
Minster Edghill noted that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) was also on the ground setting up shelters for displaced residents.
“The CDC is fully mobilised in Sub-district two of Region 10, and [Monday] morning they are opening shelters to evacuate people from homes where they are still living where water is heavy. We already have two families in the shelter here at this school,” he said.
Meanwhile residents were in high praise of the Government’s quick response.
“We appreciate a great lot what this present Government is doing for us, right. We were a bit little frustrated because we hear all what happening all over the country, but we know they can’t do everything all at one time, but what taking place here today, everybody appreciate it,” Wikki-Kalkuni resident, Mr. Albert Sandy told DPI.
At Ladern’s Ville, Mr. Donald Pierre said he has lived in “Aroaima for 47 years and we never had a flood like this before, now it is affecting us badly. We are glad the President came himself to see.”
Ms. Coreen Parreir agreed that it was the worst flood in the community. The woman told DPI she was afraid that her house would collapse. “Two days ago, [water] reach up and I was scared because the house at the bottom, the water come with a force and I frighten the house fall down. I’m thankful for all Government is doing.”
Ms. Jamacie Walcott from Hururu Mission said her family was among the first affected in her community. “Actually, myself and parents we farm and right now our farm is like about eight feet under water and actually we can’t do no planting at all, and we trying to harvest our plantain and banana that is remaining.
So, it is actually really affecting us because we live right there, you could see how the water is way up on us, toilet everybody flood out.”
Ms. Walcott said she was grateful to the Government and every person or group that has contributed to the relief efforts. “It shows that they are thinking about us and we mean something to them,” she added.
Lamp Island resident, Ms. Sunita Fredericks, who is sheltering at the Kwakwani Primary School, said she was happy to get her children to safety. “It is very comfortable being here especially with the children being out of the water; it’s comfortable for them and for me too.”
So far, the CDC in collaboration with regional authorities, have provided accommodation for up to 53 residents at shelters countrywide.
In Region Ten, 16 families are housed at the Aroaima Nursery School, two families at the Aroaima Primary School and 31 families at the Kwakwani Primary School. [DPI]