Govt to meet bankers, creditors to help flood-affected farmers – President

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President Dr. Irfaan Ali says the Government will be approaching financial institutions and creditors as part of the administration’s long-term support for farmers affected by the countrywide flooding.

President Ali made this announcement during a two-day outreach to Regions Five and Six on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We’re scheduling meetings this weekend with the banking system, and what I will also do is ask Minister Zulfikar [Mustapha] to meet with the big millers and creditors and we work out how we can help; how the government and these people can work together, but that will come after the assessment.

“We have to understand what is the total picture; the macro picture. We cannot speak in isolation,” the President said.

During a meeting at the Chesney Housing Scheme, Corentyne Coast, Dr. Ali said the Civil Defence Commission has elevated the scale of the disaster to level two, given the number of regions affected and the losses suffered.

The Head of State also visited nine other villages across the Corentyne Coast on Wednesday. During this exercise, residents expressed concerns about their cash crops and the protection and preservation of their cattle.

Consequently, the President indicated that elevated lands have been made available within Region Six for cattle. These lands can cater to at least 10,000 animals. Transportation is being provided by the Guyana Livestock and Development Authority to move the cattle to higher grounds. Notably, over 40,000 pounds of formulated feed has been manufactured for cows.

However, the President emphasised that the safety of people remains the Government’s priority.

“Presently, our aim is to ensure that people have access to food, water, sanitation and healthcare. That is our immediate task and that is what we have been doing,” he said.

Dr. Ali also told the residents that once the water recedes, Government officials would conduct a complete assessment of the losses. This assessment will determine the interventions the Government would undertake to support those who have lost their livelihoods.

The Head of State was accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha; Minister of Local and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall; Director General of the Civil Defence Commission, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig; representatives from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority; the Guyana Water Incorporated and other key stakeholders.