Kanapang under threat, roads washed away
…as relief efforts continue in affected locations
As floodwaters recede in several locations across Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), the Indigenous community of Kanapang remains under threat, given the reduced access to the area.
INews was on Sunday informed that deploying relief to this community has proved to be a challenge as the roads in the area near the Ireng River were washed away by the floodwaters.
According to information received, boats must be utilised to reach the flood-hit village via the Orinduk route. This publication understands that there were also reports of flooding in Cheung Mouth, Region Eight, but communication difficulties have hindered contact with that community.
Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) Member Michael McGarrell related on Sunday afternoon that relief efforts by a number of bodies were continuing to alleviate the flood crisis. He reiterated that some 22 families lost everything as their homes were washed away.
“They are really in need of food and clothing. The Amerindian Peoples Association staff has been on the ground since Friday visiting the affected communities; the situation is really grim, we are appealing for more donations,” he noted.
He further highlighted that his organisation has been in collaboration with the Region Eight Regional Democratic Council (RDC) officials to take supplies to the affected locations. McGarrell pointed out that the public can donate to the Amerindian Peoples Association, Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).
The CDC and the Public Health Ministry, along with several local businesses and organisations, assisted the residents on Saturday morning, delivering food items as well as health-care services. The six main affected areas are Chenapau, Waipa, Kaibarupai and Itabac, Sand Hill Settlement and Kanapang. The water level in these six villages has been receding. Four planeloads of relief supplies were dispatched to Chenapau and Orinduik on Saturday, while relief supplies for Waipa, Kaibarupai and other villages were taken to the villages from the CDC’s Forward Operations Centre at Orinduik.
The food items the residents received included farine, cassava bread, rice, tasso, corned mutton/beef, sardines, tuna, salted fish, salted meat, porridge stuff, milk, sugar, salt, Milo, Ovaltine, drink mixes, chowmein/pasta, peas, casareep, crackers and biscuits.
Other needed items were identified as tarpaulin, mosquito nets, hammocks, sheets, blankets, towels, toilet paper, disposable napkins, sanitary pads, laundry soap/detergent, bleach, bath soap, matches/lighters, rope, garbage bags, water purification tablets, clothing, reusable plastic eating utensils, buckets and insect repellent.
The Public Health Ministry has also dispatched several doctors, nurses, Community Health Workers and Environmental Health Officers to the affected communities. Junior Public Health Minister, Dr Karen Cummings had disclosed that the Ministry prepared flood kits which include antifungal creams, panadol syrup and items to prevent outbreaks in those areas.
The CDC had further reported that several villages in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) were also suffering from flooding, but these communities were not as severely affected as their Region Eight counterparts.
The flood-hit Region Seven villages included Purima, Kako, Jawalla, Phillipi, Kamarang and Duebamang. Region Seven Regional Disaster Risk Management Systems (RDRMS) and Regional Disaster Risk Management Committee (RDRMC) have been activated.
A team was said to have already been deployed to the affected areas to conduct assessments and reconnaissance. Farmland in the main and some residential areas has been flooded in the Region Seven villages. The flooding in both regions has persisted as a result of excessive recent rainfall in the highland regions. Many of the communities are located in mountainous valleys.