…as floodwaters rise in Region 10
Positive cases of dengue fever and malaria have been reported in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) in recent time, adding to the woes of residents currently battling relentless floodwaters.
Regional Chairman Bryan Allicock told this publication on Friday that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, little attention was placed on other diseases. As persons contracted the mosquito-borne sicknesses, people started complaining of feeling unwell, which alerted authorities.
Now, doctors are testing people at the various health facilities as they show up for the coronavirus tests. For 2021, some 284 cases of malaria have been discovered. This situation comes on the heels of coronavirus cases rising in the region, standing at 790.
“Everybody forgets dengue and malaria and they concentrated on COVID. We have cases coming in because we forget about them. The doctors have not given the final results for everybody that was tested. People started complaining of feeling unwell. When we test for COVID, we’re now testing for malaria and dengue. That’s how we knew that dengue was about cause a lot of people don’t really come out to the hospitals. (For malaria), we had about 284 cases so far so it is alarming,” Allicock shared.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection, found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Meanwhile, malaria is caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
On the note of devastating floods currently facing residents, he shared that over 500 persons are affected. As of Friday afternoon, floodwaters were on the rise in the Deep South and some northern sections of the region.
“Water is coming up back in the whole of Deep South and two communities in the north going underwater. The water is about to cover the whole village. That high it is. At the moment, there are 17 households underwater. We’re talking about over 500 people,” the Regional Chairman noted.
The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has since delivered cement to the region, donated by Inter Caribbean Maritime Transport Incorporated. It was distributed to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), and divided to the residents whose homes have been damaged. More relief supplies are expected to arrive as the CDC continues to monitor the weather and impact in the area.
Meanwhile, due to high tides and heavy rainfall, flooding was also reported in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
On Friday, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal and a team from the Ministry of Agriculture visited flood-affected residents across the Mabaruma sub-district, Region One (Barima-Waini).
After an inspection of Wauna, Tobago, Hosororo, Barabina and Kumaka Waterfront, commitments were made to ease the effects felt by residents of these communities. At Barabina, residents complained of having to wade through floodwaters to get to work. In response, they were promised rain boots and a boat to aid with persons moving in and around the community. In the long term, the drainage system in the community will be looked at. Additionally, some works to clear drainage canals have commenced in several communities.
Over at Black Bush Polder in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat distributed food hampers and cleaning supplies to residents.
In Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), the water has risen several feet, almost covering the entire bottom flat of houses.
[This article was first published in the Guyana Times]