Region 9 flooding: No major disease outbreak as water rising in North Rupununi

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… additional drugs expected soon – Regional Chairman

Floodwaters in the North Rupununi continue to rise rapidly as rain continues to batter parts of Region Nine (Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo). However, some sections of this community have reported receding water levels.

Regional Chairman Brian Allicock had this to say: “I just came back from North (Rupununi), and yesterday (Saturday) afternoon, when we were travelling, the water in the North was coming in and it was just about 6 – 8 inches above the road. Now, this morning, when I came back, it is about 32 inches above the road.”

He said the water level in Lethem and some other areas of the community has been receding at a rapid pace, which is “not exactly normal”. He declared it a cause for concern, since Boa Vista in Brazil is still heavily flooded.

“We are still having people in the shelter. We are not advising them to go back in their houses as yet, because the place is not sanitary as yet for them to get into their areas. We will take precautions not to send them back too early, just to prevent any outbreak,” he said.

He added that some residents have reported experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting. “We (also) have some (cases of) skin rashes that turn into sores, but that is under control. We had two (cases of) bloody diarrhoea. We have enough drugs (to deal with the problems) and we are expecting a re-supply of drugs, (and) we have doctors in all five sub-districts in case of anything major.”

Allicock added that, last weekend, almost the entire region was under water due to heavy rainfall. Several persons had to be evacuated and several villages have been shut off.

Since the beginning of the May-June rainy season, citizens have been warned to expect greater-than-normal rainfall, and to take the necessary precautions to deal with the situation.

However, several villages have since experienced major flooding, and some are still trying to rebuild after the floods. The hard-hit communities were mostly limited to Regions Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and 8 (Potaro-Siparuni), where houses were washed away. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

One such village is Chenapau in Region Eight. Water levels in that Amerindian village rose to approximately 20 feet in some areas, and the Potaro River remains flooded owing to the heavy rainfall the Region is currently experiencing.

Residents there are fearful of rebuilding, since the threat of another flood is hanging over their heads like the mythological Sword of Damocles.

Roadways and access pathways to the other zones in the village remain flooded, and villagers are accusing the Government of neglecting them since the water receded from their lands.
Approximately two weeks ago, access to Aishalton in Region Nine was cut off when the Kabanawau Creek overtopped its banks and flooded the area. The bridge leading into Aishalton was flooded, cutting off access to the village for several hours.

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