Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson is currently on the ground in region nine, assessing the level of damages as the flood situation has worsened.
This was revealed by State Minister Joseph Harmon as he updated media operatives on the situation on ground and government’s response to the flooding on Thursday.
Moreover, Regional Chairman of Region Nine, Bryan Allicock told the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Thursday that the water level continues to rise in sections of the region.
According to Harmon, the water levels in the rivers and creeks are rising rapidly across the region and the water levels in Lethem and neighbouring communities had increased by approximately 5 feet.
On Wednesday, July 4, 2018, it was reported that 25 residents had been evacuated from their homes and housed at temporary shelters at Culvert City Nursery School, Tabatinga Community Centre and the Amerindian hostel while additional affected residents evacuated to relatives’ homes on higher ground.
Allicock however, explained that 48 persons are being sheltered at the Arapaima Primary School, the sports complex and the Amerindian Hostel, while twenty farms in Karasabai are under water, livestock is also under threat.
The chairman said that the Karasaibai district is completely “cut off”.
The flooding has resulted in five schools being closed, these include St. Ignatius Primary, St. Ignatius Secondary, Arapaima Primary, Arapaima Nursery and Culvert City Nursery schools.
These closed schools will be used as shelters to provide much-needed relief to affected residents.
It was outlined that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has been engaged and is currently working with the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Nine to provide relief and support to affected residents.
Over the past week, heavy rains caused flooding in the South Pakaraimas, Deep South, and Central Rupununi areas. Alternative routes, between communities of Katoonarib to Karaudarnauwa, were identified so that residents and vehicles can safely travel to their destinations.
Annually during the dry season, the Rupununi experiences drought. This has been mitigated with the construction of reservoirs and the drilling of several wells. In the rainy season, waters from the mountains in the highland region enter creeks and streams which lead to the rivers which are unable to take the large volume of water.