Monday, June 6, 2011

Gov't interventions during Lethem flood timely and welcomed by residents.

The Government of Guyana has activated emergency response to bring relief to flood-affected communities across Region 9 which experienced unusual levels of continuous rainfall over the last few days.
An Emergency Response Centre has been established at the Regional Guest House in Lethem, and is coordinating shelters, food and medical supplies, crop and livestock assistance, transportation and communication among other activities. The response team comprises technical and field representatives of Government, Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Health, Public Works, the Business Community in Region 9, and Guyana Red Cross Society and volunteers.

The flooding situation has been compounded by similar patterns of rainfall in neighbouring Brazil, particularly in the State of Roraima, resulting in a massive relocation of Brazilians, damages to crops, livestock, and infrastructures. The State of Roraima declared a state of emergency last Tuesday.
It should be recalled that much of the western half of Region Nine and Region Eight are drained by the bordering river, the Takatu and the Ireng, which flow into the Rio Branco, Brazil, and downwards to the Amazon. These river basins are now over-loaded. They have overflowed their banks and its territories such as the Piara, Tabatinga and Moca-Moca are themselves backed-up and over-flowing.
In the Rupununi area, flooding to some extent for short periods during the raining season is usual but at this time, this year, the flood in Lethem is higher by about two to three feet than it was in the 2005 flood, which was the highest in recent memory. And the question now, is how long will this situation last before the water recedes?

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