With the National Weather Centre warning that there could be more heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in already flooded communities, the Civil Defence Commission is bracing itself for a worsening of the current flood situation.
Several communities across Guyana remain inundated with floodwaters with no relief in sight.
Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig revealed today that almost 7000 homes are already affected by the floods across the country.
With some areas facing floodwaters of more than 8 feet in height, the CDC Director-General said the current situation is serving as an eye-opener.
“We operate based on current issues and current impact. 2005 was an eye-opener, some measures were taken but most of them weren’t sustained, likewise, this is another eye-opener and I hope it is a different type of measure and action that are taken at all levels including the citizens, the local government organization, the regional level organizations, the private sector and national government”, Craig told reporters.
In 2005, Guyana saw some of the worst floodings ever recorded.
While there were floods since then in many regions, the current state across the country is bringing back memories of the 2005 floods.
The CDC Head said it is clear that much more needs to be done to prevent a recurring situation.
“We are living in a time when the whole world is affected by climate change, and we must start to take adaptation measures because you not only see an increase in floods, and intensity of rainfall, but you are seeing high winds. We experienced an earthquake a few months ago and so, our efforts need to be focused on building the country’s resilience, and our efforts need to be focused on mitigation and risk reduction so that if you are impacted, the impact is not greater” Director Craig insisted.
Mr. Craig noted that there must be a national response, which will bring together all stakeholders across the country. According to the CDC Head, there is a need for a hand-in-hand approach.
“If we have a resilient society, a society with the reduced risks, we will be able to ensure sustained economic development, so it goes hand in hand. We can’t become a developed country and we are flooding significantly every couple of months, every year. So, we have to reduce the risks and if we reduce the risks that can also encourage investment” Mr. Craig said
Emergency disaster operations have been activated in regions across the country and the CDC has been working with local officials to get help to those affected.
Shelters have been established in some communities and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency is now lending support.