With heavy and persistent rainfall continuing to pound several parts of the country, President Irfaan Ali has activated a Cabinet Level Task Force to respond to the current rainy season and potential flood impacts across Guyana.
In the past two weeks, several parts of the country have been experiencing heavy rainfall with the weather office predicting continuous rainfall for the next two months. Some communities are already being faced with flooding.
The Task Force which has been set up will be led by Prime Minister Mark Phillips who will work in tandem with all local authorities to ensure that all response and mitigative systems are in place and functional.
“These systems will include, but are not limited to, all working sluices; kokers; and drainage systems. The aim, according to the President, is to make certain that there is a proactive and coordinated response to the current rainy season with the intent to safeguard livelihoods and property”, the President’s Office said in a statement.
As part of the emergency plan, all Administrative Regions are mandated to regularly update the Task Force every 12 hours about any and all impacts in the regions from the heavy rains.
The reports should describe the communities affected, types of impacts and the measures being taken by response and technical entities.
The other members of the Task Force are the Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Minister of Housing and Water, the Civil Defence Commission’s (CDC) Director General, Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) Chief of Staff, the National Security Advisor, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority’s (NDIA) Chairman, and the Chief Hydrometeorological Officer.
The National Weather Service has reported that over the past two days, Regions 1 to 5 have reported accumulated rainfall measuring above two inches.
The weather forecast for the next 24 hours predicts continuous rain and thunderstorms across the entire coastland and parts of Regions 7, 8 and 10. Region 9 will see scattered showers intermittently.
“Residents countrywide are advised to remain vigilant and take all necessary flood precautions. Also, they are encouraged to report any impacts to local authorities or the National Emergency Monitoring System (NEMS) on 600-7500 at any time”.