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Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha and Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat visited the flood-affected Black Bush Polder on Friday afternoon to distribute food hampers and sanitization hampers to each household.
In excess of 500 hampers were distributed among residents in Yakusari and Johanna. On Saturday another 1000 hampers were distributed between the remaining two polders, Mibicuri and Lebeholden.
The sanitization packages that were given to the residents contain a variety of cleaning agents that will ensure they stay clean and protected from the contaminated flood waters. They were advised to take all the necessary precautions for their safety. Meantime work is being done to have the floodwaters drained off the land.
During his visit on Friday, Minister Mustapha noted that two additional pumps were deployed to the area to aid in a more efficient drainage system for the four polders. On Wednesday, he had put measures in place to tackle the situation, as such, he said it was quite pleasing to return on Friday and see the works being done accordingly.
“We bought a new pump that we will be putting at Eversham and by tomorrow I will be installing a new pump at #43 and I am very optimistic that if the weather holds we will have a big relief within the next 24hrs in Black Bush Polder. Other parts of the region are affected by the flooding as well and we had to make some interventions at Port Mourant and Babu John area. A new pump was installed at Whim as well to help the Auchlyne and Liverpool area. Today a pump will be deployed to Letterkenny/Bloomfield to help drain the water from the land there”
Several other areas in Region Six, East Berbice Corentyne have been greatly affected by high intensity rainfall and flooding as such the minister stated that machines will be sent out in the affected areas to resolve the flooding situation. He further stated that officers from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) and the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) are doing assessments across the Region so that assistance can be extended to those farmers who would have suffered major losses.
Immediate action was also taken on Friday afternoon to have a pump fixed after it developed mechanical issues. Minister urged the residents to remain calm while noting that the pump will be up and running in the shortest time possible. “Once the pump is working it will boost the drainage system in this area and the water will be draining off quickly. I also made available several tubes that will go to different parts of the polder. They will be installed by Saturday at different points and it will control the flow of water in the area”
The Minister stated that while they are making interventions to provide support to the flood-affected residents, the Civil Defence Commission has been on the ground distributing hampers and sanitization packages to households.
The residents turned out in their numbers to receive their hampers while noting that they are grateful for the assistance which came in a timely manner and the interventions made by the Minister to have the water removed from their farms and yard. Veeni Singh, a resident of Yakusari said she is thankful for the support since she lost both crops and livestock. She also noted that the hamper will be beneficial to her and her family as it is quite difficult for them to traverse the area in order to purchase groceries. In some of the streets, the water level is at knee height; a great challenge to the residents.