Govt seeking $10B for flood relief

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….opposition blames govt for poor maintenance of infrastructure

Vice President,  Bharrat Jagdeo says the Government will be approaching the National Assembly on Thursday for $10 billion supplementary funds to aid its ongoing flood-relief efforts.

Jagdeo made this statement during his guest appearance on “GlobeSpan 24×7”

He said the supplementary financing will be used to repair infrastructure, specifically roads and bridges that have been damaged by the nationwide flooding. Support will also be given to farmers, miners and families whose livelihoods were destroyed by the natural disaster.

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“We have had unusual levels of rainfall and extreme high tides, and tomorrow I am told that the next wave of high tides will start.

This will further complicate matters… The forecast is iffy. We hope that the rain will subside so that we can return to economic activities,” Jagdeo said according to a Department of Public Information release.

The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has established shelters in Lethem and others areas in Region Nine and Kwakwani, Region 10 for persons forced to abandon their homes.  More than 100 persons have moved to the shelter in Kwakwani.

“I can understand the level of frustration and concern, but I can assure people that the Government will assist,” he said.

Jagdeo said if it had not been for the Hope Canal, which a previous PPP/C Government established, and which came under heavy scrutiny, the situation on the East Coast Demerara would have been worse.

To bring further relief to East Coast residents, he noted that the Government is holding discussions on creating bypass canals. These canals, he said, would drain directly into the Atlantic Ocean.

Meanwhile, the CDC has since distributed close to 30,000 hampers to nine regions affected by flooding. The Commission said on Sunday that since May 18, some 15,960 food and 13,894 cleaning hampers have been distributed.

Meanwhile, only last week Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon blamed the current crisis on the government.

Several communities have experienced extreme flooding, including Kwakwani, Black Bush Polder, Bartica, Hosororo and Aishalton among others.

In a statement Harmon said: “There has been disruption to lives and livelihoods, considerable damage to property and loss of crops and livestock.

While the Civil Defence Commission has been responding, such response is insufficient and inadequate, Harmon said adding that thousands of citizens who have been adversely affected and who are trapped in the flood waters are in dire need of urgent relief and assistance.
Harmon said addressing the nationwide flood situation requires a national coordinated effort at the executive level.

“People are suffering from extreme flooding, including in areas which have not been known to be prone to flooding, in significant part, as a result of the PPP regime’s lack of maintenance of flood prevention infrastructure left in place by the APNU+AFC Coalition Government.

The PPP’s neglect of such infrastructure has now imperiled the lives of thousands of Guyanese, have destroyed thousands of acres of crops and have caused millions of dollars of damage to property and loss of household appliances and other items.

“We call on the PPP regime to immediately establish a National Flood Relief Task Force comprising representatives of all sectors of the society and to take decisive action to: address the flooding; offer relief and compensation to persons who lost crops and livestock.”

Harmon said a public health crisis is developing with dead livestock rotting in the flood waters in a number of areas.

“The APNU+AFC Coalition empathises with the thousands of persons who have been adversely affected and asks that you take all necessary precautions to ensure you remain safe from contracting potential illness or disease as a result of exposure to the flood waters,” Harmon said.



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