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President Irfaan Ali has officially declared a disaster in Guyana due to flooding.
The President’s proclamation was recorded in the Official Gazette on Thursday, the Department of Public Information said. The proclamation notes that as of June 7, 2021, a total of 28,228 households were affected by flooding, some with water entering their homes, domestic animals and livestock in distress or farmlands inundated.
Meanwhile, Guyana has been classified Level 2 Disaster under the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) mechanism, which indicates that the national capacity to respond is not overwhelmed but external assistance is required in the form of technical assistance, specialised equipment, support personnel and information sharing in order to respond and recover from the event.
Despite Guyana’s situation being classified as Level 2, the impact of the flood in the regions vary, with regions 1, 3, 4, 8 and 9 being at Level 2, given national capacity to manage the impact, while regions 2, 5, 7 and 10 are classified as Level 3, based on the magnitude of the flood.
In a statement the Civil Defence Commission said it is for this reason that regional and international support is needed to effectively mobilise resources in order to respond and recover from the impact of the floods.
A Tropical Wave embedded within the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone is currently affecting Guyana, resulting in heavy rainfall which could last until mid-July. Since May 18, 2021, the CDC has received reports of more than 29,000 households suffering from flooding in more than 300 communities countrywide.
To date, a total of 17,829 cleaning hampers and 21,735 food hampers have been distributed across the regions as a form of emergency relief.
The Commission continues to manage shelters set up in regions 2, 9 and 10, housing a total of 205 residents who have been displaced from their homes.
The declaration of Level 2 Disaster in Guyana by His Excellency, President Dr. Irfaan Ali by virtue of flooding, has seen intensified efforts at the regional level to better coordinate response activities with the Civil Defence Commission.
The declaration was made on Wednesday, June 9 and gazetted on Thursday, June 10, 2021 under Article 99 of the Constitution which vests the executive authority of Guyana in the President who has responsibility for disaster management.
Under the Constitution, the President has been authorised to declare a disaster if he is satisfied that a disaster has happened and it has become necessary for the CDC to exercise disaster management powers, to prevent or minimise loss of human life, illness or injury to humans, property loss or damage to the environment.