Response to the Guyana Flood Situation
The General Secretary,
People’s National Congress Reform
All Party Overseas Groups
The PNCR’s Response to the Guyana Flood Situation
February 18, 2005
This circular takes as its subject the
politics of the flood situation.
As to be expected in Guyana, politics did not stop at the
the pleas of the Leader of the People’s National Congress
Reform and his Party, the PPP/C went out of its way to
politicize the flooding of Guyana's coastal belt, the
distribution of food items and generally the approach to this
unprecedented disaster. Let
us be clear about what we are saying here. Mr. Corbin in his January 24, 2005 “Address to the Nation” and subsequently urged the
Government to remove this question out of the realm of
called for the creation of a group of experts to define the
Corbin's intention was to ensure that the response to the
crisis was a national one unsullied by partisan politics.
When he attended the first meeting called by President
Jagdeo at State House on Monday February 17, 2005, in the wake
of his letter to the Head of State on this issue, he made a
formal proposal along these lines.
Yet Mr. Jagdeo proceeded to create a structure
dominated by Ministers, and without the guidance of Technical
Experts as was recommended by the Opposition Leader.
The results were not difficult to predict.
an eye on the elections next year, the Ministers concerned,
campaigned on the coastal belt, telling residents that the
hampers of food and water being distributed were from the
Government and 'President Jagdeo', when in fact most of the
relief received were attributed to donations of cash and kind
by the international community.
Naturally in these circumstances, there were complaints
of systematic discrimination of areas known to support the
PNCR. The worst act of the politicization of the crisis was
revealed by Mr. Corbin when he addressed Parliament on
February 16, 2005. He told the National assembly that three
(3) 42” pumps donated by Trinidad and Tobago and the United
States were delayed because the company which had been
contracted to dispatch the pumps to Guyana was not acceptable
to the PPP/C. The Manager of the company concerned went to the
airport to ensure that the loading and dispatch of the pumps
were properly done, only to receive a message from the Office
of the President in Guyana that he was not to take possession
of the pumps. He was subsequently told that one Norad Singh in
New York had been contracted by the Government of Guyana to
get the pumps to Georgetown. So much for transparency,
non-discrimination and fair play!
this was not all. After
the Chairman of Region Four, Mr. Alan Munroe, released to the
Press, the letter he had written on November 16, 2004, warning
that unless, drains were cleaned, sluices maintained and the
EDWC rehabilitated, flooding of the costal belt would take
Munroe, in that famous American locution, was 'right
on the money.' His
prediction came to pass.
And guess what happened?
Mr. Munroe became the object of attack.
Mr. Jagdeo led the way.
He said on one famous occasion, that the Regional
Chairman was nowhere to be seen during and after the flood.
The PNCR is in a position to retire this falsehood.
One of the things that the Party has been doing to
counter the excessive propaganda of the PPP/C was to launch
special editions of its program 'Nation Watch'.
On one such program, on the
February 17, anchored by Ms. Supriya Singh, Direction
of the Public Communications Unit of the Party, two PNCR
Regional Councilors explained that after the floods, Mr.
Munroe led the way in visiting communities on the East Coast
and subsequently fell ill, with what appeared to be
was hospitalized. Another
canard hurled at the Region Four Administration by the PPP/C
was that funds allocated were misappropriated.
Mr. Munroe himself, emerging from his recent illness,
dispatched this foolishness.
the PPP/C's caravan show moves on.
The most recent installment is that the crisis is over.
This is far from the truth.
Guyanese are still falling ill from different flood
related diseases. The
most recent of these is Dengue Fever.
And it has been reported, that cows have been dying
mysteriously at Windsor Forest.
The fact of the matter is that as far as the return to
normalcy is concerned, we are not out of the woods yet.
Medical Experts have predicted that diseases other than
Leptospirosis are likely to assault the Guyanese population.
Moreover, people are finding it increasingly difficult
to underwrite the cost of cleaning up their communities, and
their homes. In
this regard, attention should be focused on the fact that the
Leader of the PNCR has proposed that the National Relief
Programme be established to enable people in the affected
communities to cope with the cost of rehabilitation and obtain
compensation for the losses suffered.
Sometimes an incident occurs which dispersed the clouds
of untruth and distortion.
This week the residents of Enmore rioted in front of
the centre at which food was supposed to be distributed,
because the activity was tardy, and poorly organised.
And this happened in a ‘PPP/C stronghold’. The
PPP/C spin-meisters have been silent about this one.
a subsequent circular, the Party will try to summarize the
presentations made by its Parliamentarians, on the debate on
the flood situation, which the PPP/C were shamed into
Party will also provide information about the work and
activity of several Doctors who have just arrived in the
country to mount on an outreach programme on its behalf.
National Congress Reform