Response to the Guyana Flood Situation
The General Secretary,
All Party Overseas Groups
The PNCR’s Response to the Guyana Flood Situation
Date: February 14, 2005
Re: Flood Update
circular seeks to pull together the elements of reports received
over the last week in relation to visits by the Leader of the
Party to communities on the East Coast and Georgetown, and the
East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC), as well as the current
medical situation and ongoing efforts of the Party to bring relief
to particular villages and communities.
(A) Party Leader visits Victoria
Village & Sophia
February 12 & Sunday, February 13, 2005
The Party Leader returned to two areas on the Coast to
determine what occurred after the flood waters receded and how the
residents were coping with the consequences.
On Saturday last, at Victoria, he was informed that the
Government’s promise of five hundred (500) food hampers never
materialized and had it not been for the intervention of a
non-governmental organization and the PNCR, they would have faced
Briefing Party Officials, Mr. Corbin related that the
village was still affected by flood waters, however, the residents
were doing everything humanly possible to get rid of the waters
and return to normal existence.
Mr. Corbin on visiting North Bladen Hall took the
opportunity to distribute bottled water and made arrangements for
hampers to be sent, as this community had the waters from other
communities diverted there, causing severe flooding.
On Sunday, February 13, 2005, Mr. Corbin along with his
wife, Mrs. Carol Corbin, Ms. Amna Ally MP and Mrs. Cyrilda De
Jesus visited “A” Field, South Sophia in the morning and North
Sophia in the afternoon. The Party delegation visited this
community to see how residents had managed to overcome the severe
flooding that Sophia had suffered. Residents in particular wanted
the Leader of the Party to see how the Lama Canal had flooded its
banks and had released flood waters into the community. The
Community, assisted by Major General (Retired) Joe Singh placed
sand bags along the banks to prevent further flooding. The Party
delegation took the opportunity to distribute water and hampers to
the adults and fruit juices to the children.
(B) The East Demerara Water
Conservancy (EDWC) – It was ‘touch and go’ on January 21st.
The Government is inclined to
boast that the EDWC has been reduced to 57.50 GD, which is a safe
level. This is the
boast of a man who was almost hit by a speeding car.
For it is now clear from the report of the Dutch experts
that it was ‘touch and go’ from between October 2004 to early
February this year. Around January 21st, the water level of the EDWC
hovered around 59 GD. What
does this mean? The
experts have explained that this is a dangerous level and given
the precarious nature of the top 30% of the EDWC, one hundred
billion gallons of water could have been dumped on the East Coast
and the city and destroyed them completely. What saved us was the decision to release conservancy water
into the Mahaica area, a necessary decision that had dire
consequences for the Mahaica farmers.
In the unforgettable words of the Duke of Wellington “It
was a close run thing.”
In any case boasting is out of
place as the normal rainy May/June season is almost upon us. The Government has a lot of work to do in terms of
strengthening the dam and rehabilitating important sections of the
drainage and irrigation system.
In this regard we can do no better than quote the final
paragraph of the Editorial in Sunday Stabroek of February 13,
The Party has
information to indicate that medical teams on the East Coast
examined approximately 85,844 residents.
Contrary to many published reports, the number of people
clinically diagnosed with Leptospirosis is one hundred and thirty
two (132) persons; Thirty-four (34) persons have died from the
(D) Party Outreach
The Party continues
to air its nightly programme, “Nation Watch” during which it
updates its supporters, well wishers and the Guyanese public at
large about important developments in respect to the flooding and