GUYANA: Heavy rainfall floods Hinterland Communities once again

Several hinterland communities flooded once again —  2021 repeated

–- flooding streets, forcing residents to evacuate homes

Last year, these and other regions across Guyana suffered after the country recorded the highest amount of rainfall in decades.

Jun 23, 2022  – Kaieteur News – Scores have been forced to evacuate their homes as massive floods hit Kwakwani, Upper Berbice, Region 10, Mahdia, Region 8 and a number of communities along the Cuyuni River, Region Seven.

Flood Scenes from Kwakwani, Upper Berbice, Region 10

Scene at Cumang (Photo Credit: Roxana Da Silva/Guyana South America)

As the country is currently in its May/June rainy season, the floods have returned and while many are scampering to higher grounds, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) in a release stated that government ministers will be visiting to affected areas to deliver, food and sanitation hampers.

Kaieteur News correspondent in Linden, Vanessa Braithwaite, reported that flood victims of Kwakwani are evacuating their homes and moving to higher grounds as the water continues to swell in the Upper Berbice community. Calls are even being made for them to permanently evacuate and not return as the flood-prone areas such as Lamp Island and the Waterfront are hit severely on a yearly basis during the seasonal rains. As of Tuesday, she reported, community leaders related to her that there is need for urgent help. Regional Councillor representing the district, Elroy Adolph, expressed his disappointment that since the flooding started in May, no response has been made by the Civil Defense Commission.

Flood Scene at from Mahdia, Region Eight (Photo Credit: Harley Joseph)


“I’m calling on the CDC for assistance, the nursery school teachers and children cannot go to school if they have to use cars, because the cars will have to stop work down at the Waterfront, and if they don’t have boats, they won’t be able to go across from the Crushing Plant to the Waterfront so we need assistance from the Education Department as well,” Adolph told Braithwaite. He stated that the floodwater in some areas is as high as six to eight feet. “So you could imagine, the volume of water that is in the area coming down from the upper part of the Berbice River, rain is falling every day, last night we had a pretty long shower of rain, some people already move to their relatives in the Kwakwani Park, while some do not have place to go as yet, they are seeking higher ground, so I am appealing to the CDC to see what assistance they could render to the folks in the Lamp Island area,” Adolph related to the Kaieteur News.

In the interim, the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) is reportedly trying to assist as much as possible but currently, there are no shelters available for the affected residents. Last year, the residents took up shelter in the schools but with the resumption of face-to-face learning, this would not be possible. At least one couple has reportedly decided to squat on the road, since no shelter is available. One resident said, “We just decided to move before the water catch me so we will stay at the road corner here.” While another added, “Water just coming and coming all the time so I have to move up higher”.

Mahdia hit hard with flooding

Across in the Region Eight town of Mahdia, residents are also battling severe flash flooding as the creeks overflowed their banks. Photos and videos posted on the various social media platforms showed how devastating the flood is for the Mahdia residents. Streets were swallowed up in the floods, even as some grocery shops were almost covered. Kaieteur News was told that several small communities within Mahdia have also suffered.

Shop owners lost hundreds of thousands in stocks while residents scampered to higher grounds as water levels rose at a rapid pace. The story was no different for the Cuyuni, Region Seven district, only this time some of the residents were better prepared. The mining communities of Eteringbang and Cumang were flooded severely last year and when some residents saw the waters rising over the weekend, they began to moving to higher grounds. Shop owners from Eteringbang, however suffered losses and a few residents are still trapped as buildings are almost covered with water.

Meanwhile, the CDC reported on Wednesday that special attention will be these regions. “To this end, special attention will be paid to Region Seven, Region Eight and Region 10, where many communities are flooded”, CDC stated. According to the CDC, 200 households were affected by the severe floods in Region 10, mainly in the areas of Kwakwani , Rockstone, and Speightland. Another 180 and 15 farms were inundated in Region Nine.

Additionally, related the CDC, parts of Region One, Region Three, Region Five and Region Six are also underwater. To offer support to the affected residents living in these areas, CDC highlighted that the government through its respective agencies will deliver food and sanitation hampers, purification tablets and collapsible one-gallon bottles. Officials from the Ministry of Health will also be out in the fields to deal with any flood-related or water borne disease.


Guyana Map showing Regions

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