President of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, has activated a Cabinet Level Task Force to respond to the current rainy season and potential flood impacts across Guyana.
The Task Force, led by Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, will work in tandem with all local authorities to ensure that all response and mitigative systems are in place and functional.
These systems will include but are not limited to, all working sluices; kokers; and drainage systems. The aim, according to the President, is to make certain that there is a proactive and coordinated response to the current rainy season with the intent to safeguard livelihoods and property.
Additionally, all Administrative Regions are mandated to regularly update the Task Force (at 12-hour intervals) on any and all impacts. Reports are to describe the communities affected, types of impacts and the measures being taken by response and technical entities.
The Task Force comprises of the Prime Minister as Chair, and authorities such as the Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Minister of Housing and Water, the Civil Defence Commission's (CDC) Director General, Guyana Defence Force's (GDF) Chief of Staff, the National Security Advisor, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority's (NDIA) Chairman, and the Chief Hydrometeorological Officer.
Over the past 24 hours Regions 1 to 5 have reported accumulated rainfall measuring above two inches. The weather forecast for the next 24 hours predicts continuous rain and thunderstorms across the entire coastland and parts of Regions 7, 8 and 10. Region 9 will see scattered showers intermittently.
Residents countrywide are advised to remain vigilant and take all necessary flood precautions.
They are also encouraged to report any impacts to local authorities or the National Emergency Monitoring System (NEMS) on 600-7500 at any time.
Meanwhile, Minister within Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, MP, on Sunday, visited several communities in the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) to assess the effects of the heavy rainfall.
The minister was accompanied by Dr Tandika Smith, Member of Parliament, and Chairperson of Mora/ Parika Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Jaideo Sookhoo, along with his technical team.
Hyde Park Parika, the lowest point in Parika backdam, Salem as well as its sluice were among the areas assessed to ensure that the systems in place are operable.