The flooding situation across the country has moved to a Level 2 Disaster, prompting the Government to move towards soliciting international support, President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday told residents of Chesney New Housing Scheme in Region Six.
He noted that this was the advice from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).
“The CDC advised this morning that the disaster is a Level 2 Disaster so that we can now move the situation to the international community to get international support,” he said.
The Head of state is on a series of outreaches across the country as residents feel the brunt of rising water levels in several coastal and hinterland regions.
According to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) Regional Response Mechanism, a Level 2 Event is one in which the national capacity to respond is not overwhelmed, but some external assistance is required.
The affected State may or may not declare a disaster. In this scenario, the CDEMA Coordinating Unit may provide technical assistance, specialised equipment, support personnel and information sharing.
In comparison, a Level 3 Event overwhelms the capacity of an affected State to respond.
The President assured that Government is working assiduously to address their concerns. He said that the Government will propose a supplementary provision for parliament to secure additional resources to support the efforts.
“I am here to let you know that the situation is far from over, but we are going to be here throughout. The same support that you talk about that the Government gave you in the initial phase will continue…I want to assure you that we are going to be with you, we are going to help in the rebuilding process, and we are going to support the rebuilding process,” he told residents.
It was recently disclosed that the Government will seek $10B supplementary funding to fund flood relief when the National assembly meets on Thursday.
The President explained that the immediate needs in many of the flood-affected communities are to ensure that residents have access to food, shelter as well as health care. He added that the worst affected are farmers and those who rear livestock.
Regarding the actions being taken by the various agencies, President Ali noted that the CDC has already initiated a programme to ensure that food is delivered to affected areas and that medical supplies and shelter are provided.
Accompanying President Ali in Berbice on Wednesday are Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha; Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall; Director-General of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig; Head of the NDIA, Mr Lionel Wordsworth and Regional Chairman, Mr David Armogan among other representatives.