News

Ministry of Home Affairs Issues Public Advisory on Poor Visibility and Fire Hazards

 

In response to recent developments, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a public advisory regarding poor visibility and heightened fire hazards in various regions of Guyana.

 

The decrease in visibility is attributed to a combination of ground fog and smoke emanating from grass fires in areas such as the East Bank to Timehri, the Linden Soesdyke Highway, and the West Bank. These fires have been ignited by a mix of spontaneous combustion and human-induced activities such as land clearing and waste destruction.

 

As Guyana continues to experience a prolonged dry season, the risk of fires spreading rapidly and becoming unmanageable is significantly increased. According to the Guyana Hydro-Meteorological Service, this dry spell is expected to persist until the end of April.

 

The mixture of ground fog and smoke presents challenges for motorists and pedestrians alike, severely limiting visibility. The Ministry of Home Affairs urges all road users to exercise extreme caution during this period. Motorists are advised to reduce speed and utilize appropriate lighting, such as high and low beams or hazard lights, to enhance visibility on the roads.

 

Moreover, there are substantial health risks associated with smoke inhalation. To ensure the safety and well-being of all residents, the Ministry recommends the following precautions:

 

  • Stay indoors: Whenever possible, remain indoors with windows and doors closed to minimize exposure to smoke.
  • Limit outdoor activities: If outdoor excursions are necessary, wear a mask to protect against smoke inhalation.
  • Use air filtration: Employ air conditioning systems to help filter indoor air and reduce smoke infiltration.
  • Stay informed: Stay updated on the latest information and advisories issued by the Fire Service and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Consider alternate routes: When planning travel, explore alternative routes to avoid smoke-affected areas and roadways.
  • Exercise caution: Drive carefully in affected areas due to reduced visibility caused by smoke. Utilize hazard lights or high beams and remain vigilant for other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Protect vulnerable groups: Take extra precautions to safeguard vulnerable individuals, including children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions.

The Ministry urgently calls upon all contractors, land developers, and farmers to refrain from initiating fires on or near their properties. Inspections will be conducted by the Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Police Force to determine the cause and source of these fires, and perpetrators found responsible will face legal consequences.

Additionally, citizens are urged to abstain from starting fires, implement preventive measures, and provide assistance in extinguishing any fires if possible. In case of a fire, prompt contact with emergency services at 912 is essential.

The cooperation and vigilance of all citizens are crucial in mitigating these hazards and ensuring the safety of our community.