Serious economic repercussions projected for Region 2 following floods

(Photo caption: A farmer from Karawab stands in waist heigh water, which affected his farm)

The recent flooding across Guyana has had severe immediate effects, with many persons losing millions of dollars in valuables. There have been predictions that the recent flooding within the Pomeroon/Supenaam region will have serious economic setbacks.

Region Two is a diverse agricultural region, which contributes significantly to Guyana’s agricultural sector. While rice is predominantly cultivated on the Essequibo Coast, the Pomeroon is responsible for the largest coconut production in Guyana. The Pomeroon also produces tons of ground provisions, citrus and cash crops, which are sold in markets around the city.

The Big Smith News Watch was reliably informed that while most of the Essequibo Coast suffered minor flooding, the Pomeroon was hit the hardest. Further reports reaching this publication, revealed that apart from heavy rain falls, the Pomeroon River spewed over its banks during the recent spring tides.

Current reports are that after six days, many farm lands remain inundated in flood water; with complete losses being recorded in most areas within the Pomeroon.

During an emergency flood assessment meeting convened by the Regional Democratic Council, Regional Chairman Vilma Da Silva projected that the flooding will have an economic impact on the region. “We did ground assessment and we recognized the impact of flooding in Region Two. The situation will have an economic impact on the region,” Da Silva said.

                                                                             Regional Chairman during Monday’s emergency meeting. [Extreme right, background]

Representatives from the National Agricultural Research & Extension Institute [NAREI], have already confirmed that 980 farmers have already been affected. Within the Nile/Cozier NDC, over three hundred farmers have been affected.

The Toshao of Wakapoa, Lloyd Pereira, reported that if the water rises by 1ft. over three hundred farmers within his community will record losses.

Drainage continues to affect the Pomeroon, as the mouth of the Pomeroon River has been reportedly silted. Recommendations previously presented by regional officials, highlight two options. The first option entails the dredging and desilting of the river mouth, while the second option explores the idea of using existing canals to drain the river.

Now Regional Executive Officer, Devenand Ramdatt, while serving as Regional Chairman of Region Two, said that while both ideas aim at alleviating flooding, they both come with a price tag that will require macro funding from the Central Government.

While most residential areas on the Coastland have recorded minor flooding, the agricultural lands are still at risk. A report presented by the Guyana Rice Development Board [GRDB], states that some 1146 acres of rice lands are under threat.