Guyana

Guyana El Niño Drought OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Ref: DHAGVA - 98/0177
SITUATION

1. THE PROLONGED DROUGHT AFFECTING GUYANA CONTINUES TO CAUSE WIDESPREAD DEPRIVATION AND LOSS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. THE MOST ACUTE PROBLEMS FACING THE POPULATION ARE LACK OF DRINKING WATER AND SHORTAGE OF FOOD AS SEA WATER MOVES UP STREAM INTO AREAS OF CULTIVATION AND CROPS FAIL.

2. AVAILABLE DATA INDICATES THAT THE POPULATION AFFECTED IN EACH OF THE REGIONS IS AS FOLLOWS: 2,500 IN REGION ONE, 7,500 IN REGION TWO, 1,500 IN REGION FIVE, 5,000 IN REGION SEVEN, AND 5,574 IN REGION EIGHT. IN REGION 9, THE ACUTE SHORTAGE OF FOOD AND POTABLE WATER HAS SUBJECTED ALMOST THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF 14,949 COMPRISING MAINLY INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES TO THE THREAT OF STARVATION AND DESTITUTION. ALTHOUGH THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO FIGURES AVAILABLE, THE POPULATIONS OF REGIONS 3, 4, 6 AND 10 ARE VARIOUSLY AFFECTED BY SHORTAGE OF POTABLE WATER AND LOSS OF CROPS.

3. IN ADDITION TO SIGNIFICANT CROP LOSSES IN THE RICE AND SUGAR SECTORS, CROP FAILURE HAS BEEN REPORTED IN REGIONS 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 AND 9. LOSSES OF LIVESTOCK HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN REGIONS 5, 6 AND 9. THE MAJORITY OF AQUACULTURE OPERATIONS HAVE CLOSED.

4. FOREST FIRES HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN REGIONS 3, 4, 9 AND 10. IN REGION 9, FIRES ARE HINDERING WORK ON THE MOCO MOCO HYDROPOWER PROJECT. AROUND THE ONLY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AT TIMHERI, SMOKE FROM FOREST FIRES HAS PERIODICALLY REDUCED VISIBILITY TO BETWEEN 600 AND 900 METRES.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

5. ON 26 MARCH 1998, THE PRESIDENT OF GUYANA DECLARED A STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY, ARTICULATING HER CONVICTION THAT THE COUNTRY 'FACES A NATURAL DISASTER.' ON THE SAME DAY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CONVENED A SPECIAL MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN WHICH HE UNDERSCORED THE GRAVITY OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY AND ISSUED AN INTERNATIONAL APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ASSISTANCE

6. THE MOST PRESSING NEED IS FOR POTABLE WATER AND RELIEF SUPPLIES FOR THE AFFECTED POPULATION IN ALL 10 REGIONS, INCLUDING RELIEF FOOD SUPPLIES, AGRICULTURAL INPUTS FOR SUSTAINED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY (SEEDS AND TOOLS), PORTABLE WATER PUMPS, INFLATABLE WATER BLADDERS, WATER PURIFICATION MEANS, AND TRANSPORT TO DELIVER SUPPLIES TO OUTLYING AREAS. THESE NUMBER 37,000 IN REGIONS 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, AND 9 WHERE QUANTIFIED DATA IS AVAILABLE.

7. FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IS ALSO NEEDED TO DETERMINE THE MOST EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO FOREST FIRES AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT.

8. ALSO NEEDED ARE IMPROVED COMMUNICATIONS THROUGH HF AND VHF RADIOS, FOR CENTRAL COORDINATION AND PLANNING AT THE CIVIL DEFENSE COMMISSION.

9. SPECIFIC IMMEDIATE NEEDS IDENTIFIED AT OUTSET OF EMERGENCY INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

9.1 50 HAND PUMPS TO IMPROVE WATER SUPPLY IN AMERINDIAN SETTLEMENTS AT AN ESTIMATED COST $US 20,000.

9.2 THREE SUBMERSIBLE PUMPS FOR ENSURING THE WATER SUPPLY IN GEORGETOWN. THE PUMPS REQUIRED WOULD BE RATED AT 75 L/S AT 60M HEAD AND HAVE A MAXIMUM DIAMETER OF 300 MM SUITABLE FOR INSTALLATION IN WELLS WITH INSIDE DIAMETER OF 325 MM, MINIMUM AT AN ESTIMATED UNIT COST OF USD 30,000.

9.3 DRILLING ONE WELL 240 METRES DEEP AND INSTALLATION OF CASING AND SCREENS AT AN ESTIMATED COST OF USD 180,000.

9.4 24 MOBILE PUMPS COMPRISING THE FOLLOWING: 5 PUMPS WITH A CAPACITY OF 40 CUBIC FT PER SECOND AT 18 FT FOR PUMPING FROM THE RIVERS TO CONSERVANCIES AT A UNIT COST OF USD 66,000 (CIF), 8 PUMPS WITH A CAPACITY OF 20 CUBIC FT PER SECOND FOR PUMPING FROM CONSERVANCIES TO THE MAIN IRRIGATION CANALS AT A UNIT COST OF USD 33, 000 (CIF), 11 PUMPS WITH A PUMP CAPACITY OF 10 CUBIC FT. PER SECOND AT 15 FT FOR THE RECIRCULATION OF WATER FROM DRAINS TO CANALS AT A UNIT COST OF USD 29,000 (CIF).

9.5 PROVISION OF RELIEF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO THE FAMILIES OF THE MOST AFFECTED RICE AND SUGAR FARMERS NUMBERING 2,300 OVER A PERIOD OF 6 MONTHS EQUIVALENT TO GYD 10,000 PER FAMILY PER MONTH AND AT A TOTAL COST OF USD 932,000.

9.6 PROVISION OF PADDY SEEDS TO THE AFFECTED FARMERS FOR THE NEXT CROPPING SEASON. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 1 BAG OF PADDY (AT A COST OF GYD 2,000/BAG) WOULD BE NEEDED FOR EACH OF THE 63,000 ACRES AFFECTED. THE ESTIMATED TOTAL COST OF THIS ASSISTANCE WOULD BE USD 852,000. SEEDS ARE LIKELY TO BE AVAILABLE ON THE LOCAL MARKET.

CO-ORDINATION

10. ON 26 MARCH THE GOVERNMENT CHARGED THE CIVIL DEFENSE COMMISSION (CDC) WITH THE CO-ORDINATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE RESPONSE TO THE DISASTER AND REQUESTED THE UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR/UNDP RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE TO COORDINATE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO THE APPEAL AND INVITED HIS OFFICE TO BE INTEGRATED INTO THE CDC SECRETARIAT TASKED WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR CENTRAL COORDINATION AND PLANNING OF THE RELIEF EFFORT.

CONTRIBUTIONS

11. THE CURRENT STATUS OF CONTRIBUTIONS CAN BE FOUND IN THE OCHA SITUATION REPORT NO. 1.

12. OCHA IS PREPARED TO SERVE AS A CHANNEL FOR CASH CONTRIBUTIONS, TO BE USED DURING THE IMMEDIATE RELIEF PHASE, IN COORDINATION/CONSULTATION WITH RELEVANT ORGANIZATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM. OCHA PROVIDES DONORS WITH WRITTEN CONFIRMATION AND PERTINENT DETAILS CONCERNING THE UTILIZATION OF THE FUNDS CONTRIBUTED. DONORS WISHING TO CHANNEL THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS THROUGH OCHA SHOULD TRANSFER FUNDS TO OCHA ACCOUNT NO. CO.590.160.1 AT THE SWISS BANK CORPORATION, CASE POSTALE 2770, CH-1211, GENEVA 2, SWITZERLAND, WITH REFERENCE: GUYANA - DROUGHT.

13. FOR COORDINATION PURPOSES, DONORS ARE REQUESTED TO INFORM OCHA GENEVA, AS INDICATED BELOW, OF RELIEF MISSIONS, PLEDGES OR CONTRIBUTIONS AND THEIR CORRESPONDING VALUES BY ITEM.

TELEPHONE NUMBER: + 41-22-917-1234
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