Ref: OCHA/GVA – 2006/0013
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Guyana - Floods
This situation report is based on information provided to OCHA by the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Guyana
1. Nature of the situation
Since December 2005 Guyana has been experiencing regular high intensity rainfall along coastal areas as well as inland. This rainfall has continued into January and has gradually led to the overflow of many rivers as well as rising levels in the water conservancies resulting in flooding of low-lying coastal and riverain communities. Also, in order to control levels of the water conservancy and to avoid overflowing which would result in flooding of the East Coast Demerara and Georgetown, a decision was made to release water into the Mahaica river resulting in increased flood levels in Region 5.
On Saturday 28 January, the Guyana Government officially declared Region 2 and Region 5 disaster areas and called on the United Nations and the donor community for support for rehabilitation of drainage infrastructure and restoration of livelihoods
2. Areas affected
The present situation is as follow:
Region 1– Barima, Waini : Water has receded. However, the soil is still soggy.
Region 2 – Pomeroon – Supenaam: Water has receded in the lake areas and around the conservancy but is still high in the riverain areas.
Region 3 – Essequibo Islands - West Demerara: Waters have receded
Region 5 – Mahaica, Mahaicony, Berbice: Water has receded somewhat but the area is still flooded
Region 6 – East Berbice, Corentyne: Water has receded.
At the request of the Government, an assessment of the damages and losses resulting from the floods commenced on Friday 03 February 2006. The assessment, which is being led by ECLAC, will focus on livelihoods and drainage infrastructure in keeping with the Government's wishes. This assessment is expected to provide more information on the impact of the floods. The Government has provided a group of technical persons to support ECLAC team in gathering data.
Since the initial report no additional information is available on this sector.
Housing and shelters
Approximately 437 have relocated to 5 shelters, while food is being delivered to an additional 47 shut-in persons.
Water and sanitation
In Region 5, the previously reported situation of faecal contamination as a result of flooded latrines and carcases continues.
The Ministry of Health has continued its health surveillance work in the flooded areas and to date, there has been no evidence any outbreak of disease in the flooded areas.
Three schools that were used as shelters earlier in the flood situation, have now been closed as shelters and are awaiting fumigation by the Ministry of Health so that school can recommence.
4. Projected Evolution / Secondary Threats
The level of the East Demerara Water Conservancy has been gradually decreasing with the decreased rainfall over the last 4-5 days. Meanwhile, meteorological forecasts range from scattered thunderstorms to partly sunny for next week. If the weather is in keeping with these forecasts then flood levels in Region 5 should decrease significantly and the levels of the EDWC should be reduced to normal over the next few days.
II. COUNTRY-LEVEL INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
The UN Emergency Technical Team has been meeting regularly, monitoring the situation and assisting in coordinating relief support provided by the UN Agencies in Guyana. UNDP, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO, UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNV comprise this team.
5. Resources mobilized/contributed locally
In addition to personnel from ECLAC, UNDP is supporting three engineers as part of the assessment team. These engineers (two of whom are from the Netherlands) will be focusing on infrastructure.
The UN Resident Coordinator has been facilitating the discussions between the donors and government on the flood situation. The Government has signalled that it will take care of the humanitarian needs of the population in the affected areas but international support is needed for recovery of livelihoods and rehabilitation of drainage infrastructure.
III. REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE
7. Priority needs and Government request for support
The prime need of the affected population is the restoration of their livelihoods and support in saving their remaining livestock. For the medium and long term, the priority is to strengthen the water conservancy infrastructure and to rehabilitate vital drainage infrastructure. The Government has requested international assistance in these specific areas.
8. IFRC has issued so far two Information Bulletins concerning these floods. A disaster management delegate from the PADRU reached Guyana on 30 January and is working with the Guyana Red Cross Society in carrying out assessment and identification of needs.
9. This situation report, together with the information on contributions and other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
Tel. +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Mr. Dusan Zupka
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1645
(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. + 41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26
Mr. Brian Grogan, direct Tel. +1-212-963 11 43
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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