In January 2005, heavy rainfall caused catastrophic flooding along Guyana’s coasts, affecting 290,000 people – almost half of Guyana’s population. Total flood damage was estimated at $465 million, or nearly 60 percent of the country’s GDP, prompting the government to work towards increasing its capacity to manage flood risk.
The government of Guyana, working with the World Bank, initiated the GEF-funded $3.8 million Conservancy Adaptation Project (CAP) to address catastrophic flood risks in Guyana’s coastal areas. The project strengthened understanding of the coastal drainage system and water conservancy, improved drainage infrastructure, pinpointed key strategic interventions to reduce flood risk and built institutional capacity.
Funding of $260,000 for the technical assistance project was provided by the European Union (EU) in the framework of the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) - EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR) Program, an initiative of the ACP Group of States managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)
A targeted risk communication strategy, including animated videos and key publications, ensured that policy-makers, stakeholders, and local communities were fully informed of disaster risk measures in case of catastrophic rainfall events.
The project contributed to a $123 million package of critical flood risk management investments from the World Bank and other partners.
Workshops were held to share information from the Conservancy Adaptation Project and disseminate technical information, facilitating information exchange and improving coordination within and between ministries and stakeholder groups.