Floods in Guyana

Published: 8 August 2015 23:02 CET

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has approved Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) for the Guyanese Red Cross operation in response to the floods produced by the rains that have affected the country in the last month. The funds will go to help 500 families have been affected by the floods.

Heavy rainfall during the first half of July 2015 has resulted in increased water levels in rivers and canals. Regions #3 and #4 are the most affected regions with flooding in several communities.

The Minister of State, retired Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Harmon has authorized the activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).  Total losses and the total number of people affected by the flooding are yet to be determined. However, based on the 2012 Preliminary Census Report, with more than 70 per cent of the country’s population living along the coastal areas, a significant number of households have been either directly or indirectly affected.

The authorities, led by the Civil Defense Commission and several ministries, responded immediately with the provision of supplies from the capital Georgetown. The authorities have distributed food, hygiene kits and eating utensils. In the communities, community disaster response teams trained by the Red Cross assisted with the assessments done jointly with the Environmental Protection Agency. Individual private donors have also responded to a limited extent with material support.

Various ministries, community leaders, Civil Defense Commission, private sector and the Red Cross have been present at all the meetings, where they have shared information and coordinated actions. The NEOC has further subcommittees in water and sanitation (WATSAN), health, education, shelter, communications, logistics and safety.

Guyanese Red Cross actions

The Guyana Red Cross Society (GRCS) maintains strong collaboration and networking with donors, line ministries, Regional Democratic Councils and other stakeholders in carrying out interventions within the coastal regions. The GRCS continues to mobilize resources and carry out interventions in the affected regions. The GRCS has participated in all relevant meetings, and the secretary general personally visited Georgetown to assess the situation.

The GRCS reported the distribution of a limited number of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLITs) for mosquitos and jerry cans, which were already pre-positioned in Guyana from the 2005 floods operation. Other actions included:

- Support of volunteers to assist in moving families to shelters and in compiling data regarding the number of affected households.

- Provision of utensils for utilization in the emergency shelter at Albouystown

- Sourcing of posters for dissemination of information on health and hygiene promotion.

The objective of the DREF is to respond to the immediate needs of 500 families impacted by flooding. The criteria for selection of communities are based on:

- Communities who have lost their livelihoods

- Communities with damage to roads that hinders their economic activities

- Communities with limited access to food and water and sanitation.


For more detailed information see the Plan of Action.