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Relief operation underway for drought-stricken Rupununi, Region One

Authorities are preparing to rush relief supplies of water and food to drought-stricken Rupununi and parts of the Barima-Waini (Region One), government said Friday.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon said the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) would be coordinating efforts to source and distribute water to the hard-hit communities.

The CDC, Dr Luncheon revealed, will coordinate with the Ministries of Amerindian Affairs, Local Government, Housing and Water, Public Works and Guyana Water Inc. in their efforts to bring relief to the affected communities.

“This will be done by sourcing water from accessible rivers and other sources and via the use of tractors and trailers with black tanks, traversing the area and providing water to residents,” the Government Information Agency (GINA) quoted Luncheon as saying.

He stated that due to unseasonably low amounts of rainfall, parts of the two regions, as well as the north-eastern section of Brazil have been hard hit by drought conditions. He noted that in addition to a lack of water, there has been the resurgence of pests which were attacking what little crops remained that were minimally affected by drought conditions.

It has been reported to Cabinet that most wells have dried up and the water table is “so low that shallow wells were at this point, inaccessible”, Dr. Luncheon said. The intervention will be continued for the duration of persisting drought conditions.

Government has consistently sought to bring relief to areas, particularly those in the hinterland regions, affected by adverse weather conditions.