High flood-related health issues expected in Eteringbang following flooding this past weekend

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The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) this past weekend conducted a flood assessment at Eteringbang, a mining community located along the Cuyuni River in Region 7. The National Emergency Monitoring System (NEMS) received reports that an average of 80 households, commercial entities, and farmlands were inundated at Eteringbang and as such, dispatched a small assessment team along with 80 food hampers, 200 cleaning hampers, and 10,000 water purification tablets.

The team traveled by boat from the town of Bartica, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, where they noticed many landings and villages impacted by the rising waters of the Cuyuni River due to torrential rainfall. The Wyamo Landing, Two Point Mining Camp, Devil’s Hole Island, and Kurushie Landing all had seen water levels rise by at least 3) feet over the past week. Cumang Landing and Makapa saw floodwaters increase to at least 4 feet over the past 5 days. All the settlements and dwellings observed along the Cuyuni River were affected by the current floods.

At Eteringbang and nearby locations, the waters had risen some 10 feet. The assessment team met with Regional Representatives led by Mr. Lorenzo Valenzuela, and members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and Guyana Police Force (GPF) who assisted the mission. After careful observation and interaction, it was surmised that at least two dozen business establishments and over 170 households were affected by the floods. The Health Center and Primary School at Eteringbang were impacted as well. Many persons were forced to seek higher ground as the waters rose, which also meant limited access to health care and essential supplies. The Regional Representatives distributed the hampers and long boots to affected residents by way of a list they compiled while going door-to-door along the riverbank. The assessment also revealed that more food and cleaning hampers are needed, along with mosquito nets; more long boots, and medical supplies. The General Medical Officer (GMO) at Eteringbang, Dr. Nigel Anthony, anticipates a boom in flood-related health issues when the water subsides and prefers to be prepared for that situation.

Residents and visitors in the area confirm that while the water levels have fluctuated over the past three months, this is the highest it has been in a long time. Eteringbang is located on the Guyana-Venezuela border and the Regional Authorities indicated that Guyanese living on both sides of the Cuyuni River will attempt to receive flood aid once it is available.

The CDC plans to dispatch more flood relief supplies to Eteringbang and other affected areas along the Cuyuni River during this week. Additionally, the Commission continues to work with the Regional Officials and the GDF to receive regular updates as they monitor the circumstances at Eteringbang.

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