Georgetown, GINA, September 3, 2010
Government continues to monitor the current extended La Nina period that is affecting livelihood in the hinterland regions. Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development in collaboration with the Amerindian Affairs Ministry to dispatched the variety of food stuff to aid the residents of North and South Pakaraima, Region Nine, which has been waterlogged for almost six weeks.
The relief effort is being spearheaded by Ministers of Local Government and Regional Development and Amerindian Affairs, Kellawan Lall and Pauline Sukhai respectively.
At a simple handing over ceremony at the Amerindian Hostel at Princes Street, Georgetown, Minister Lall said that this is the first response as some communities are facing difficulties, particularly as it relates to agriculture.
The Local Government Minister added that it is unfortunate that this situation has arisen during a time when Amerindian communities are celebrating their heritage. However, Minister Sukhai assured that even though current wet conditions may put a damper on the celebrations, it will not hinder the activities in any significant way.
The two Ministers will be visiting the affected communities in the coming week to assess the situation and to determine what other forms of assistance could be rendered in order satisfy their needs.
The food items that were sent today including rice, sugar, salt, tomato sauce, and flour amounts to $1.5M, however, Government's overall relief effort since the El Nino period goes beyond $43M.
Minister Sukhai noted that the residents were already affected by the prolonged dry spell earlier in the year (El Nino) and that the current heavy rainfall has now added to their discomfort.
Minister Sukhai has already had discussions with Community Development Officers of the various regions to plot the way forward in assisting the affected villages.
Additionally, the Agriculture Ministry will be providing assistance to revitalise farming in the affecting communities.