Guyana to build tent city for homeless
January 28, 2005
Guyana to build tent city for homeless

GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Following days of torrential rains that caused one of the most severe floods to hit Guyana in over 100 years, officials at the Joint Operation Centre (JOC) told Caribbean Net News that the situation looks grim, adding that the government of President Jagdeo is now looking at constructing a tent city for thousands of people who have had to evacuate to higher ground. {{more}}

According to the JOC, with a capacity to house 20,000 the city is to be erected at Timehri, the area in which the country’s lone international airport is located. The make-shift accommodation is for persons from the hardest hit East Coast areas.

Speaking at a late-night press conference held at Police Headquarters – Eve Leary in Georgetown – John Lewis, JOC commander, broke the news to the media on the situation and said that an aerial reconnaissance team from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) flew over the East Coast and was unable to “sight” any dry ground.

According to the commander, the team reported seeing nothing but a wide sheet of water covering almost everywhere.

“We believe that entire villages would have to be evacuated,” said Lewis, adding that the facility would take a week to be erected.

As serious as the situation is, Lewis pointed out that the JOC and the Government are working overtime to solve the problem without having to declare a state of emergency. Another concern for the JOC is the fact that once the decision to evacuate the villages has been made, then security arrangements would have to be put in place to protect the homes of persons who have left. Regions Three, Four and Five have all been declared disaster areas.

Emergency officials told Caribbean Net News Saturday that south Georgetown and other parts of the city and along the East Coast of Demerara as far as Mahaica are the heaviest hit areas and there is great concern as more rain has been forecast to fall.