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St. Lucia to Respond to Guyana Flood Crisis - PM to Meet Local Guyana Representatives

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Monday, January 31, 2005 - The Government of St. Lucia is seeking to ascertain the best way the island can respond to the plight of Guyanese, as they grapple with the persistent problems of major flooding.

Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony says the Government is concerned about the plight of the Guyanese people and it stands ready and willing to assist them in addressing the problems that have come with their worst flooding in living memory.

To this end, the Prime Minister says he is to meet soon with the local representative of the Guyana Government and other representatives of the large Guyanese community in St. Lucia.

“The meeting,” he said, “will address what the Government and People of St. Lucia can and should do to assist our CARICOM neighbours at this time of need.”

The Prime Minister, who is also Chairman of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), noted that Guyana was “the latest among several CARICOM territories that have been affected by unusual weather changes in the past year, beginning with Hurricane Ivan’s destruction in Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas.”

The floods in Guyana, which have continued for almost a fortnight, have wreaked immense hardship in low-lying communities in the capital Georgetown and in villages along the East Coast of Demerara.

Georgetown and the East Coast of Demerara are normally six feet below sea level and the floods have resulted in a general cessation of normal activities of daily life for tens of thousands of families.

Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo has declared the affected communities as disaster areas and has appealed for international assistance.

Meanwhile, the country’s Civil Defence Commission and the Guyana Relief Council have been mobilised, along with other local agencies, to distribute locally generated food aid to persons in the affected areas.

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