Somehow with the tsunami disaster that has struck South East Asia this disaster a bit closer to home, in the Caribbean, has slipped under the radar.
Over the past five weeks the coastal areas of Guyana, a Caricom country on the South American mainland , has been inundated with rains leaving flooding which has affected over 300 thousand persons (numbers rising) or 39% of the country's population. The country has received over 40 inches of rain in January, five times the average amount.
Severe flooding has affected some of the most populous areas of the country such as the regions of West Demerara/Essequibo Islands, Demerara/Mahaica, Mahaica/West Berbice, and the capital city of Georgetown. If there is no further rainfall, the flood waters will take between 30 and 39 days to dissipate. However further rainfall is predicted.
Although many lives have not been lost, millions of dollars have been lost in crops and livestock and millions of dollars worth of damage has been done to homes and personal belongings. Many have been displaced from their homes and as with such disasters there is a threat of the outbreak of Dengue and other diseases due to the breeding of mosquitoes in stagnant pools of water.
International relief has been extremely poor and slow to this cause, including the response by other Caribbean nations. Granted the Caribbean isn't the richest region in the world and is still recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ivan last summer but still considering our connections to Guyana, the response so far can be termed poor.
I have no clue at the moment what's being done to raise funds to help these folk but if anyone knows of any relief agencies who are collecting on their behalf feel free to give in order to help out our Guyanese bredren.