Health Ministry shares out bleach, disinfectant to flood-hit areas
Stabroek News
January 12, 2004

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A team from the Ministry of Health yesterday distributed bleach and disinfectant to flood-affected residents of Buxton and other areas along the East Coast.

The relief was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture after the Chairman of Region Four Allan Munroe had identified four areas on the East Coast that were badly affected. The other villages are: Clonbrook, Cane Grove and Nootenzuil.

Persistent heavy rainfall over the past weeks had left a number of East Coast villages swamped. Many persons were forced to move out of their homes while others suffered heavy crop and livestock losses.

Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rudolph Cummings said the relief was distributed as a follow-up to the identification of some of the problems that might have affected residents.

Cummings said the bleach could be used for purifying drinking water while the disinfectant would be utilised to spray the residents' yards and other parts of their surroundings. Cummings said in all four of the areas identified for the relief exercise the clinics were open yesterday for persons who had serious ailments as a result of the flood.
Pamela McDonald was grateful for the Jeyes fluid distributed by the Ministry of Health yesterday. As soon as she got it she began sprinkling it in her yard which was flooded last week. (Ken Moore photo)

Cummings added that the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils were responsible for identifying the areas and the beneficiaries of the assistance.

Meanwhile, residents of Buxton said they welcomed the relief even though bemoaning its size. Each household was given a small bottle of bleach and a few ounces of Jeyes fluid.

Asked if there have been any reports of ailments, Cummings replied in the negative but hinted that residents might have gotten ill but sought their own treatment.

He advised that flood-affected residents should take full advantage of the free health checks available at the clinics and be sure that they collected their bleach and disinfectant.

Stabroek News observed yesterday that the floodwaters had receded considerably. Areas like Montrose, the University of Guyana/Cummings Lodge, Liliendaal, Good Hope, Montrose and Buxton, where water was above 12 inches at the peak of the floods, had now dried out. Residents were seen moving around freely.

The improvement is due to the fact that drainage pumps have been working around the clock and there has not been any significant rainfall over the past few days. (Nigel Williams)