To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie Jura,

I was visiting my wife's family in Guyana during the flood and send my observations for your interest:


SGP, Poet Laureate of Weary Travelers

Greetings SGP,

Thank you very much for your entertaining, interesting and informative writings on the flood in Guyana. I read about the disaster in the newspapers not long after the tsunami in Asia and thought it was a double tragedy for Guyana that their flood happened so soon after the world's attention was focused on the biggest earthquake-turned-tidal-wave in the history of the planet.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Guyana Struggles to Contain Worst Flood Disaster
Feb. 9 -- Guyana is struggling to contain the damage from what its leader said is the South American country's worst disaster, four weeks of rain that have affected almost half of the population, or more than 300,000 people. ``We haven't gotten any international publicity about what is going on,'' President Bharrat Jagdeo, 41, said in a telephone interview today from the capital, Georgetown. More than 60 inches (1.5 meters) of rain were recorded in the country from late December through the end of January, about seven times the usual amount for that period, he said. The United Nations yesterday started a $3 million aid appeal, saying Guyana's plight is receiving scant attention because of the international effort following devastation in southern Asia caused by the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami...

As many as 75,000 people, or almost 10 percent of the population, still have standing water in and around their homes, raising fears of water-borne epidemics such as malaria and cholera, Jagdeo said. Poor sanitation and the proliferation of insects due to the high water only add to the health threat, according to the UN. In some areas, farmers have suffered widespread damage to their crops. The prime challenge remains ``getting the water out, and the health resources in,'' Jagdeo said. ``We've had a large response, because we're worried about water-borne diseases.'' His government has so far allocated 200 million Guyana dollars ($1.1 million) for the disaster. Britain, Guyana's former ruler, earlier this month announced a pledge of 375,000 pounds ($705,000).

About 90 percent of Guyana's 767,000 people live in coastal and fluvial areas that make up a tenth of the country's land area on the northern coast of South America. Guyana borders Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela...


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~