Unprecedented flooding in Guyana catches relief groups by surprise.

By February 15, 2005

Guyana (MNN)–Unprecedented torrential rains caused the severest flooding in over a century in Guyana. 22 days after the initial deluge, there were still villages that remained under water.

The disaster is simply not on the same scale as the tsunami, which swept thousands out to sea, and yet the plight is as real.

Food For The Poor’s Angel Aloma says the floods have affected nearly half of the country’s population. That means over 300,000 Guyanese have lost homes, and food security has become a battle.

One-third of the flood’s survivors are children, many of whom now face a significant interruption to their education. Poor sanitation and an overloaded waste management system increase risks of disease.

With relief diverted to the tsunami region, many relief groups have been scrambling to respond. Aloma says that’s compounded by the fact that very few international media outlets have picked up the story of the country’s distress.

FFP has already sent 500-thousand pounds of aid, including shelter, food and medicines, but they need more help. “We have many organizations and churches and missionaries who come to us for help and basically, those people have been coming for twice the amount that they normally come for and in half the time that they usually come for it.”

Aloma says the relief they provide supports the evangelistic outreach that exists. “Because we work almost exclusively with churches, with Christian organizations in Guyana, this empowers the churches. Once people see God’s goodness through other human beings, they are very receptive to the Word of God.”

If you’d like to help, go to: www.foodforthepoor.org.

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