June 26, 2020 – Publication: Waterkant
The water installation company Ish Jamanthy Suriname, in collaboration with the Amazon Conservation Team Suriname, has launched an aid campaign for the residents of affected villages in South Suriname (Sipaliwini district). The indigenous and Maroon villages in this region of Suriname were hit by an extreme thunderstorm last week, resulting in the residential and agricultural areas of the communities being flooded.
In addition to the damage to agricultural plots, residents also face the challenges associated with the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. Shortly after the elections, cases of positive tests were found in one of the villages, resulting in village governments deciding to hermetically seal the villages. The social and economic life of the communities has immediately come to a complete standstill. The demand for humanitarian aid increased. This was reason enough for Ish Jamanthy Suriname and ACT-Suriname to organize a relief action for the communities. Both organizations have been collecting dry goods, beverages and monetary support for at least a week.
“We have seen images in which people walked under water, trying to pull cassava out of the ground. When we heard this news from a staff member of ACT-Suriname and saw the images, we immediately decided to take action and approached various agencies, including the Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing, as well as companies and individuals for support. The Ministry has donated 250 aid packages. Now, we have assembled as many packages as possible with clean drinking water to send”, says the director of Ish Jamanthy Suriname, Anthony Ishrie.
According to Mr. Ishrie, the first shipment of food parcels and pallets of water for 250 households in three villages is almost ready to be transported to the area. However, the transport has not gone as planned by the two organizations. The area is currently only accessible by plane or helicopter, but due to poor runways, the airlines currently do not operate flights to that area. Only helicopters can now land there. An attempt has been made to arrange transport via a National Army helicopter, without result to date.
Letters to Colonel Robert Kartodikromo and Vice President Ashwien Adhin have asked that the National Army be able to enter by helicopter. The Amazon Conservation Team Suriname wishes to entirely assume the fuel costs. The organizations are waiting for an answer from the authorities and hope for a response soon, because there are goods in the aid packages that can spoil. While the organizations are waiting for the authorities to respond, they are working hard in the field to bring in even more goods and donations for a second shipment for other villages. Not only dry goods and beverages are collected, but also money for the purchase of medicines for the Medical Mission in the area.
The organizations urgently appeal to the authorities and Surinamese society to support the humanitarian aid action. The high water levels in the region call for humanitarian support, possibly through December 2020.
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