Suriname asks the Netherlands for support in tackling heavy flooding
The Surinamese government has asked the Netherlands for assistance in tackling the flooding problems that Suriname has been dealing with for several months. The Surinamese ambassador, Rajendre Khargi, confirmed the request to newswire ANP. Khargi is still discussing the specifics of what Dutch aid might include.
The flooding, which has now lasted for almost three months, is the result of the large amounts of rain that has recently and consistently fallen on Suriname. The lack of maintenance of drainage canals has made it increasingly difficult to quickly drain the large amount of water. Experts have indicated that the heavy rain could last until August
.A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday that the Netherlands is in close consultation with Suriname "to see where and how we can best help.” Suriname has requested help from several countries, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "That is why it is important that Dutch aid is geared to current demand. That process is currently underway."
At the end of May, Surinamese President Chan Santokhi declared seven of the ten Surinamese districts to be a disaster area, which increased the chance of acquiring aid from the international community. Two to three hundred families need help because their homes took on substantial water, and their crops were completely lost. Other residents of the disaster areas have temporarily moved to higher areas or moved in with relatives.
In 2006, when Suriname also had to deal with severe flooding, the Dutch military offered support. A transport ship from the Royal Netherlands Navy was then active in the disaster area for ten days.
Brazil, Venezuela, and Japan have already provided aid in recent times, including the deployment of helicopters, and the delivery of food parcels, tents, and other relief items. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency has also taken action. The National Coordination Center for Disaster Management (NCCR) has asked for assistance from the companies that explore Surinamese waters for oil. Suriname itself has called in the army, the fire brigade, the police, and the aid organization Medical Mission.
Reporting by ANP