11 May, 2006

Latest Report from Dutch Newspapers

We have had help from arubagirl, a blogger from Aruba, who has been kind enough to read through De Ware Tijd, the Suinamese newspaper which is published in Dutch, and make this report to us:

According to the Surinamese newspaper: De Ware Tijd (The True Time), the situation in other areas of Suriname afflicted by the flooding has worsened. Inhabitants of several villages who are flooded or that are threatened to have flooded, have already evacuated their homes and have fled over the border to the French Guyana side of the river. The amount of the evacuated people nor the severeness is not clear.

Yesterday the NGO cooperative 'Hesi' launched their own campaign, because the government's response has been too slow. The president of the organisation, Alfaisi, said that while the government has been slow, their own group has also been slow in responding. That's why the group doesn't want to wait any longer on the government, but want to start working.

Their first priorities are to get food and water to those who need it, then to evacuate if necessary. These plans are difficult to reach, as they lack money and infrastructure gather the necessary materials. There isn't a direct coordination with the National Disaster Bureau, but the aid groups do work together to ensure the smoothest organization of aid possible.

The Hesi group is also committed in staying for the long haul, to aid people after the flood waters have receded. To this end they are organizing a telethon, a benefit concert and the collection of goods and money.

Also from De Ware Tijd, the government has sent 250 troops to the afflicted regions, to help with the distribution of aid. President Ronald Venetiaan is just about to ask for international aid, and the American, Dutch, French and Brazillian embassies are working together with the Organization of American States to give help. They are waiting for a formal request of the Surinames government for help.

Note: arubagirl's blog also has a number of stunning photos of Aruba, which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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