09 May, 2006

Word from the NCCR and Red Cross In Suriname

Maya Matawlie, in volunteered herself and went around asking questions. Here's what she wrote in (edited slightly as this was a rushed email):

I went off to find out how thing were going because the press in Suriname was not very helpful.

So I went to the ministry of defense (no pictures due to security). The NCCR (coordination center) is there. I found out that there are no casualties apart from the one person.

From there I went to the NDP (National Democratic party), the largest political party in Suriname; they had something on the radio urging all their members to donate goods and what not. Mr. Lachin, the coordinator for this, told me that they are trying to get dry goods (as in rice and milkpowder), bottled water, milk for babies, clothes and whatever else they can get - as much as possible. Since the NCCR wants the aid to go from one central point, the NDP will help them as far as possible. The phone number of the crisis center of the NDP is 493855 and their email is [Ed: Please do not use this contact information without adequate purpose, as we are sure that they are very busy]

Their crisis center will be open 24/7. Any and every assistance possible will be appreciated. Mr. Lachin went on to say that the media is doing a bad job and that the flood is worse then is being reported. At least 30,000 people have been affected.

The village of Kwamalasamutu is also flooded now.

Their crisis center also has good communication with the Granman (head of the villages) and Conservation International who is active in that area.

From there I went to the Red Cross. There I met Mr. Wijngaarde, the Director of the Surinamese Red Cross. He told me that they are having a meeting this evening to see how to futher coordinate the help that is coming in from abroad. The Red Cross will also help the NCCR since they are the central coordination point.

What has to be noted is that the people that are affected by this are mostly women, children and elderly people. Most of the youngsters and men are in the city.

From what I have heard so far the help is coming along very slowly and I think the magnitude is being underestimated but I'm no expert.

I think they can use all the help they can get.
Maya asked to point out that she's not affiliated with the NDP, she's just looking for information where she can find it.

Thanks, Maya, for getting so much information and sharing it!

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