Guyana Methodist District calls for aid after devastating floods

The President of the Guyana Methodist District has called foraid after the worst rainfall in over a century caused widespreadflooding. So far 29 people have died as a result, with most deathscaused by water-born diseases after the floodwater overwhelmedsewerage systems.

The Rev Barrington Litchmore, President of the Guyana District,said in a letter "more than half of the country's 750,000population have been affected. Significant numbers have lost 80-90%of their possessions."

Relief efforts by the Guyana government have begun, withassistance from the U.S., UK, Brazil, Venezuela and Chile.

Mr Litchmore says 'some churches have provided their facilitiesas centres for the distribution of foodstuffs and other items.Others, including many Methodist churches, are engaged in theprocurement and distribution of food hampers, using funds fromtheir own resources. Some circuits are mobilizing our layleadership to create a more effective reporting and distributionsystem. We believe that a timely response to the critical juncturesof their crisis will be necessary for the ongoing reconstruction oflives and property."

Items needed include non-perishable food, drinking water,cleaning agents, medical supplies, mattresses, utensils, sheets,towels, clothing and household articles.

The Rev Tom Quenet, Methodist World Church Secretary for theAmericas and the Caribbean, says "on hearing about the situation inGuyana, we made an immediate donation of £5000 from the Fund forWorld Mission. But it is evident that the scale of the floodingmeans that Guyana will need a lot more help to rebuild. We willcontinue to offer aid and support to the Methodist Church in Guyanaas it plays a vital role in aiding people and reconstructingcommunities."