People across drought-hit Guyana pray for rain
Drought has devastated the small South American nation’s rice and sugar production, triggering food shortages among its indigenous communities.
Political Map of Guyana.
Summary of Geography and Demographic
- Capital: George Town (6°46′N 58°10′W)
- Ethnic groups:
- East Indian, 43.5%
- Black, 30.2%
- Mixed, 17%
- Indigenous Amerindian, 9.1%
- Total 214,999 km² (World’s 84th largest )
- Water 8.4% water (!)
- 2009 estimate 772,000 (World’s 160th most populous)
- 2002 census 751,223
- Density 3.5/km² (world’s 225th ranking)
Little Water for Irrigation
“The government of the former British colony of about 750,000 people is struggling to irrigate farmland, with water at storage points reaching dangerously low levels.” Reuters reported.
Guyana, Venezuela, and several countries in the region have experienced drought since the onset of El Niño last year.
“The Amerindian communities are really badly hit,” President Bharrat Jagdeo was reported as saying on Friday, referring to to the indigenous people who make up 10 percent of Guyana’s population. “We have been supplying food to some communities but I need to increase that significantly.”
“The state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation said this week that cane growth and development had been affected at five of its eight estates. Replanting had to be cut back on four estates, it said.” Reuters reported.
The full impact of drought on sugar production would be known at the end of the second crop of 2010, Guyana Sugar said.