Little Katrina, small tsunami

Paramaribo, Suriname – For the first time in the history of the country

Little Katerina, small tsunami

Paramaribo, Suriname – For the first time in the history of the country, Suriname has flood victims. Due to extreme and continuous rainfall for three days in a row 25.000 people need to be evacuated.

It wasn’t a hurricane, nor a tsunami, but the pictures remind me of both disasters. Suriname is a small country in the middle of the Guyana’s in South America. With a population as little as 600.000, the impact of 25.000 evacuees is impossible to oversee. The country is considered a little paradise where the biggest disasters were only considered to be caused by mankind, certainly not nature. Needless to say the country is hardly prepared for calamities of this kind. There is no high tech equipment to predict extreme rain or flooding. Let alone a hurricane or a tsunami.

The affected victims are the maroons from the forested interior of Suriname. For the past three centuries these descendants of runaway slaves have been living in close nit communities based on African traditions. Their lifestyle had too many challenges to deal with in the past decades. Tight nit communities have been ripped apart by a civil war in the late 80’s. Their water has been polluted with lead by gold-diggers and fortune-hunters in the 90’s. Now for the first time the usual traditional nomination of a chief was openly questioned which led to the kidnapping this new leader of the village. No wonder the chief’s explanation is that the waters are angry. Hopefully the ceremony to please the waters will bring the community together and reunite these gracious people.

Relief workers are on their way but inhospitable roads makes it very hard to get to the victims. People from Suriname around the world have expressed their sympathy. Non-profit organizations have bundled together to collect aid. If you like to help, please send $1 (more will also be appreciated) to the napshop. Your help will be given to the Suriname Mission on Monday May 15.

Help organizations in the Netherlands:
Giro 797, Samenwerkende Hulp Organisaties o.v.v Doekoe Voor Suriname: http://www.doekoevoorsuriname.com/ 
Giro 9697935, Stichting Teeifuka

More pictures: Radio 10 Website

 

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