GEORGETOWN –– Misfortune continues to befall the residents and farmers of Region Five. Both cash crop and livestock farmers continue to experience severe losses due to the presence of excess water occupying agricultural lands.
Residents are forced to deal with flood waters invading their homes and hindering them from going about daily activities and accessing food supplies.
Regional chairman Vickchand Ramphal, commented on the current state of affairs within the West Berbice area. Based on the regional chairman’s assessment the hardest hit communities are Lovely-Lass, Trafalgar and Union.
Additionally, communities located up the Mahaicony River including Mora Point, Pine Ground and Moraikobai have been seriously affected. Mora Point is mainly a rice producing community and as a result rice farmers have seen their crops destroyed along with paddy they had in storage.
The chairman noted that 60 acres of rice land which has not been harvested will be destroyed as a result of the flooding.
Ramphal informed this newspaper that farmers are calling for assistance from the Government in the form of subsidies so as to compensate for the heavy losses which they would have incurred.
According to the chairman, “Government should come on-board and provide relief, in the form of foodstuff and so on for the residents”, he went onto state that the farmers should be given “seedlings and cash”.
It is his belief that this would put residents and farmers on better footing to cope with the “natural disaster” which he so considers it to be.
He credits the cause of the issue to the “heavy rainfall compounded by lack of proper drainage, except for Mahaicony”.
He continued by saying that other communities have been affected due to weed clogged drains preventing the outflow of water. These include Bush Lot, Bath Settlement, Belladrum, El Dorado, Foulis, Blairmont, Weldaad and Cotton Tree.
He reported that the Ministry of Agriculture has offered help through NDIA but in light of this, he stated that there is still much room for additional equipment. Ramphal noted,
“There needs to be excavation in the main canals to relieve farmers, if not, the [farmers and residents] will incur more expenses.”
Reports reaching Kaieteur News indicated that some of the flood water in the Trafalgar and Union villages has receded due to four pumps provided by the MMA/ADA and NDIA coupled with excavators working simultaneously to clear the drains.
Ramphal praised the Hope Canal for facilitating much needed drainage. He further stated that “if it wasn’t for the Hope Canal, the situation would have been much worse”.
Being heavily dependent on the assistance offered by the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary –– Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA) and NDIA, Ramphal confessed that the regional office does not have the necessary resources to provide immediate relief to the flood hit areas.
Information received by Kaieteur News indicates that some work has been done to alleviate the effects of the situation; some assistance had been provided to residents of Moraikobai by a multi-agency contingent.
According to reports 160 households have been affected in the area. Residents received food supplies and medical care by the visiting party which comprised of regional officers, medical professionals and members of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).