Agriculture Minister engages Mocha farmers following flooding due to persistent rainfall

On Monday morning, Agriculture Minister, Honourable Zulfikar Mustapha met with farmers from Mocha village on the East Bank of Demerara to discuss immediate interventions to assist with flooding in the farming areas.

Persistent rainfall over the last few days has resulted in flooding in sections of the farming areas in Mocha and other communities along the East Bank corridor.

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha while engaging farmers from Mocha

During today’s visit, farmers related that as a result of continuous and heavy downpours, more so over the last three to four days, their farms have been severely affected.

Minister Mustapha while engaging the farmers, said that a team of engineers attached to the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Ministry of Housing and Water will be visiting affected areas to conduct a thorough assessment of the landscape to determine the most effective means to address the flooding.

“I’ve been closely monitoring the situation; doing assessments every day for the past three days in these areas along the East Bank. I made a commitment on Saturday when I met with some of the farmers and I told them that I would be here today to meet with them. Our engineers along with engineers from the Ministry of Housing are here and they will be visiting all of the affected areas to see what is needed to address the flooding issues. Before the end of the day, the engineers should complete their preliminary report so that we can move forward with implementing appropriate measures to bring relief to those affected. We already have a machine in the area working. When the report is complete, we’ll be able to say what short-term and other measures can be put in place to deal with this situation,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister Mustapha while visiting flood affected areas along the East Bank of Demerara last Saturday

While specifically addressing claims made by farmers from the village, Minister Mustapha confirmed that extension officers from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) and the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) are currently gathering information to carry out an assessment.  

“Last Saturday we had a high intensity of rainfall amounting to almost five. This has contributed to flooding. Our livestock and crop extension officers are also meeting with the farmers to do a separate assessment to determine their losses because farmers said that they experienced a lot of damage. When that is complete, we’ll be able to have a good idea about the losses so that we can determine the best way forward,” he explained.

Minister Mustapha returned to the Peter’s Hall on Sunday to oversee the installation of a drainage pump to compliment the sluice. This was one of the committments on Saturday

Over the past two days, Minister Mustapha has been visiting flood-affected areas to meet with residents along the East Bank of Demerara. On Saturday he visited Peter’s Hall and Diamond/Grove and made several commitments and returned to those areas on Sunday to ensure promised works were being executed. 

The minister was accompanied by NDIA Chairman, Lionel Wordsworth, NDIA Engineer, Jeremy Douglas, and other officials from the Ministry of Agriculture.

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