Bonasika farmers relieved as drainage canals cleared 

DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 15, 2019

Following a request from farmers in the Lower and Upper Bonasika, the Regional Administration of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara has excavated all the main drainage canals in the area.

The farmers wrote the administration in February requesting assistance and the administration headed by Regional Executive Officer (REO), Jennifer Ferreira-Dougall was quick to honour the request and approve a $10M contract for the digging and cleaning of all the major canals.

According to the REO, agriculture is the main economic activity of the Bonasika district and depriving the farmers of their request would have been a grave injustice on her part and by extension the government.

“The administration is here to serve the people of this region, and we must fulfil our mandate by not only listening to the people but also by acting within their best interest. The farmers of Bonasika depend heavily on farming and it is their main economic activity, so we had to fulfil their request. Had we not done so then we, as a government would have been guilty of dereliction of duty and we are not a government that neglects our duty,” Ferreira-Dougall said.

Samuel Nauth, from the Upper Bonasika district, noted that the farmers in his area are very pleased, not only with the fact that the work was approved by the region but also with the quality of work done.

“When the rainy season steps in, we have nothing to fear. We were very worried at one time, given the state that our canals were in but the regional administration responded in a timely manner, and we really appreciate that, but moreover the quality of work done is remarkable, and I must express gratitude to the administration and contractor on behalf of all the farmers at the Upper Bonasika district.”

Also speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) was Richard Allen, from the Lower Bonasika District, who indicated that the clearing of the canals now provides for easier egress and ingress to the farmlands.

“It is so much easier for us to now go in and come out from our farmlands. Before, we had to walk long distances and with our produce but now, we go with the boat and come out back with all our produce in one trip. We save time, energy and money, so it is only fair for us to say thank you REO and team,” noted Allen.

The administration will also build a ramp for the farmers at Lower Bonasika which will provide great comfort to them when loading their produce into boats before heading out to sell. This work will commence before the end of May, and according to Senior Superintendent of Works (SSOW), Shanganan Singh, the farmers from Upper Bonasika will also see significant improvement in the coming months.

“We will build a ramp for the people of Lower Bonasika before the end of next month, and a visit to the Upper Bonasika is soon coming. Let me say that great developments are in store for Upper Bonasika and the entire riverine community of the Essequibo River.”

Story and Images: Ganesh Mahipaul.