Mahaicony farmers join efforts to strengthen sea defence
─ along the Dantzig to Fairfield foreshore
DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 25, 2019
Several Mahaicony farmers have joined the efforts to strengthen the sea defences along the Dantzig to Fairfield foreshore.
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure initiated emergency works following a breach of the sea defence during the last spring tide.
One of these farmers, Neil Machado, lives along the access road that leads to the Dantzig foreshore. He owns 22.5 acres of rice lands and recently lost 13 acres to the spring tides that ended on October 2. Reflecting on last high tides, Machado said, “it is very devastating what happened, but I like progress that has been happening.”
“I was fortunate also, in that Kevin Samad [Chief River and Sea Defence Officer within the Public Infrastructure Ministry Infrastructure] also employed me. They used my tractor to pump water from this canal into the Bellamy,” the farmer told the Department of Public Information (DPI).
The canal that Machado referenced runs directly adjacent to the access road right up to the Bellamy canal. A coffer has since been built at the intersection where Bellamy meets the access road canal to prevent water from reaching into residential areas. As the Bellamy Canal is being drained, the farmer has joined efforts to pump water off the land.
Machado stated that he has partnered with the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary – Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) to have the water pumped from the Bellamy Canal, that runs parallel to the foreshore where emergency works are taking place, into the adjacent Atlantic Ocean.
Commenting on the rapid pace of the emergency works, Neil noted, “a lot of people, they are very confident […] you can see that everybody’s spirits are lifted.”
Meanwhile, 78-year-old Sasenarine Mahadeo, who owns nearly 70acres of rice land, says he has been involved in rice cultivation since the tender age of 9 years. Because of his reduced mobility that accompanies his age, he has employed workers to assist with the rice lands. The farmer said many of his neighbours’ rice lands, inclusive of his, have been impoldered to reduce flooding in the residential areas.
As such, Sarenarine said he is not worried about the upcoming spring tides but that he will do the necessary preparations that are required.
The forecasted spring tides will begin Friday, October 25 and will last until Wednesday, October 30. Government has contracted BK International, and A&S General Contractors Incorporated to the implement emergency works along the Mahaicony foreshore that will continue during and after the October 25-30 spring tides.
Advisories from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ministry of Public Health, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and other ministries as well as agencies were sent out to alert citizens of the necessary precautions to be taken along the coastal belt in Region 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.