Pay your dues!
─ MMA/ADA carries out drainage works to aid flood-threatened farmers
─ over $1Billion owed by said farmers to MMA/ADA for services provided
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 20, 2019
The Mahaica-Mahaicony-Abary/Agriculture Development Authority (MMA/ADA) has dispatched an excavator from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to aid with drainage works along the Mahaicony façade.
These works are being carried out even though the very farmers who are set to benefit from this intervention, have out-rightly refused to pay their owed fees to the MMA/ADA. General Manager of MMA/ADA, Aubrey Charles gave some insight into the constraints faced by the authority in delivering on their mandate.
“Farmers have not been paying MMA, they have not. Now, there was a period of time when we were doing all of these works and we were not receiving any money, but the Ministry of Finance has made it clear to us, that we have to collect the money owed from the farmers to carry out the necessary maintenance work.”
The MMA/ADA has been sending out notices to the farmers all along the Mahaicony River. However, some farmers in the First Savannah area have refused to pay their due.
“If we are supposed to collect $100M, to cover the cost of maintenance, and we only collect $60M, it means we can only do 60% of the works, its simple, we can only do 60%, the 40% has to come from the farmers who are not paying,” Charles stressed.
To date, more than $1Billion is owed to the MMA/ADA by farmers in back charges. The authority has been trying its best to meet with the farmers. Moreover, it has proposed a payment plan option which the farmers have also refused.
Despite these factors, the MMA/ADA has still been trying to have works done in the area as Drainage and Irrigation, Manager of the MMA/ADA, Mahendranauth Ramjit explains.
“For the past two weeks, unusual and high rainfall has been pounding this area, and since the starting of this month we have dispatched an excavator from NDIA and it has been assisting individual farmers in improving the low spots on the land and clearing the drains so they can have faster drainage.”
In addition to this, the Pine Ground Pump Station has been working around the clock for the past two weeks to assist with faster drainage along the façade. The engineering team had identified some threats to overtopping along some points of the canal but the MMA/ADA is working to reinforce these weak points.
Ramjit also responded to a report from one of the daily newspaper outlets that the lands at First Savannah were flooded and alleged that losses incurred were over $7M.
“We have not seen any loss of crop or verified that any losses have occurred. We have staff in the area, they check the area and they have not verified any losses thus far” Ramjit emphasised.