Strathavon, Cane Grove Water Users Association to get back subvention -Agri Minister
Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha has addressed a number of issues affecting residents of Strathavon and Cane Grove, during an outreach to those communities on Wednesday.
He was accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry.
The Minister dealt with issues related to the inefficiency of the Water Users Association, and pledged to restore the subvention to the Association, which had been removed by the APNU+AFC Government.
“I will restore the subvention to the Water Users Association, but the water users must be accountable and we must have regular elections,” he said.
Minister Mustapha also told the residents that he will make the necessary arrangements and have consultations to have elections for the Association in three weeks’ time.
Afterwards, he committed to return to install the new committee so that residents would know their representatives.
Residents also said they were hampered by drainage and irrigation issues.
In response, the Minister pledged to dispatch a machine to desilt the canals in the areas while the access dams will be graded.
Concerning the occupation of the reserves in the area, Minister Mustapha said if persons dwelling there are not affecting anyone, then they should be left there. However, if they are impeding access, then the matter will have to be addressed.
“I don’t want to put out anybody from their bed or their employment so we will have to have a decision taken by the community,” he said.
Farmers also complained about police harassment in the area, which the Minister pledged to bring to the attention of the Minister of Home Affairs.
Minister Mustapha also told residents that there will be a more proactive approach from his Ministry as he intends to be more responsive to the needs of the farming community.