Unity, Hope farmers thankful for Agriculture Minister’ s intervention
-waters receding due to drainage works
Critical drainage and irrigation works are ongoing at Hope and Unity villages, East Coast Demerara, after Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha on Wednesday dispatched equipment to clear clogged drainage channels there.
Minister Mustapha and a team of technical officers from the Ministry had visited the two villages to assess the impact of overtopping on the communities. He had instructed that two excavators be immediately dispatched to the locations to conduct drainage works and provide relief to affected residents and farmers.
A farmer for decades, Mr. Cecil Persaud is one of the hundreds who are thrilled to see the major improvement on their farmlands.
“This place has been under terrible water, the neighbours, their kitchen was flooded. They just started to clean this area here couple days ago and the water start receding,” he told DPI on Monday.
Cash crop farmer, Mr. Deochand Ramdial also lauded the works. “For the past three years, this trench never clean and this caused the flooding of my two and half acres of garden that we have here. The Government clean the trench and the place dry out nice, we can’t make no complaints.”
Another farmer, Mr. Gobardan Manhoar said farmers lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars … in the flood.” However, he is still pleased about the Government’s efforts and commended Minister Mustapha for “standing up to his words.”
Other farmers also recalled how the recent rainfall affected them.
Mr. Roy Doodnauth said he watched his investment being washed away by the flood. “The situation was really bad,” he said, even as he added that he is still thankful for the aid provided by the Ministry.
“The Minister said he will look into it and the parts where the machine cleared, cleared really good,” he explained.
Minister Mustapha had instructed that the excavators remain in the district until the residents are satisfied with the completed works, which started on Thursday. He also provided a telephone number for them to make reports if the works are not conducted efficiently.
The Minister has said an assessment would be done and farmers who suffered losses would be given assistance. Representatives from various agricultural agencies were also instructed to revisit the locations and provide the necessary support to farmers and residents.