Blocked canal causes flooding for Fyrish cash crop farmers

first_imgRecent heavy rainfall compounded by a blocked canal has left sections of the Corentyne, East Berbice village of Fyrish inundated. The hardest hit areas are in the backlands, which cash crop farmers have recently started to cultivate.A canal blocked by a dam erected though itThe farmers and the Fyrish/Gibraltar Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) are accusing a poultry farmer in the area of deliberately blocking canals at Fyrish, and pumping water into the backlands. This, they contend, has compounded the problem for the farmers.All of the farmers who have recently opened new lands and cultivated same with cash crops have reported 100 per cent losses. They told this publication that the water cannot drain off the land because a dam runs adjacent to a chicken farm, presumably the largest in the country, and that dam has been constructed across one of the canals.Some of the affected farmers claim they have even lost permanent crops, which were too young to withstand being in water for several weeks.Dwayne Smart, one of the affected farmers, has said he has ten acres of cultivated land in two different sections of the village.A poultry farmer pumping water into the farmers land“Right now, the first depth is under water but the second depth is okay. All of the water (has been) left in the first depth, because it can’t drain nowhere,” he explained.He also said he has about 300 suckers to plant, but cannot do so because the farm is inundated.“I could have planted them already, but the land under water, so I can’t plant them… All of them on the ground waiting,” he said.Meanwhile, NDC Chairman Urwin Crawford has invited this publication into the backlands to experience first-hand what the farmers are going through. He said that although the farms were under water, the poultry farmer was adding to the farmers’ woes by pumping more water into the canal which he has blocked.“When we were doing a survey check in the cultivation area two weeks ago, we observed a poultry farmer had blocked off several areas, which include the drainage canal, more so the canals which are controlled by the Fyrish/Gibraltar NDC,” Crawford explained.Crawford took this publication to several sections of the cultivated area and showed permanent pumps which were being used to pump water into the cultivation area, which is known as “Forty” and is also referred to as the second depth.While Crawford complains, he stands at the head of the NDC in which the poultry farm and the farmlands are situated.“After our statutory meeting last Monday, myself, the Vice Chairman along with some councillors and the Overseer confronted the proprietor concerning the issue, and he acknowledged blocking the drainage canals for his personal gains, but he promised the following day to remove all of the blockages; and until now, nothing has been done.Mega poultry farmer Deonarine Arjune, who has over half a million birds, met some of the farmers and the NDC Chairman on Sunday as they were in the backlands, and said he had received none of the notices which the Chairman had served on him. He, however, promised to provide some relief to the farmers.However, the farmers say more needs to be done, since he is utilizing the NDC’s property for his business and has used sections of the dam to fill up around his chicken pens.On Monday, when this publication contacted the NDC, the situation was unchanged. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img

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