Bridge causes massive flooding on highway farms


… farmers call for Govt intervention

A section of the flooded farmland on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway
A section of the flooded farmland on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway

Several farmers in the vicinity of Splashmin’s Fun Park, Soesdyke/Linden Highway have suffered immense loses due the construction of a road and bridge, which are blocking the water to drain freely off their lands.

The road and bridge which were reportedly built by a city businessman are being used by heavy-duty equipment to transport loam to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) for its expansion project.

The farmers have met several times with the businessman, who had promised to raise the bridge to allow the water to flow smoothly. This was actually just a promise that never materialised, the farmers claimed.

Moments before Guyana Times visited the affected farmers on Saturday, they met with the businessman who again promised to have the matter rectified. The farmers, who vented their concerns, are of the belief that it was another empty promise and as such, have no alternative but to seek an audience with the Agriculture Minister.

On Saturday, the owner of Aziza Akouza resort said that he too has been flooded out. He noted that he has suffered millions in losses due to the rising water.

When this publication visited the several farms in the area, it was evident that the crops were covered in water. One farmer, Felix Clienken who plants mainly eddoes and bananas, explained that for the past eight months, he was unable to reap anything substantial.

As a pensioner, he noted that he depends on his produce to provide for his family. “As soon as the rain come in, it flood all over… we meet with the businessman and tell him that it is the bridge that is causing the water to remain on the land… It affecting me tremendously, I can’t throw mould (manure) now because the place flood,” the man stated.

Due to the water on the land his eddoes when pulled are water soaked and are being refused by buyers. He has estimated his losses to be in the millions. Cecil Pearson, another farmer claimed that the bridge and road were built in 2015 and have since affected his farm.

“Initially, I thought it was the creek that was blocked… we purchase a boat, motor blower and we took months to clear the entire creek, but we then realised that it was the bridge”.

He too stated that he met with the businessman who at first claimed that the creek needed to be cleared properly, but after this was done, he conceded that it was the bridge and promised to do the necessary correction.

A former member of the Guyana Defence Force stated that he depends mainly on farming and has since estimated his loss at $1.5 million. Like his fellow farmer, he has not reaped anything substantial. Another farmer, Raul Pearson, who owns several acres of eddoes, is also complaining bitterly about the stagnant water on his land thus resulting in tremendous loses.

“We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean the creek but it is the same results and right now it is real frustrating… this is what we depend on and I honestly don’t know where to turn to”. Meanwhile the farmers have agreed to give the businessman up to Thursday to address the issue. (Guyana Times)



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