Essequibo villages flooded, farmers worried about rice crops

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Residents of several villages on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) were faced with floodwaters as inclement weather conditions hit the region.

Communities such as Charity, New Road, Suddie and Aurora suffered the worst of the floodwaters which even forced some to vacate the lower flat of their homes.

Many residents have complained that their kitchen gardens, rice cultivations and poultry were affected.

Several rice farmers met with the acting Regional Chairperson Nandranie Coonjah and Councillor Nathram at an emergency meeting on Thursday to seek assistance, especially in the Charity/New Road area. A promise was made for a team, including the regional engineers, to visit the affected areas today.

At the meeting, rice farmers complained of badly deteriorated dams, faulty kokers, low price paid by millers, late payments, among other concerns raised.

According to the rice farmers, due to the heavy rainfall, most of the rice cultivation is under water and in some areas the grains are germinating. Farmers are fearful of losing their crops.

The farmers said when they tried to salvage some of the crops, the Police are giving them a hard time because the mud on the wheels of the tractors and trailers are deposited onto the roads.

Additionally, the farmers said the millers are taking advantage of the situation and are paying them between $800 to $1200 per bag for paddy. Some claimed that they took loans from commercial banks and may not meet their installment this month.

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