The AFC says that flooded Cotton Tree Village cash crop farmers should be compensated for their losses after the persistent flooding of their farmlands caused by the blocking of a sluice at D’Edward Village and made worse by the cutting of dams nearby by the Region Five Regional Democratic Council (RDC).
Farmers from Cotton Tree Village, whose crops were lost in the recent flood, were present at the AFC news conference on Wednesday, where the party indicated that it will support the compensation for farmers.
Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy had told Stabroek News that the closure of the sluice was done to fix an underground problem, which could have resulted in major flooding to the entire area and residents were aware that the sluice would be closed. “This wasn’t something done to affect anyone, it was done to protect them. We didn’t do it with any negative intentions, we did what was necessary because we are right at the mouth of the Berbice River and if it had collapsed wow that could have been major,” Ramsammy had said on Monday.
The farmers had complained that since sometime last year there was a sea dam breach nearby, which resulted in saltwater seeping into their farmlands, killing almost 50% of their seedlings. They also said that the sluice that would aid in draining of the water off the land was closed sometime in September by the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary (MMA) scheme and the RDC, without their notification. The saltwater coupled with the backed up rainfall flooded their farms, causing them severe losses, they had said.