Scores of livestock farmers at Cane Grove, Mahaica have been left counting their losses after heavy rain flooded their pasture, killing more than 30 head of cattle in the past three weeks.
The farmers gathered yesterday at Flagstaff, Mahaica to air their grievances. They said they were fed up and tired of chasing cattle over the last three weeks and pleaded with the authorities to address the situation.
Stabroek News tried to contact the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agriculture Dev-elopment Authority for comment but was unsuccessful.
“The cattle them a drown and dead out there. They can’t stay out there but we nah got nowhere else to take them,” cattle farmer for more than three decades Deodat Baibou told Stabroek News yesterday. The man lamented that the large swathe, which is known as the Crown Dam Savannah, was earmarked for cattle grazing but is currently heavily inundated and the water level is not receding.
The farmers said that since the rain intensified before the Christmas holidays, the water had accumulated but never receded. “This has been the going thing for more than four years. Two times a year whenever the rain fall, this place does flood up bad, bad and the water does take real long to go down,” Prashad (only name given) added.
The men explained that they have nowhere else to take the cattle and when they move to the government dams and onto private properties in search of dry land persons would usually impound them. “Is like $8,000 to take them out from there and we don’t have that kind of money to spend on all them cows. Them thing just want to come out the water but we can’t do anything,” Baibou related.
They explained that one of the main reasons why the savannah is flooding so badly is because all of the structures that were built to ensure that water doesn’t flow in have been broken for over four years and yet no one has addressed the issue. They added that they have made multiple reports to the authorities over the years to no avail.
“All they have to do to help us is tie back the dams and put a pump to pump out the water fast and everything going to be good or people gon continue losing their cattle,” Baibou added.
When Stabroek News visited the grazing area, more than four feet of water covered the landscape. Dozens of cows, with water up to their necks, were seen battling through the water. “There is nowhere else we could take them and whenever they go somewhere we does got to go and bring them back right in the water,” he said.
“This situation, we can’t take it anymore. Even the animal can’t take it anymore and we don’t know what to do and is a tight situation. Look what the animal got to live in day and night. Day and night we gotto run behind them,” Shazam Abdul, another cattle farmer, said.
The men stated that their requests are simple and should not be hard to fix. “All they have to do is bring a hymac and put a dam there so the cow could get dry land and tie off the other piece so the water stop coming through,” Abdul added.
The farmers are set to lose much more if the water does not recede from the land. “What’s the use of us minding these things if they got to suffer and dying out. They can’t stay in the water and we can’t take them anywhere. When them give birth is straight into the water they go and dead, so it ain’t making sense at all. Is the small people keep losing all the time,” he added.