While the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) claims that there were no cases of animal death as a result of the recent flooded savannah in Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara, the cattle farmers remain adamant that there were losses.
A press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) yesterday said that the Chief Executive Officer of the GLDA, Nigel Cumberbatch, refuted the claims that were made by Stabroek News that over 30 head of cattle were lost as a result of flooding in the Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara area.
“There are no cases of animal dead as a result of the recent flood. Such irresponsible reporting can not only cause trouble, but create somewhat of an alarm within the livestock community,” the statement quoted Cumberbatch saying.
It went on to note that yesterday, Extension Officers of the GLDA contacted both the farmers and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) who both “refuted the claims of animal deaths.”
“On Monday last, a delegation of farmers visited the GLDA’s, Mon Repos office seeking its intervention for the NDC to not impound the animals, who were at the time grazing in the Cane Grove Community Ground. This was due to the fact that the backlands where the animals would normally graze were inundated due to the recent heavy downpours,” the statement said, while adding that representation was made by the Authority on behalf of the farmers and permission was granted for the ground to be used on the same day until the GLDA found an alternative solution.
It said that the Cumberbatch explained that the farmers had requested for the animals to use the conservancy dam to access Big Island and they were subsequently granted permission to do so, since the dam cannot be used for the animals to graze during the rainy season.
The GLDA had also negotiated with the Managing Director of Trans Pacific, Mr. Ramsewack, who gave permission to the farmers to use part of the land where his animals would usually graze.
“The animals are located there to date and will remain until the water recedes completely, when they can safely return to their grazing land. The (GLDA), Mr. Ramsewack and farmers will be having further dialogue when the conditions are favourable, on a way forward to address pasturage in the Region Four area,” the statement said.
It added that the GLDA is calling on all members of the media to be more responsible when reporting on issues of national importance and to desist from sensationalism.
However, when Stabroek News contacted cattle farmer, Rohit Prashad, the man refuted the claims from the authority and reiterated that he, along with other farmers, have lost at least 30 head of cattle because of the flood. “They don’t come to the Savannah to find out. We lose nuff, nuff and we didn’t lie. Ever since it flood nuff of them cow dead out,” he said, while pointing out that out of the more than 30 animals that died, he lost seven calves.
He pointed out that the water has not gone down since but he has been able to relocate the animals to the land that the GLDA was able to negotiate.
Stabroek News had reported last week that more than 30 head of cattle had died due to the flooded Savannah. Farmers had gathered around the area and had explained to Stabroek News that the grazing area that they have been using for years had been flooded “since before Christmas” and while they had reported it to the authorities nothing was happening.
They had explained that whenever the animals moved from the heavily inundated field the local authorities would impound them and they would have to pay $8,000 to get them back.
They had also pointed out that the land has been flooding for the past four years since the dams around them had been breached.