Corentyne fishermen stuck at sea as No. 43 channel blocked up

-others unable to head out to fish

Anil Narine

Several Corentyne fishermen are presently stuck out at sea as the Number 43 Village, Corentyne channel is blocked due to a build-up of mud which began three week ago.

Additionally, close to one hundred fishermen are at home since they cannot access the Corentyne River to ply their trade because of the blockage.

The fishermen yesterday said that they had made contact with regional officials on the problem.

Regional Chairman, David Armogan, when contacted said that he was in the process of speaking with the water users’ authority in the area to start the pump either yesterday afternoon or this morning for some four hours in hopes that it would “blow out” the blockage.

Ron Drepaul

According to Armogan, this is the first step which was suggested by the fishermen. However, he added, that if this does not work, then contact will have to be made with “fisheries and NDIA (National Drainage and Irrigation Authority) to try to get an excavator out there”.

The chairman also said that it is a tricky situation, adding that the pump would only be able to work for a certain amount of hours, as if the irrigation water is being pumped out farmers in the area will then be affected.

He explained that if the pump idea does not work then an excavator will have to be placed on a pontoon in order to remove the blockage and allow access to the river once more.

Meanwhile, the fishermen are calling for urgent attention as they stressed yesterday that their livelihood is being affected.

The fishermen were also stunned at the huge build-up of mud as they claimed that in their many years of fishing they had never witnessed such before.

They said that some twenty fishing boats have been loaded and are waiting to head out to sea.

The area of the blockage

Anil Narine, 45, noted, that every day he and his troop head out to the channel in hopes that the blockage has been removed but for the past three weeks they have been returning disappointed because they are unable to access the river to fish.

“Every day we going and come back and out there still block up”.

He added, “The ice melting, you got to find money to pay workman”.

Another fisherman, Ron Drepaul, 36, explained that while some fishermen are presently out at sea, others after waiting over two days at the head of the channel decided to head to the Number 65 Village, Corentyne channel in order to offload their catch. However, according to Drepaul, while heading to the Number 65 channel may be a temporary solution, it is an expensive one, which may cut into the fisherman’s profits.

“When you go 65 is more expensive, then you got to load you catch and bring it here, (Number 43) then hire people to watchman the boat and so, plus you got to get transport for them workman them, this is really affecting us”.

He further explained that the fishermen would be satisfied if only the part where they have to pass to head out or come in is cleared.

“Them can try see and help we and clear the piece we got to pass”, he said.

While the men understand that the problem may be a tricky one to solve, they are pleading with the authorities to start working on a possible solution in order to assist them. (Bebi Oosman)

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