Corentyne farmers without water to irrigate fields at “peak” of rice cultivation

—claim mix-up in delivery of fuel

Farmers located at Black Bush Polder and between Rose Hall and Number 52 Village on the Corentyne, are currently without irrigation water, as according to the farmers, the pumps are down due to the lack of fuel.

Leeka Rambrich, President of the Rice Producers Association, yesterday explained that close to 40,000 acres are presently being affected mainly because they are awaiting the arrival of fuel to power pumps in Black Bush Polder so that operations can commence.

However, according to information gathered, the required fuel was being diverted from the irrigation pumps to the drainage pumps last week.

Stabroek News was told that the person responsible for coordinating the transport of the fuel is working in close collaboration with the Regional Executive Officer, Kim Stephens.

“I spoke to the contractor who was suppose to carry fuel into Black Bush Polder and the man say [person named] is diverting the fuel from the Black Bush pump to the drainage pump”, Rambrich claimed.

Rambrich noted, “We are not having drainage issue, we are having irrigation issue, this is causing serious problems for farmers”.

He stressed that presently, cultivation is at its peak and “there is no water for farmers”.

He noted too, that over the last week, only two pumps were being operated at Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder but as of Monday, no pumps were in operation.

Meanwhile, a source at the regional administration level told Stabroek News that officials had given an order for the fuel to be transported to the necessary pumps yesterday.

Additionally, this publication was told that instructions were given to the persons responsible for transporting the fuel to do so via a small trailer due to the condition of the dam.

However, the workers took it upon themselves to bypass this order and drive the truck containing the fuel through the dam and were left stuck yesterday.

As of late yesterday afternoon, efforts were being made to remove the truck, while the farmers remained worried, as they awaited the arrival of the fuel.

The farmers are calling on the relevant authorities to look into the matter, as they believe at this time, there should be no mix up as to where fuel has to be sent and how it should be transported there.

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