THE deplorable state of a section of the road that leads to the Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara farmlands, is adversely affecting the movement of farmers, who are pleading with the relevant authorities to intervene, and bring them urgent relief.
The farmers, who operate in an area called Lartwa, have been battling for years with the muddy, sunken state of the roadway, caused by the presence of a Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) well. GWI has since acknowledged the situation, which has been affecting the transportation of produce from the farmlands.
The farmers make their living from the sale of ground provisions, including cassava, plantain and eddo, as well as pineapples, mammee, mangoes and other fruits which they plant.
They recently told the Guyana Chronicle that for the past few years, the entrance to their farmlands has been continually washed away by water coming from the well. This, they explained, has left their entrance in a muddy and sunken state, which does not allow for their vehicles to access the farmlands.
According to the farmers, they are also unable to visit their farms during the rainy season.
Sewhsankar Mangal told the Guyana Chronicle that he has been a farmer for over 40 years, and that things have become extremely difficult, given the situation with the well. He explained that he, along with almost 50 farmers, can no longer use their farming machines and vehicles to move their excessively heavy loads of produce from the farms.
He added that over the years, the farmers have tried to fill the holes with mud. However, it is washed away whenever the well has an issue, or has to be cleaned.
Mangal stated that while the farmers have all come together on occasion to offer temporary fixes, he wishes to see the government work to offer a more permanent solution, possibly in the form of “crush-and- run”. He believes this would better withstand the water flowing from the GWI well.
“We get we machines, we tractors and suh; we could use them to bring out we produce, but because of how the front deh, we can’t. Sometimes we gah fetch it out on we back and suh; is not something easy. And all we asking for is help to get the front fixed so we could do duh. Most of the farmers here aren’t young, so fetching them heavy, heavy load isn’t something we should do, when we get we machine we could use,” stated Mangal.
Another farmer, Keith Reedon, echoed the same sentiments as Mangal, except that he said while the farmers are grateful that the well allows them access to running water in their homes, he believes it negatively affects them. He explained that they are not able to easily access their produce to sell and make a living to sustain themselves and families.
The Guyana Chronicle contacted Ajay Bissessar, the engineer attached to the GWI well site at Nismes, who said he is well aware of the situation. He explained that over the years, GWI has tried to work to ensure the farmers have access to their lands through temporary fixes, including the filling of the area with several trucks of sand.