Region Four farmers the latest to benefit from Gov’t flood-relief grant

The Government of Guyana remains steadfast in its efforts to ensure those who were affected by flooding as a result of this year’s extended May-June rainy period receive some form of assistance as was promised by His Excellency, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

Today, persons residing in Region Four, most of whom are farmers, were the latest to benefit from the $7.6 billion government-funded relief initiative.

Government ministers spearheaded distribution exercises along the East Coast and East Bank of Demarara and other parts of the region engaging farmers and other persons whose crops, livestock, and household appliances were damaged when their farms and homes became inundated by floodwaters.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha spearheaded the exercise in Cane Grove and Lancaster and while offering remarks at Cane Grove, Minister Mustapha reiterated the fact that everyone entitled will receive assistance from the government.

“The list that was prepared and submitted by our extension officers and regional officials had 318 persons listed to receive flood relief at this location. We may not have captured everyone. There might be people who are here today who suffered losses but their names are not on the list. Rest assured, as long as you suffered losses, you will receive flood relief from the government. Ahead of today’s exercise, I also instructed our officers to post the lists at every distribution site so that people can see who are the persons that will receive today. We are doing this because we want to ensure the lists are transparent and acceptable,” Minister Mustapha said.

He also told cattle farmers that the ministry, through the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) will soon commence works in the area to provide pastures for them to graze their cattle. These works, he said, are expected to commence within the coming weeks.

Farmers at both locations expressed gratitude to the President and the government for the grant.

Randy Jackson, a farmer from the Lancaster area, while recounting his losses thanked the government for the assistance.

“The flood affected me a lot because I live near to a canal. I planted some bora, some cabbage, and I had some chickens and because I’m so near to the canal, most of the water came in and flood the place. Right now I’m digging the drains so that I can be in a better position to start planting again. The grant will help me to buy stuff to make a start and I really appreciate it,” the farmer said.

Mayline Smith, a farmer from Helena Number Two, also praised the government for the relief that is being given to farmers.

“I want to say thanks to the Minister of Agriculture and the Government for the cheque that they gave to the farmers so that we can get some help to bring back our farms,” the farmers said.

Region Four recorded the lowest instances of flooding as floodwaters from the backlands were quickly drained into the Atlantic ocean through the Hope Canal, a structure that came under heavy criticism by the Opposition while the then PPP government ventured to establish the structure following the 2005 floods.

Crediting the role of the structure in averting extensive flooding in the region, President Ali had announced that the government intends to establish similar structures in vulnerable areas across the country.