Mahaicony Creek flooded for third time this year
Rice land under water three weeks

By Samantha Alleyne
Stabroek News
June 8, 2000

Mahaicony Creek has joined the list of flooded areas in six of the ten administrative regions of Guyana, with water invading the farms and yards of residents of the community.

Minister of Agriculture, Reepu Daman Persaud yesterday paid a visit to the affected areas and spoke to some of the residents. According to the residents this was the third time for the year that the area has experienced flooding. The residents told the minister that the rising water was due in part to the heavy seasonal rain.

At a glance, the effect of the flooding was not immediately noticeable. However, after residents pointed out patches of swampy land that had once been their kitchen gardens and rice farms, the magnitude of the situation was evident.

One large scale rice farmer, Krishendat Manikchand, opined that the flooding was also caused by poor drainage of the area. He said that the mouth of the Abary River needed desilting and felt that the expansion of the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agriculture Development Authority project would help to alleviate the flood problem in the area.

Agriculture Minister Reepu Daman Persaud (sitting) chats with two residents of the Mahaicony Creek during his visit to the area yesterday.

The visibly upset farmer told the minister that if the situation continued he might be forced to move. He pointed out that the farmers had loans to repay to banks and if flooding continued to destroy their rice crops, then it would be difficult for them to do so.

According to Manikchand, even when the rain stopped for a while, the water would continue to rise. He disclosed that he had already prepared 200 acres of land for sowing of rice and this could not be done because of the high water. The farmer was also fearful that the situation would be repeated in November when heavy rainfall was expected again.

Some of the smaller rice farmers said that the area was prone to flooding, experiencing high waters every year. But this year, according to them, has broken all records because three flood periods had already been recorded and more were expected. They lamented that they had already sown rice which had been under water for three weeks now.

Residents who do fish farming for a living are also affected because there is no fish to be caught in the high waters. The half-drums that the residents use to store their fish could be seen turned down at the various boat landings.

Residents' food supply is another major problem, since most of them plant vegetables for sustenance in their kitchen gardens, which have been swamped. Their cattle are also affected, because the pastures and savannahs are under water. One woman disclosed that one of her cows had recently given birth but she could not take it out to the pasture because of the high water.

Persaud also visited the primary school at Gordon Table, where he had brief chats with the students and teachers. He told the residents that he was there to have a first-hand look at the situation and added that the government was extremely concerned.

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