(A section of the crowd of cash and cattle farmers in Sisters Village, East Bank Berbice, Region 6 this morning as they awaited to uplift their flood relief cheques.)
Hundreds of Berbicians turned up on Sunday morning at the Friends Primary School in Sisters Village, East- Berbice Corentyne as the Government commenced flood relief distribution to farmers affected by the recent devastating floods across the country.
The distribution kicked started in Region 6 which represents a large percentage of Guyana’s farming activities.
The sum is calculated based on the losses and is given in the form if cheques written in the name of the person who operated the respective farmlands.
Dennis Morris, 45 of 830 Glasgow Housing Scheme, East Berbice- Corentyne was among the beneficiaries.
He told the BIG Smith News Watch that the rains earlier this year devastated his cash crop farm. According to him, he also operates as a taxi driver but at the moment, he has no car and no farming activities ongoing.
Morris related also, that in addition to his cash crop activities which were lost during the flood, his cattle also died as a result.
“I would ah mek like $200,000 if this flood did not come. Right now this flood relief would help me get back some seeds and poison. Before, the seeds were $200 a pack and now its $800 a pack, this is hard so for me, i will accept whatever is given as a flood relief” Dennis Morris told this publication in Sunday.
For 51 year old Narendra Lallbeharry of Ghangaram Village, Canje, he expressed disappointment that his son was the only person whose name was listed as someone to receive the flood relief.
Lallbeharry however noted that his son listed for the cash grant is among his children working on his farm.
According to the 51 year old, he has 90 acres of land on which he planted rice. He however clarified that at the time of the flood, 20 acres were under cultivation.
It costs $45,000 to throw paddy for twenty acres and according to Lallbeharry, he has attempted to cultivate the remaining acres of land but the inundation of the land hindered his efforts.
BIG Smith News Watch also spoke with a young farmer, 29 year old Jermaine Bishop of Kadbrat Village, East Berbice- Corentyne, a father of a 2 year old.
Bishop explained that all that he has planted over the years were destroyed by the floods. The young man related that he planted three acres of cash crop
He told this publication that he is anxious about the flood relief because he hope that it will serve to give him the much needed support to restock on feed, pesticides and other necessities to restart his operation
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall represented the government at the event which also saw a distribution of cheques in Canje, Berbice.
Nandlall told the Berbicians at both venues that the monies should be used for the intended purpose, that is to among other things: assist them in paying of agriculture-loans and preparing their lands for cultivation.
He also noted that this flood relief is not as easy as the Cash Grant programme being rolled out by the Ministry of Education since that program is guided by a register of students while with this process, a register is being created.
It was against that backdrop that Minister Nandlall noted that some person present at the venues on Sunday will be unable to receive their cheques but once their names are taken down, those cheques will be issued within two weeks after verification.