In his first field trip since assuming the post of Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha on Sunday visited the East Berbice Corentyne communities that were affected by major floods in the wee hours of Saturday and ordered the immediate cleaning of clogged drains and canals.
The Agriculture Minister noted that from his assessment there appears to be several clogged canals and drains; he was informed by residents that they weren’t cleaned for years.
Minister Mustapha deployed two excavators at the weekend and another one will head to the communities Monday.
Many residents and businesses suffered millions in losses as a result of the floods which was caused by continuous heavy rainfall.
and her husband Rasheed Latif lost over $4 million when the floods destroyed their chicken farm leaving in its wake over 3,000 dead livestock.
Mrs Latif was moved to tears as she explained that her farm is situated at Lot 164-165 Number 57 Village away from the general population and is in the last street in the residential area before the backlands start.
The Agriculture Minister said he will assist the Latifs and the others who suffered.
“What we noticed is that the residents suffered a lot of damages, I have instructed that my officers go and follow up. A poultry farmer lost about $4M in meat birds; I have also asked that my officers follow up to see how our ministry can assist there. There were also a number of farmers who suffered losses as well,” the Agriculture Minister said.
With teams from the Ministries of Agriculture and Local Government, Minister Mustapha visited the villages of Number 58, 57 and 53 where he met with residents and listened to their concerns.
“I think residents were satisfied that we came into these communities, they saw that we try to put mechanisms in place and this will be the kind of way we will go about doing our work; we will not only sit in the Office and send instructions, as a Minister I plan to visit all areas that are affected.”
The team also visited a number of outfalls, including the two door sluice at #52 village in an effort to assess their working capabilities.