Poultry farmer loses millions in Corentyne villages’ inundation
Overnight rain has left several Corentyne, Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) villages inundated.
The downpour started shortly before midnight on Thursday and lasted for several hours. When it ended, some villages had as much as two feet of water. The hardest-hit villages are those between Numbers 54 and 57.
At Number 54 Village, residents said this is not the first time they had such an experience.
Chandredai Sookra of Number 54 Village told this publication that when he woke up on Saturday morning, there was close to two feet of water in his kitchen. He said that groceries were damaged and had to be dumped.
However, when this publication visited, he had not discarded any of the damaged groceries as yet as the entire area was inundated.
Sookra explained that even though the rainy period started in May and has continued, it was not until Saturday that the outfall channel was being cleaned.
“The May-June rain start so long and they had water to flush out the channel and now in August when we get flood, they going and flush it out.”
Another villager, Artie Tallolall of Lot 11 along the Corentyne Highway said she was awoken shortly after 01:00h to the sound of falling rain. She told this publication that she began monitoring the rising water level and at about 02:00h, she called her husband out of bed and they went to the lower flat and placed sandbags in front of the kitchen door. However, that did not stop the water from rushing in.
“It is not the first time it happened. This is the third time our kitchen is getting water. The last time we had a lot of damages; all my children books and the tiles in the kitchen we had to replace them,” she disclosed.
Villagers are pointing an accusing finger at the 52/74 NDC, saying that many of the drains are blocked. In fact, villagers told Guyana Times that they would have faced a similar situation five years ago.
Bibi Shaheeda Latif of Number 57 Village said the flood killed 2100 of her chickens.
The pens which are situated on Lots 164 and 165 were all covered by several inches of water, with dead birds lying throughout the pens.
According to the 57-year-old poultry farmer, her husband Abdood Latif left their Letter Kenney home at about 05:00h on Saturday and when he reached Number 57 Village, he saw the havoc.
In tears, the woman related that she was told that all of their birds had died.
“I asked him what happen and he said ‘rain fall and it flood out everywhere’. Normally when rain falls it doesn’t fall this hard. The place always floods and many times we make complaints that the area needs drainage. At the back here don’t have drainage.”
Latif revealed that some of the birds were two weeks old, some three weeks old and the remainder between six and seven weeks old.
“Right now, we are selling chicken at $300 per pound.”
Losses are being estimated at $4.5 million.
According to Latif, on Saturday they had orders for 500 chickens. However, because of the rain and flood, many persons did not go to pick up their orders.
“We had to be calling people and tell them not to come because we had a flood and the chickens died.”
The businesswoman said Saturday’s sales were going to be $1 million.
Meanwhile, in an invited comment, newly-appointed Agriculture Minister Zulficar Mustapha said a team from the Drainage and Irrigation Authority has been dispatched to the affected area to assess the damage. (Andrew Carmichael)