– as cattle farmers given leniency due to flooded backlands
Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan on Saturday urged motorists to exercise caution on the roadways as the Stray Catching Unit (SCU) of the Ministry has been asked to relax its efforts in light of the impact weather conditions are having on cattle farmers.
This call by the Minister came in light of the Corentyne, Berbice accident on Friday which left six persons injured after the taxi in which they were travelling swerved from hitting a donkey and ended up toppling several times before coming to a halt.
The Public Security Minister explained that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo recently visited Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and met with farmers who are suffering major losses, as dozens of their cattle are dieing as a result of floodwater in the backlands. To this end, there was an exhortation for the SCU to relax efforts in affected areas.
“A lot of the cattle in the backlands in Black Bush Polder have to be brought out because of the floods and we’ve asked the Stray Catching Department here at the Ministry to go easy on the farmers because they have to bring out their cattle because they’re dying… so they have to bring them out to high lands where they can get food and that means coming out into the front lands and some will get stray on the road and so on,” the Public Security Minister stated.
With this level of leniency being extended to farmers, Minister Ramjattan is pleading with drivers to be more careful on the roadways to avoid accidents involving animals.
“You know if a driver be careful, there’s not gonna be accidents with an animal. Sometime you want to know who is the real animal, if is the driver or the cow. So it is important that drivers behave like humans and the cow will always behave like a cow,” the Minister chided.
Nevertheless, he went on to note that the farmers too must take care of their cattle and try to prevent them from getting onto the roadways.
“I could understand in this wet weather (taking care of animals) is a little difficult and so we all have to give a little, we all have to take a little because that’s how society is gonna run. Let’s be reasonable and behave like civilised people. So yes we’re gonna ask farmers and animal owners to make sure that their animals do not stay on the road and get them off the road as quickly as possible; and even drivers, when you see animals on the road take your time, be careful, be cautious, be caring,” Ramjattan pleaded.
Friday’s accident resulted in the injury of Dossier Farantazcia, 15; Dia Doxine, 19; Helas Naima, five; Dossier James, 15; and Jean Pierra, 15; all of Haiti. They are currently admitted patients at the Skeldon and New Amsterdam hospitals in East Berbice.
The only Guyanese in the vehicle was Marvin Watts, a member of the Guyana Fire Service. He was the driver of the car involved in the accident.
According to reports, motor car HC 5547 was proceeding North along the western side of the Number 53 Village Public Road, Corentyne, when a donkey walked into the path of the vehicle. The driver was reportedly speeding.
A breathalyser test was conducted on the driver, but it showed that he did not consume alcohol. However, he was taken into Police custody as investigations continue.
Meanwhile in May, 21-year-old Riaz Khan of Lot 38, Block A Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), was allegedly driving a motor car with four others inside and while at the village of Philadelphia, EBE, he slammed the vehicle into three cows that were lying on the roadway.
The car, which was speeding, reportedly toppled several times before coming to a halt, and the impact of this collision caused residents to rush out of their homes to lend assistance to the crash victims.
They were rushed to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, where Khan, a teacher at the Guyana Islamic Institute, succumbed to his injures. The other three occupants of the vehicle were treated for injuries. The three cows involved in the accident were also killed.