The recent breach of the sea defence between Dantzig and Fairfield in Region 5 has caused salt water to intrude into the irrigation system as far as No. 10 up the Mahaica River.
This salt water is now trapped in the irrigation canals with nowhere to go since all outlets to the Bellamy Canal have been sealed off. Hundreds of acres of rice land located in the backlands of Broek en Waterland, Dantzig, Glazier’s Lust, Prospect and High Dam cannot be cultivated because of the presence of the salt water in the irrigation system.
The solution to this problem is to reopen the Dantzig Canal for a few days during the low tide for the sole purpose of draining the salt water out of the irrigation system or pump the water out via the Dantzig Canal into the Bellamy Canal.
I have spoken to the Regional Chairman of Region 5 about this situation. He indicated to me that he had raised this issue on several occasions with the officials at MMA, but all his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. In the meantime, many farmers are in a quandary since they depend on rice cultivation for their livelihood and they also have bank loans to repay.
In view of the foregoing, I am hereby appealing to the Honourable Minister of Agriculture to instruct the little lords at MMA to take immediate action to get the salt water out of the irrigation system so that the farmers could continue with their normal lives and put food on the table for their families.