St. Catherine Farmers Facing Water Woes

Since farmers at Bernard Lodge have been relocated for over a year now, they have been struggling with access to water despite the irrigation system. Added to their plight is the recent chemical spill from Windalco into the Rio Cobre that has dealt a deadly blow to thousands of acres of cash crops. Farmers who occupied a section of Bernard Lodge, now being developed for housing, have been relocated to the Salt Pond section which spans some 1,000 acres.

However, the farmers say, since their relocation water has been a major issue, and worse yet, the chemical spill in the Rio Cobre has made their problems ten-fold. Interim President Salt Pond Farmers Association Paul Henry notes the irrigation system is not efficient adding 1,300 acres of farmland cannot be supported by only two notches of the Rio Cobre canal system. He says the land in Salt Pond is desert like hence the need for a proper and efficient irrigation system. Henry alludes to a promise made by the Prime Minister in 2021 following a meeting with the farmers.

Meanwhile, Wesley Mignott one of the farmers relocated, says his current 3-acres of plantains are almost wiped out due to lack of water. He says it’s costly to source water from the canal. Watch the report below:

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