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Water woes: Farmers without reliable water for over 4 months

-damaged pump & low water pressure blamed
Wilted crops which have suffered as a result of the water shortage being experienced by farmers at Paraquita Bay. Photo:VINO
The pump which was reported as being damaged and in need of a part for repairs. Photo:VINO
The pump which was reported as being damaged and in need of a part for repairs. Photo:VINO
PARAQUITA BAY, Tortola, VI – The President of the Farmers on the Move group, Mr Khoy Smith, has disclosed that farmers at Paraquita Bay have been without a reliable source of water for over four months.
Mr Smith related that over this period of time, water supplied by the Water & Sewerage Department (WSD) has been on and off for the greater part. The water pressure from the WSD line has also been described as too weak to supply all the farmers in the area.
The farmers usually rely on a backup pump for water supply but this has been down for the past four months and its urgent repair is critical to the survival of the produce being grown in the area. 
Commenting on the impact of the situation, Smith said, “If farmers want to increase their production, water is an important aspect of the production cycle… the produce are actually perishing due to a lack of water.”
He also disclosed that farmers were scheduled to take part in the Annual Farmers Week exhibition and this would greatly affect the participation of those who have crops in the Paraquita Bay area. The exhibition is supposed to be held in the first week in February 2013.
As a result of the water shortage, he noted, the farmers are challenged in being able to provide sufficient water not just for their crops but also for the livestock that is being reared in the area.
“The livestock guys are actually trucking water to their farms,” Mr Smith explained, “it’s a very tedious process.”
The Farmers on the Move President also said that it has been over a year since the current Administration has been in power and the subject Ministry has not really had any discussion with farmers collectively, regarding how their issues can be addressed. 
Mr Smith felt something needs to be done and a meeting should be held to let farmers know how they are planning to go forward. He added that most of the discussions being carried out surrounded the issue of the greenhouses, but he noted farming is not limited to the greenhouses and farmers wanted more than this.
Mr Smith said he contacted the Department of Agriculture and was told that the damaged pump had required a part which had already arrived in the Territory but was misplaced and was promised some feeedback but this was over a month ago.
When contacted by this news site, Chief Agricultural Officer Mr Bevin Brathwaite could not offer any comment about the status of the repair of the pump or disclose whether he had any knowledge of it. 
Director of Communications, Mrs Arlene Penn could not be reached for comment up to post time.

13 Responses to “Water woes: Farmers without reliable water for over 4 months”

  • vick (02/01/2013, 15:40) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    and bi water right next door? where is the liberator to fix this?l0l
  • farmer brown (02/01/2013, 18:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What else is new?
  • Water Woes all over (02/01/2013, 22:18) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    OK. My water is hardly on at home. So, farmers, you are running a business and if water is needed to make it successful, then truck it, bucket it, drum it and water your plants. Are you all paying the water bill? NO! Gimme Gimme bunch...
  • ooooo (02/01/2013, 23:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    actionman only working in roadtown
  • hero (03/01/2013, 01:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI Government has to be run by the devil or some evil force. No where else in the world are you seeing governments destroying their citizens food. Other countries are stopping exporting food so they can feed their population, but in the BVI is the one cares about the farmers

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