Scores of farmers residing in Linden and the Upper-Demerara communities of Malali and Muritaro, on Monday benefited from the Government of Guyana flood relief grant. Linden farmers assembled at the Linden Concert Hall and School (LICHAS), to receive their cheques. Spearheading that initiative was Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugh Todd, while Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill, spearheaded the distribution in the Upper-Demerara Communities.
Saturday, the farmers from the Upper-Berbice communities received their relief cheques. In total $75 M was expected to be dispersed to approximately 1000 household and farmers. Region 10 was listed one of the most severely hit regions from the May/June rains, which resulted in widespread flooding across Guyana. Communities that were affected in Linden and its environs included Speightland, Kara Kara, Rainbow City, Silvertown, Coomacka, Maria Elizabeth and Three Friends Mines.
During the exercise, Minister Todd addressed the negative impact the nationwide flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic have had on the livelihoods of farmers. He said many Guyanese do not have months of financial reserves to sustain them in times of disaster, as such, the Government has stepped in.
Meanwhile in Muritaro, Minister Edghill told the recipients that the cash grant is not compensation for their losses, but is meant to assist them to return to crop and livestock farming.
An 85-year-old farmer, Alice Fleming, while commending the Government for the initiative, said the $100,000 she received will be invested to expand her farmland.
“I have no son, he died, my husband died, five years ago. So, I am farming with my daughter on my own to make ends meet. You see, as a farmer you have to sustain yourself. So that’s what I’m trying to do. So, the water destroying everything…but there is God, he is God, he knows everything. So, I’m thankful now that I can expand, I can pay a little labour to expand…So, I’m very happy and thankful for this money it will help us to acquire a better living,” she related.
The distribution of the cash grant came into effect following President Irfaan Ali’s announcement that households and kitchen gardens will benefit from $50.000, meanwhile homestead farmers will receive a sum of $100.000. Some $7.8 B is to be disbursed to $52,000 households and farmers across 300 communities are expected to benefit.