The government has commenced work to address the longstanding water woes faced by farmers at Paraquita Bay, with the installation of new distribution lines on farmlands in the area.
A statement from Agriculture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said the work is being done through the “collaborative efforts of the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Transportation Works & Utilities along with the hardworking professionals at the Water & Sewerage Department.”
“This project has been promised for years but never materialised until now. Since this new government has taken office, farmers will soon have a reliable and steady supply of water. Another promise made and promise kept. A promise delivered with BVI LOVE,” Dr Wheatley stated.
The announcement that the longstanding issue is being addressed follow the complaints of frustrated farmers who last week spoke to ZBVI radio and highlighted the struggles they were facing in their line of work.
The farmers explained that they didn’t believe the Agriculture Ministry was doing enough to address the problem as they bemoaned the costs of purchasing water for farming.
“It’s ridiculous that the government talks about agriculture and all our farms are burning up. They gave us a stimulus package but what should we invest in?
There’s no water and this is garbage! We need action in Paraquita Bay, this is our livelihood. The government filled their pockets with money and we’re up here suffering, starving to death,” one farmer said.
“I want to move my farm from Cane Garden Bay to Paraquita Bay but I can’t because you cannot rear chickens without water. There’s a water plant by the foot of the road! So what’s the problem? I’m calling on all the representatives, not just one Minister. Don’t come to Cane Garden Bay to tell me stupidness. I have chickens with a friend here and it’s better for me to kill them because there’s no water,” another farmer explained.
“Right now if the food stops coming in here, everybody will die of hunger and we cannot eat marijuana. Right now, it’s either Andrew Fahie
come out of his seat and the Chief of Agriculture. Two years now and he’s not doing anything for farmers. So we need food and we are getting angry now,” one female farmer explained.
Another female farmer added: ” Buying water costs me $350, I cannot afford it. If we can’t farm, how are we going to feed the people of the BVI. Please we need help concerning water.”