Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Mar 23, 2023

My crops are dying! Paraquita Bay farmer says water woes never fixed

My crops are dying! Paraquita Bay farmer says water woes never fixed

Prominent local farmer Moviene Fahie has said there is still no access to water for farmers in Parquita Bay and has accused Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley of lying about addressing the problem when he was still Agriculture Minister.
Speaking on ZBVI, Fahie said she and other farmers at Paraquita Bay have been suffering at the hands of the current government. However, she retains some hope that as Premier, Dr Wheatley will solve the water crisis and bring some relief for the territory’s farmers.

“All our crops get dry up and we don’t have a job. So, the governor needs to step into that because we don’t have anybody care for the farmers. The Chief Agriculture Officer (Director of Agriculture & Fisheries, Theodore James) that guy is only there. He do not have an agriculture degree. He don’t have no kind of knowledge. He don’t come meet the farmers. He don’t come see what our problem is. I think that guy needs to be out of the position and stop waste the taxpayers’ money and put somebody there who will look out for the farmers,” farmer Fahie stated.

Fahie said the Paraquita Bay issue is not with the access to water but rather incompetency by the government. She recalled a better time when a now deceased former Premier was in office.

“When Mr Ralph O’Neal was in, we never had this problem. He [Dr Wheatley] don’t want to solve the issue cause all he was thinking about was the marijuana [legislation]. Maybe when he had get his marijuana and everything come in we would have get the water. But that man don’t care about agriculture. He killed my dream of doing agriculture in the BVI,” Fahie said.

Dr Wheatley had promised a reservoir would have been built above Paraquita Bay to alleviate the water challenges, but Fahie maintains that there a simplier fix.

“We don’t see the reservoir [he promised], but the thing is we don’t need to wait for a reservoir to be built in Paraquita Bay. We have 20 wells up here full of water if they wanted to use them. All we need is a pump and get them wells clean and get action start. We don’t need to wait to get a reservoir, and everybody done dead in the BVI. We need to move now because the whole world is hurting now with all kinds of disease. But there is no food in the BVI. What them going to feed themselves with?” Fahie questioned. “They need to get serious. Wheatley was a joke when he arrived in the Agriculture Department.”

With Shereen Flax-Charles being assigned the Agriculture portfolio under the new National Unity Government, Fahie is cautiously hopeful for a solution.

Firstly, Fahie said she would like to see Flax-Charles personally visit the area and connect with the farmers.

“She (Flax-Charles) just step in but I don’t know what she going do. But right now, people are dying and if you come up here and see the amount of my crops done fall down. We don’t have nobody care ’bout us. So, I hope she hurry up and come out here to see what is happening with the farmers cause if they don’t do it, it seems we have to get the governor to control it,” Fahie said.

She noted all the farmers are feeling the effects of the neglect by the government.

“I think they want all of our stuff to dead out so they can move in and do what they want,” Fahie said.

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