Councillor for the Treadways Division in St. Catherine, Sydney Rose, has encouraged drought-affected farmers at Charlemont Farm Scheme in his division to form a unified group to better have their water woes addressed.
He stated that, when the farmers come together, he would be in a better position to make representation on their behalf.
“It can’t be a singular farmer saying he wants the water,” the councillor said, noting that the community does not have an irrigation system.
He said the state-owned National Water Commission (NWC), which supplies the area with water for domestic purposes, would not allow the farmers to use its treated water for farming.
“I don’t know which farmer has that amount of money to pay National Water Commission to use their pipes for irrigation; that would be costly,” the councillor further posited.
More than 20 farmers at Charlemont Farm Scheme are said to be severely affected by the protracted dry season.
One of them, Jermaine Black, told The Beacon that he has been suffering major losses as a result of the drought conditions.
He proposed that the authorities try to source water from the privately owned West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO), which is relatively near the farms.
Councillor Rose said the proposal is not far-fetched. However, he said the farmers would have to pay – even at a concessionary rate – for any water provided by WINDALCO.
The councillor noted that, if the farmers come together in a group, he would meet with them, and would hold subsequently discussions with the relevant authorities.
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