Following the recent heavy downpour that left most, if not all the rice fields flooded at Pacharr in the Central River Region, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture were over the weekend at the scene to put in place temporally measures to resolve the situation with a view to preventing a recurrence.
The rain caused damage with the off-side drainage system having unusually higher pressure, causing the water to break the protection deck (between the rice field and the unused side) and into the rice fields.
According to agriculture officials, the culvert linking to the river was not adequate to evacuate the heavy rain waters. A temporally, and a bigger, culvert have been put in place next to the existing one to enable the pressure to be lessened from the old culvert, thereby increasing the capacity at which the water flows out to the river.
With rice as the staple food in the country and Jahally Paharr being the main focus point for the realisation of the Vision 2016 food self-sufficiency agenda, Abdurahman Drammeh, Head of Soil and Water Management of the Department of Agriculture said more work is needed to also drain the already flooded rice field.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Ismaila Sanyang, who joined in the work over the weekend, three heavy duty machines would be deployed to pump the water from the flooded rice fields.
Ebrima Sonko, Engineer and Director of Green Impact said the works to install another culvert for easy flow of water would greatly help in addressing the situation.
Farmers were deeply concerned by the flooding, but are relieved by the intervention and thanked the agriculture officials for the timely intervention to resolve the situation. They reaffirmed their commitment to the President’s Vision 2016 Agenda.
by Alieu Ceesay in Pacharr, CRR