Region 5 flooding By Shemuel FanfairThe livelihoods of many inhabitants from communities in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice) districts still remain threatened, nearly four months after flooding enveloped the area.The state of the access dam at Mahaicony, Region FiveOn Sunday, Guyana Times was informed that while water levels in the Mahaicony River continue to slowly recede, the water on the backlands where the majority of the farmlands and livestock are located remains high. This on-going situation has hampered the economic sustenance of Region 5’s residents who are mostly farmers.Rohan Shivdyal of Pine Ground, Mahaicony River, has been a rice farmer for the past five years. He told this newspaper on Sunday that he cultivates 50 acres of rice along with his father; however he lost 10 acres over the last several months and is finding it difficult to repay his many debts.As with many others in his area, Shivdyal is also a livestock farmer. He noted that this industry is facing financial challenges and noted that he had to spend some $15,000 in medical treatment for his young goats and calves.“Me had to buy lil drugs and suh fo dem…dem get fever [and] a get worm,” he noted.The Pine Ground resident also stressed that he has to spray the affected animals two times daily to prevent the worms from further harming them. He estimated his overall losses in the vicinity of $100,000.Guyana Times also learnt Sunday that the backlands flooding in Mahaicony is currently preventing many famers from gaining ready access to their farmlands. The farmers said they need the access dam to be repaired so that they can have free passage to their plots.This newspaper had reported that many children used this same dam to travel to school but the conditions prevented many students from attending classes. Residents are hopeful that this will be rectified in the coming weeks.Region Five farmers have expressed also the need for assistance in acquiring seed paddy, manure and fertiliser to continue rice cultivation.It was only Thursday that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix distributed $ 9 million in food hampers to some 851 West Coast Berbice households in Region 5. The parcels included rice, sugar, flour and milk, along with a selection of canned meats, biscuits, personal care items, and cleaning agents.“We have 28 items in the hamper and I trust that it will be of some value to you,” CDC Chairman Colonel (ret’d) Chabilall Ramsarup told residents at Union (Number 30) Village.Region Five Chairman Vickchand Ramphal had expressed appreciation for the donation and observed that government had “come on board in bringing relief … to communities in Region Five”.The beneficiaries from Armadale (6), Hopetown (18), Bush Lot (200) and Mahaica Creek (50) had assembled at the Union/Naarstigheid Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) to collect their hampers.The Amerindian settlement of Moraikobai, Mahaicony River, had benefited earlier this year from hampers.In late June, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) team distributed food items and bottled water to residents who gathered at Mora Point and Gordon’s Table. Residents from nearby communities such as Pine Ground and First Savannah also benefitted from the distribution.Earlier this month this newspaper reported that many farmers along the Mahaicony River sold their current crop of seed paddy out of fear that the on-going flooding would destroy their future plots for rice cultivation.A female farmer had explained that she suffered significant losses due to the prolonged flooding. The woman stated that she lost three calves and a number of crops. The farmer had also estimated her losses at around $800,000 and appealed that her community be provided with food assistance.