Canal No 1 flooding… as farmers report tremendous lossesEven as the heavy downpours continue across the country, residents of Canal Number One Polder, West Bank Demerara (WBD), are now picking up the pieces as the floodwaters begins to recede.Workers clearing the main drainage canalGood Hope, Canal Number One resident, Sattie (only name given), told Guyana Times that for the 20 years she has been living in the area, this is the second time she experienced such devastating flooding.“The water was terrible. It go down a lot. It started to go down about three days ago and we glad it going down because we can dwell outside now because for the whole holiday season, we went inside and couldn’t come out,” the woman lamented.The lower part of Canal Number One Polder, WBD, has been flooded since December 20, 2017, with the water continuously rising. However, for the predominantly farming community, their livelihood remains threatened since the water is yet to begin to recede from their farms.This yard remains inundatedSattie’s husband, Edward, said the last time his pineapple farm was under so much water was during the 2005 floods. He explained that he farms over three acres of pineapple along with ground provisions and plantains.“The yard is not so much but is the farm at the back. I had plantain, cassava and pine. Is three acres of pine gone down the drain there… some of the pine buss out already and they a turn like apple you nah got nothing fuh get back from that. The pines just getting small and is over two weeks now that it deh under water,” he said.Meanwhile, large-scale fruit farmer Hemraj Persaud Boodhoo said his losses are estimated to be in the millions, since most of his fruit trees have begun dying.On a visit to a section of Boodhoo’s farm, Guyana Times observed at least one cashew tree uprooted while thousands of pineapple plants were covered in water. The farmer explained that the roots of the pineapple plants have already begun rotting and soon those will die, adding that they have been covered in over four feet of water for approximately two weeks.Hemraj Persaud Boodhoo displays the water level in one section of his farm“The canal was in bad condition. They cleaned up to November and left this bottom part, when we asked they said that the contract closed. Beardman (Deokinandan) was the contractor and does only get two months contract but they didn’t pay him since June according to what he said,” the man related.Boodhoo said they are yet to hear any official word from the authorities, noting that they would only come to inspect the canal but not interact with the farmers. The man said he cannot estimate his losses but added that he would have invested millions into the preparation of his farm as well as the maintenance of it.Meanwhile, a source close to Deokinandan related that the man is owed in excess of $10 million for works he would have completed in both Canals One and Two, and withdrew his services after not being paid for over eight months.The reason the residents experienced such severe flooding is because the main drainage canal has been neglected for some time. The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, which has responsibility for the Canal only, began cleaning it one week following the flooding. The Civil Defence Commission last Friday distributed sanitisation hampers when Minister of State Joseph Harmon visited, and the residents says that they are yet to hear anything from teams that visited.Efforts to contact the regional authorities on the issue proved futile.