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Jun 5, 2020

Valley of Peace Farms to Veggie Farmers: ‘It Wasn’t Me!’

As you heard, the farmers believe that the flooding of their fields was worsened because of the sugar fields in neighbouring farms belonging to Valley of Peace Farms Limited. But tonight, General Manager Gilbert Canton Junior says that is not so. He says that they have proper drainage in place and that he believes their system may have spared even more losses. Canton Junior points out that the heavy rain is directly responsible.

 

Gilbert Canton Jr., G.M., Valley of Peace Farms Limited

“I am fully aware that this is the worst flood that they have ever experienced in recent memory. It was fourteen point eight inches in our area – that is unprecedented in the three years I have been there and the largest rain we have had is eight inches and it is not surprising that it is more water than they have ever seen. To respond to the claim that it is our sugarcane field that is causing some of the flooding, we first have to look at the engineering of those fields and what is happening in that watershed. So, I brought some things to show to see exactly what is happening and to give you a little bit of history of the field. So, the field in question that is flooded is this field right here and it is about one hundred and sixty acres. This is our sugarcane field here in yellow and it is about one hundred and seventy-five acres and this is another valley of peace farmer block over here.  In this area, the water from about here breaks south and is caught in the drainage canal that then heads this way and out. Then there is another hill line here that heads north, that breaks the water and sends the water north and that is really the water that comes and causes the flood plain, here. So, historically this entire area here has been a swamp and the flood plain kinda flooded this way and out into this little creek over on this side. What I did, is that I invested about one hundred and eighty thousand dollars on the drainage in this field and I have cleaned up this swamp that used to flood them taken all that water to this north point, so it goes through this canal system and it eventually ends up back in the Belize River. This is the drainage design; this is that field; the red lines are six inch pipe; the blue lines are four inch pipe. And you can see, the farmers are about here and you can see we pull all that water to this north point so that it doesn’t affect them and we did that knowing that there are gonna be issues there and we need to maximize use of this field and so we took all that water north. So, in fact, we have invested a lot of money into making sure that they have less flood water than they normally get. So, I would say that in this case, the biggest issue is that nobody designs a drainage system for fifteen inches of rain. This system can handle about three inches a day; about six inches over the weekend. We got about seven and a half inches a day – you are gonna get some sheathing. However, what I can tell you in the past with six to eight inches of rain those roads along this way and where they are have washed out. This time they didn’t washed out; we washed out right where we pulled all the water – totally understandable and totally expected. We will do the repairs.”


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