Community Focus: Bad roads hurting Lewisville farmers
The deplorable condition of the road network in Lewisville and surrounding districts in the breadbasket parish is a vexed issue for farmers, whose call for help has gone unheeded for several decades.
"The roads want fix because a long time now, over 20 years, since this yah road stay bad," said farmer Derrick Tenant. "I plant potato and yam, and the road affects me when I want to go market because I have to charter vehicle, but sometimes them no want come up here in the bad road so we have to deh pay extra."
Ezekiel Smith added, " ... And it is every week we have to be chartering vehicle to carry we goods to the market, and a lot of farmers around the place, so we all a feel it,"
According to the farmers, their operating costs do not allow them to have any great profit as they also have to fork out as much as $9,000 to purchase water, even as they contend with seasonal drought each year.
For sweet potato and string bean farmer Lebert Collins, he has to personally bear the cost of vehicle repairs every few months.
Collins said that he uses his vehicle to transport his yield to the market as well as to carry water for both his farm and household.
The situation has been taxing on both his pockets and person, according to the 66-year-old veteran cultivator.
"The bad roads shake up my front end of my car, and to carry water in it up this hill is rough too because it can hardly manage," said Collins. "Every few months, mi have to be changing car parts, and it costly, like $3,000 or $4,000," the farmer added.
While farmers may be feeling it the most, other residents in the area are also pleading to the relevant authorities to give Lewisville and the surrounding districts of Green Valley, Prospect, and others the overdue attention the areas deserve.
Efforts to contact JC Hutchinson, the member of parliament for the constituency of North East St Elizabeth, were unsuccessful.