3278045
Farmer Kendon Baccus said he has to walk about two miles to get to his garden following the collapse of the bridge at Edward Trace, Moruga.

[email protected]

Carrying huge bundles of plantain and ground provisions, Moruga farmers yesterday walked an extra two miles to bring out their produce, after a major bridge at Edward Trace collapsed on Saturday.

More than 75 farmers have been left in limbo after the bridge collapsed, throwing truck driver Terrence Joseph and his vehicle into the murky river.

“Since this bridge break down it costing us too much! We have to pay big money to get our produce out of here,” farmer Kendon Bacchus said.

With most of their crops ready for harvest, the farmers said they are hoping to sell their harvest to get money to buy books and stationery for their children in time for the new school term.

“We have to make two miles extra to reach our garden. The access road we use has big potholes. Vehicles cannot pass. It is a serious situation and we need help,” Bacchus said.

“Mr Prime Minister, come down to Moruga, please. We begging you all to help we. The original road cut off and now with this bridge broken down, many people have no way to get to their lands.”

Another farmer, Junior Coker, said there were several other bridges along Edward Trace in dire need of repairs.

“The other bridge does flood and that too almost mash-up. People will not be able to get into the lands to reap their harvest if something is not done soon,” he said.

“To get there we will have to go through Guayaguayare and it is a long drive. This is the only bridge that could have been used because on the hill, farmers can’t go up there unless you have a four-wheeler truck. We will like the bridge fixed so we can have access to our land.”

Councillor for Moruga Joseph Lorant said the number of farmers had increased since the pandemic, as many people had lost their jobs. With the collapse of the bridge, many farmers will lose thousands of dollars if they cannot get access to their fields to reap their harvest, he said.

MP for Moruga/Tableland Michelle Benjamin said she had asked Works Minister Rohan Sinanan for help.

Noting that energy companies use the bridge as their main access to Guayaguayare Road, she added: “Due to the existing situation, I do not think a bailey bridge is suitable.”

Sinanan said his team visited the area yesterday and assistance will be given depending on the availability of funds, although the bridge does not fall under the purview of the ministry.

Meanwhile, truck driver Joseph, who escaped serious injuries after his truck fell into the river on Saturday, said he received medical treatment yesterday.

Joseph was on his way to drop off a truckload of crushed material at a hunter’s campsite when the bridge collapsed, sending him and his truck into the river. He said three scrap metal dealers rescued him but later robbed him of $1,400.