Screen_Shot_2015-09-07_at_7.55.18_PMWith the effect of climate change around the globe many countries have been suffering from negative impacts. One of those impacts is droughts. Our country Belize has been known for rainfall which occurs during June to November, that is, the rainy season. It is noted that the transition from dry to the rainy season is very sharp and annual rainfall ranges from 60 inches (1524mm) in the north to 160 inches (4064mm) in the south.

This year however, those statistics will not be as expected causing a severe drought which has triggered millions of dollars in losses in the agriculture sector in the community of Indian Creek in the Orange Walk District, specifically to the corn and soy bean production.  Today CTV3 News visited the Indian Creek fields and found out that the drought has indeed affected many farmers and their cultivation. Farmer John Knelsen contemplates on how this drought has been more severe than past years.

John Knelsen - Farmer

“Todo está seco y se perdieron las cosechas aquí y es la primera vez que me paso aquí en mis veinte cinco años que estoy trabajando aquí y nunca paso tan fuerte como ahorita y die que es porque tumban mucho monte y puede ser por eso pero yo no lo creo porque aquí estamos pegados con las montañas con Programme for Belize ellos tienen casi cien mil acres de monte, nosotros tenemos quinientos cincuenta acres de maíz con mis hermanos y más ciento setenta acres de soya pero hasta aquí se mira que se pierde todo y es la primera vez que perdimos todo.”

Despite the severe and devastating effects of the drought, farmers are not giving up. Instead they are finding alternatives to alleviate the problem. Some who have the available fund have invested in supplementary irrigation. It is an expensive alternative designed for the assistance of irrigating when rain is scarce but one which farmers have to take.

John Knelsen- farmer

“Ese sistema de irrigación solo hace cuatrocientos acres una vuelta son cuatrocientos acres, lo compramos y lo instalamos pero ahorita estamos haciendo el pozo como ustedes ven de allí vamos a ver si trabaja bien pues para el otro ano estamos un poco más listos para el verano.”


“Cuanto le está costando esto?”

John Knelsen- farmer

“El sistema de irrigación nos está costando como dos cientos sesenta mil dólares.”

Many other areas of Indian Creek are being heavily affected, and farmers are not only seeking solutions but are also hoping for an external assistance. We will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast as we take a look at a fully functional supplementary irrigation system and more on the effects of the severe drought.

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