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Families worried about long dry spell in the west

August 19, 2018 6:08 pm

Residents in the west are facing a prolonged period of dry weather for close to four months now and they’re worried.

FBC News was in Rakiraki this week and noticed burnt grass, hard and cracked soil, dry vegetation and even several bush fires and the dry weather is expected to continue for a few more months.

The long dry spell in the western division is worrying many families especially for Jaan Ali’s household who has lived in Madhuvani settlement in Ra for more than four decades now.

He says their roadside stalls are now empty as the dry weather has affected their harvest.

“In all my life I have never seen this dry season before. In the past we used to have dry season but it would rain sometime but this time it hasn’t rained since April and its worrying because even my farm animals are affected. We don’t have vegetables now because the cows eat them as there’s no more green grass on the farm.”

He adds they’re finding difficulty to plants crops and vegetables as the soil has dried and hardened resulting in many dead crops.

Meanwhile, Shan Ali a farmer in Saivou, Ra says he always sells vegetables on the roadside every Sunday and earns around $200 however, with the bad weather, he now earns only $40 to $50.

“Also in the dry weather there are a lot of pests on the crops and vegetables and I am not able to plant anything for now. I will just have to wait for the rain in order to plant again. My vegetable farm is right up in the hills and now I have to carry buckets of water up the hill to water my vegetables and this is a lot of work.”

The dry spell is expected to continue for a few more months before we enter the cyclone season around November.