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News > Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Volcano Ash Hits Farming Labor In St. Vincent & The Grenadines

  • Lands covered with ash from La Soufriere volcano, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, April 2021.

    Lands covered with ash from La Soufriere volcano, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, April 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @trtworld

Published 1 June 2021
Opinion

Prime Minister Gonsalves recalled these islands are experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines' farmers on Monday drew attention to how agricultural work in the two-islands nation is being affected following the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano on April 9.

RELATED:

St Vincent's La Soufriere Volcano Releases 17 KM-High Plume

“We are contemplating an immediate future without access to farmlands nearby the volcano,” said George aka Kalanji, a Chateaubelair farmer who planted vegetables and raised goats and rabbits on the slopes of La Soufriere. 

The lands surrounding the volcano are carpeted under a thick layer of ash, and it is unlikely that farmers could do any cultivation there soon.

Although Kalanji has not been back to the farm since the eruption, he is convinced that his goats and rabbits died. “I have no other land to cultivate. The only place I think I will have to go back is by the volcano,” he said.

Authorities informed that nearly 20 percent of the country's inhabitants were evacuated due to the eruption. They also assured that access to drinking water and food is increasingly limited.

Right now, "St. Vincent has more ash than drinking water and the economic losses are incalculable," Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said and recalled the islands are experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. 

“Moving the ash is a difficult task. When the wind blows, the ash gets into your nose, into your eyes, it burns you,” Kalanji pointed out, adding that residents from the damaged territories are not allowed to re-occupy their homes yet.

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