Catch & Release - GOJ/GEF/IDB Yallahs Hope Project Catch & Release Volume 1: July - December 2016 - Page 8

It’s a sight no farmer likes to see. During or after the rains, rivers and streams take on a brownish colour. On arrival to their plot of land, their top soil and all that was sowed – is gone.

Soil erosion a affects not only the women and men who till the earth before the morning’s sun and after dusk. A khaki- clad river also spells bad news for a community and nation that depends on the potable water which is produced in these areas.

Almost half (42%) of the water supplied to the Kingston Metropolitan Area comes from the Yallahs and Hope River watershed management units.

Yallahs Hope Watershed Project Coordinator,

Nelsa English-Johnson explains the link between

farming practices and our access to water.

“Over the years, farmers have practiced traditional habits which contribute to land degradation. Soil erosion compromises the quality of the water as large amount of top soil end up in our waterways. When it rains, the waters get muddy and the National Water Commission is forced to turn-off its pipes until the debris, sand, dirt and other obstacles subside. Once the new practices which are being taught at the farmer field schools are adopted and normalized, they will contribute to fewer water lock-offs in the city.” She said.

The farmer field schools will allow farmers to do experiments, practical demonstrations, field observations and make informed decisions on best practices that protect their lands, water and the environment.

“WHEN RIVER PUT ON HIM KHAKI SUIT FARMER CRY”

Photo: The Gleaner newspaper