20 February 2013

Gambia: Fire Reduces Six Tons of Rice to Ashes

An uncontrollable fire emanating from a garden far away from a rice field belonging to a women's kafoo called Kambeng Kafoo in Illiassa Village in the Illiassa District has reduced six tons of paddy rice production to ashes.

Nanding Sabally, the president of the women's kafo asserted that the incident is rather unfortunate as it rendered her kafoo economically disempowered and food insecure.

Madam Sabally made these assertion at Illiassa while explaining to this reporter about the fire incident.

She said the fire emanated from a garden. Explaining how it happens, Madam Sabally noted that the garden owner has cleared the perimeter (surrounding) of the garden and then set it on fire. She said the fire became uncontrollable the moved towards the direction of their rice field at a time when they harvested their rice and were drying it.

The fire penetrated the rice field and burnt their heap of rice equivalent to six tons of paddy rice.

According to Nanding Sabally, her Kafoo has a total membership of 200 members and that they are engaged in rice cultivation and do receive assistance from the Food Security through the commercialization of Agriculture (FSCA).

According to her, her Kafoo was provided with seeds, fertilizer and an equipment to spread and dry their rice for threshing.

Explaining further about the incident, Madam Sabally asserted that after harvesting their three hectare rice field, they dried the rice and fixed a date for the kafoo members to turn up for the threshing.

On the appointed date she said, the members turned up but since the threshing was manually done, they would not do much and were able to thresh only 550 kilograms and then they fixed another date.

However she said, before the next appointed date, the fire reduced the rice to ashes.

Madam Sabally concluded by calling on the National Disaster Management Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as Non-governmental Organisations interested in food security to come to their aid in the form of seeds, fertilizer and so on.

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