Mauritius

Mauritius farmers, fishermen want compensation

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Port Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - The Confederation of Mauritian market gardeners has convened a meeting for Saturday at the University of Mauritius as it seeks compensation from the government following the havoc wreaked by cyclone Dina last week.
The Federation of Mauritian Associations of Fishermen is also demanding financial aid to repair boats and fishing equipment damaged by the cyclone.

The leaders of the two organisations Thursday said they have been seriously stricken by the cyclone. The farmers said plantations were destroyed, while the fishermen said they had been ground ashore for a full week, unable to go out to sea.

According to the leader of the Confederation, Kreepallou Sunghoon, farmers are presently despondent "because they were, at this time of the year supposed to reap the fruits of their hard labour."

"Unfortunately, the cyclone just came to sweep along their farms, depriving them of anything to eat. They are heavily in debt and they cannot afford to re-invest in their plantations," he added.

Another leader of the Confederation, Deenarain Lokee, said the Reunion authorities had moved to assist their farmers, hence Mauritius could do same.

"Reunion has offered seeds, fertilisers and tractor services to its farming community, plus 5,000 Euros to help farmers, whereas the Mauritian government wants us to take out 3 percent loans to resume our activities," he lamented.

Lokee said the Confederation would hold a special general assembly meeting Saturday in Reduit, in which signatures would be collected for a petition seeking financial compensation from the local authorities.

For his part, Antonio Lamarque, president of the Federation of Mauritius Associations of Fishermen, complained about government's indifference towards the plight of fishermen following the cyclone.

"Our members could not sail off for a whole week, and our boats and other fishing equipment, have been destroyed," he decried.

Pan African News Agency
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