Practical support for farmers affected by flooding welcome
Thursday, 7 September, 2017
Ulster Farmers’ Union says that the efforts of government and other agencies to offer practical support and guidance have been gratefully received by farmers affected by the flooding in the North West. UFU president Barclay Bell says that the Union has been on the ground in these areas meeting affected members and participating in clinics offering help and support. “We have been working closely with DAERA officials to ensure that the appropriate help is available in these areas. Many of the farmers affected are facing a huge challenge when it comes to clean-up and rebuilding their businesses. They have lots of questions they need answers to.”
DAERA recently announced it would assist with the removal of fallen stock in the affected areas and NIEA has issued environmental guidance for clearing waste left behind by the floods. Mr Bell says that these are the types of things the Union has been encouraging the department to do. “It’s at times like these where we expect our government to step up. We have urged DAERA to do as much as it can for those affected. Practical help, as well as regular communication of clear, relevant, up-to-date information is essential. There is still more that can be done to support the affected farmers and their families - work is still ongoing to quantify the damage and financial aid options are still being explored.”
Mr Bell says that those farmers affected have been encouraged to keep detailed photo, video and written records of the damage caused by the flooding. “Many of these farmers have a long road ahead of them when it comes to recovering land and rebuilding. Having detailed records of the damage and its impact on the farm business will help going forward.”
The Union is also reminding affected farmers that force majeure applications should be submitted as soon as possible. DAERA is encouraging forms to be submitted before 14th September.