Economy February 24, 2016 | 10:07 am

Highland farmers say illegal wells hobble their crops

Constanza, Dominican Republic.- The Constanza EnvironmentalCouncil on Tuesday said the Environment Ministry only fined a farmer forbuilding a reservoir in the mountains, but didn’t stop the accused from digginga well afterwards.

It said around 30 have been built in several farms inJanuary alone, including two in one owned by an active Lt. General.

"Here anyone who says I need water and wants to dig a wellonly has to bring the backhoe and drill," said council president MariaReyna Mena, who said they must now drilled deeper because of the dry spell.

According to Environment several people in the area have alreadybeen fined and others will soon be.

Quoted by hoy.com.do, several people in the area say beforebeing a general the officer had owned some land since 1988, but acquired moreland in the mountains to grow vegetables, between the villages of La Culata andLos Bermúdez.

Mena said before the general no one had dared to drillwells, but now other farmers started doing so without control.

She said despite that Environment officials are aware of thesituation, they have yet to confront the military officer out of fear.

Mena said the farmers are concerned because the lack ofwater in low-lying areas hobble their crops. “The springs at higher elevationsare being ”kidnapped.”

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