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MOH Monitors Smoke Crisis In The North

MOH Monitors Smoke Crisis In The North
April 06
08:39 2019
Saturday, April 6th. 2019 - REPORTER NEWS STAFF - 

Health officials are on standby in several northern communities in the Corozal District following multiple reports of thick smoke emitting from Mexico that has been blanketing the affected communities and disrupting air quality for residents.

The Reporter has confirmed that for the past three weeks residents in the communities of San Narciso, Louisville, San Victor, Santa Clara, San Roman, Cristo Rey and Concepcion have been severely affected by the smoke that is drifting into Belize from a burning dump site in Mexico.

On Friday the Reporter spoke with Principal Health Inspector for the MOH John Bodden who confirmed that the Ministry has contacted the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health In Mexico as well as the Mexican Embassy in Belize to inform them of the situation.

According to Bodden since the situation is of a trans border nature there is nothing much that the MOH or MOE in Belize can do but to lodge a formal report at the Sub-Directorate of the Environment in Chetumal to have the matter addressed. Reports from Bodden are that Mexican officials are expected to provide an update by Monday on what sort of intervention methods they are doing to abate the situation.

In the interim Bodden noted ”We just want to remind people that in the event of excessive smoke please stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed. Only open windows and doors for fresh air when the smoke situation has improve and refrain from lighting candles or cigarettes indoors. If persons can leave the area then that that would be best for them. The Ministry will be on standby for any emergency health needs.”

The situation has prompted the Ministry of Health in Belize to issue a press release on April 2nd informing residents in the affected communities that inhalation of the smoke is unhealthy and if residents cannot leave the area then they are urged to keep indoors until the situation is brought under control.

Residents who have taken to social media to complain about the situation strongly oppose relocating citing the lack of anywhere else to go. Some residents were also urging health officials to be out on the grounds handing out face mask to residents.

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