Belize News, Reporter.bz

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The New River Is Deathly ill

The New River Is Deathly ill
August 23
20:33 2019

Friday, 23 August 2019

As recently as today, Friday, the Reporter travelled to Orange Walk where the disturbing condition of the New River shows no sign of improvement. Our reporter was told by sources that even crocodiles have died, and one manatee near the Tower Hill Bridge. From the bridge, observers can see the river covered with filthy scum, and massive fish kills continue to be reported.

Residents of Orange Walk have criticized the Department of the Environment for what it deems a lackadaisical, ineffective approach to discovering the source of the pollution and dealing with it in a resolute manner.

Officials from the DoE have called a public meeting scheduled for tonight at the Gala Lounge in Orange Walk Town to discuss a way forward, but residents say that a public meeting will do nothing to deal with the pollution which is already critically far advanced.

The DoE has very vaguely pointed to effluent from BSI/ASR as one of the causes of the pollution in the river, but since then there has been no update on any steps or action taken to decisively address that pollution. Additionally, the DoE has blamed the ongoing drought in the north for the fish kills, suggesting that the lack of rainfall has resulted in stagnation of the river, which depletes oxygen content.

The Reporter will have an update on the meeting tomorrow.

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