One resident's 'handyman' efforts causes catastrophe in neighborhood

The rains are here and with excess deluge come major run-offs - Belmopan is famous for massive downpours and drainage issues. In one particular area of town, Panama St in Salvapan, City Council personnel had to intervene when a resident decided to dump a load of gravel in the drain-way to set a makeshift bridge for access his property. He effectively complicated a fragile situation when his action blocked off the water flow and flooded his neighbours’ yards. Plus news was at the scene and spoke with Javier Novelo of the Engineering Dept.

Javier Novelo, Engineering Department
One of the land owners blocked the drain to access their land with their vehicle and it caused a problem, because now the water cannot flow and it floods the neighbors’ yards. They came to complain and we came to clean the drain. Right now we are having a problem with the land owner because he went to get his colbert but he wants us to leave the material here until tomorrow. However, we are not going to be doing that, because as you can see it is blocking the street. So we have to move it and take it away.

He enlightened us on the proper procedures for gaining access to one’s land when it’s across from a municipal drain.

Javier Novelo
If you need to access your land, you go to the Council and apply for a permit to place a culvert or a bridge, whichever you choose and we will grant you that permit. However you cannot block the drain because it will cause a problem for your neighbors. So if you need to access your land, come to us, fill out you application and we will come and advise you on the size of culvert you will need to place in the drain.

Just to re-state the policy: any Belmopan resident wishing to make an access bridge to their property, must first consult with the City Council and get proper authorization for any infrastructure which will span a public drain.