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#507040 - 08/31/15 11:02 AM Environmental Issues arise from illegal squatting
Marty Online   happy

A concerned land owner from the San Pedrito area has reported squatters living within a mangrove area next to his property, causing considerable damage to the environment. The situation has been escalating to the point that residents are not just concern about the environmental impact from the waste and garbage being dumped into the water, but also the public health of those living in the immediate area. Local authorities have been notified about the problem and are ready and willing to help, however, there are certain procedures that must be followed before any action plan can take place.

Steve Robateau was the resident who initially made the report. “It has been a long time now since I began asking for assistance for these people that are squatting by the mangroves. Their living conditions are terrible and what makes it worse is that they are clearing the mangroves, dumping garbage in the water and even their human waste. This is really getting out of hand,” said Robateau . “My main concern now is the health conditions of these people. I know people need a place to live, but not like this, garbage and waste can be the perfect breeding conditions for insects which then can cause diseases. The waste itself that is in the water can prompt an epidemic not just to these people but the entire San Pedrito and island community. I really hope the local authorities do something about it before the issue gets out of control,” said Robateau.

The health inspector, Horris Patten said he is ready to provide his services, however he has not received any complaints about the situation at San Pedrito. “So far I don’t have knowledge on the issue since I am new here, however if there are any public health issues I will do all my best to address the problem,” commented Patten.

One of the alternatives to have the squatters evacuated from the area as soon as possible is by providing them with a piece of land where they can live. This was a petition made by the San Pedro Town Council which Heredia has acknowledged and agreed to do. As soon as the area is inspected the local authorities will move forward with a plan of action.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


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#507047 - 08/31/15 02:53 PM Re: Environmental Issues arise from illegal squatting [Re: Marty]
RobertJ Offline
Well, if the market continues to tank, I know where I'LL go to live.....

.....and, apparently, with no local issues....
.....btw, I'll bring my own biodegrading toilet.


Edited by RobertJ (08/31/15 02:55 PM)

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#507435 - 09/13/15 11:10 AM Re: Environmental Issues arise from illegal squatting [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Squatters respond to allegations made by San Pedrito land owner

The squatters have been accused of clearing the mangroves and dumping garbage in the water. According to Leon Flowers, one of the squatters living in the area, such accusations are inaccurate and biased. “I have been living in that area for 12 years and I believe as a Belizean, I have a right to have a place to live. I am a tour guide and I care about the environment and I want to clarify that the allegations are untrue. There was a fence that divided Robateau’s property and us (the squatters). He tore down his fence and all the garbage you see around our area is his garbage,” said Flowers who pointed out that the reason Robateau tore down his fence was to expand his property and demanded the squatters leave the area. Furthermore, he mentioned that Rabateau, has a little dock in the area where he works on boats from time to time. The squatters indicated that when he is working on boats, he usually dumps all hazardous materials into the water, which has an effect on the marine life and the immediate ecosystem.

Another issue that was brought up was the situation with the mangrove. The squatters denied being the ones cutting it, and they emphasized that the garbage among the mangroves has nothing to do with them. “We keep our areas clean and the garbage that has accumulated on the mangroves is washed in by the high tide or the current coming from the north. But he is blaming everything on us when he should look at himself first. If you look in his yard, his septic is cracked and when it overflows, all the waste seeps into the water. We don’t want to keep fighting, we are neighbors. He should acknowledge that some of the garbage is coming from him, some from us and the rest from somewhere else. We should work together and not try to bring down each other,” stated Flowers.

The squatters in San Pedrito are aware of the idea of having them relocated to another area on the island. “I have no problem to move out. If the local authorities would provide us with another area for us to live, maybe a little better than here, we are willing to move, but under one condition. If we move no one else should get that area, because it will not be fair to get us out to give it to someone else, because that is home, it has been our home for many years,” said Flowers.

One of the issues that squatters are facing is the lack of a proper sewage system. However, they are working on getting a septic established to address the situation of the waste. Flowers would like to invite local authorities to go and inspect the area, clarifying that all they want is a place to live. So far they are happy with their dwellings, but if there is an opportunity to sit down and chat with the authorities, they just want to make themselves clear that all they need is a place to live so they can leave for their families’ well-being.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


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