REPORT #192 Feb 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

The sewage effluent from Belmopan (the capital) is reported on the culture list debating forum, to have been observed from low flying small planes, entering the Belize River in a brown observable outpouring. Biologists testing the river say a lot of bacteria and suspended solids are in the river water where this is occuring.

Come the hot season and river lows, it is highly probable that there will be created CHOLERA epidemics downstream and possibly effect Belize City itself with the largest population of a town.

The port of Belize City itself, may have a built in immunity to the problems, as for years, the city had the old colonial system of open sewer canals that were flushed with salt water on the tidal flows. It didn't work too well all the time and a thriving catfish population used to feed on the sewage in the main Haulover Creek, a branch going through the port center. Any child who had swum in the river was presumed innoculated against cholera and all kinds of diseases. Even myself with a Motorsailer, had the dubious pleasure of getting innoculated many times by the swing bridge, while diving in the river bottom mud for lost items gone overboard. One could shower for a week afterward and never feel clean, as one popped up for a new breath of air, while looking for a lost propeller, or spectacles and have to brush aside a clump of feces, or push away a bloated smelly dead dog, or other items cast in the creek as a sewage and garbage outlet.

A sewage processing plant was installed some years ago, and now the new generation of port residents may have lost the immunity to cholera and other diseases, bound to come down river from Belmopan and San Ignacio environs. These places need water quality control on their sewer pipes and systems, or there are going to be big health problems.

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