January 07, 2011
Residents in the San Juan Area of San Pedro are upset after an establishment owned by the Mayor began dumping waste from her septic on the street and into the lagoon. Jorge Aldana reports from San Pedro Ambergris Caye.

Jorge Aldana Reporting...
Mayor Elsa Paz is an active supporter of Oceanaís campaign against offshore drilling in Belize. But today, she is at odds with some residents in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town after they claim that waste from her sewer system was pumped into the street and drained into the lagoon. Itís a very serious and valid environmental but most importantly health concerns to the resident that live next and around Blue Hole Sports Bar and Grill, an establishment owned by Mayor Elsa Paz. Love News visited the area shortly after residents called to complain about the issue. A putrid stench dominated the air in the entire neighborhood and a small diesel pump was observed pumping liquid from the septic off the property and on the road at the corner of Seaweed and Ziricotte Streets. The black thick liquid then drained directly into the lagoon. Health Inspector Lisa Tillett stated that while she was off the island, she was informed about the issue and a representative from the Health Department was asked to assess the issue. She stated that the Public Health Department had asked the owner of the establishment to rebuild the septic tank since it was not build in accordance with the standards required by the Health Department, which requires that the base of the septic to be of concrete. In the process of rebuilding the septic, liquid has seeped out from the septic which has to be pumped from around the tank. It an unbearable stench but according to the Town Councilor in charge of Environment, Juan Alamilla, itís not really waste.

Councilor Juan Alamilla, San Pedro Town Council

ďLet me clarify that because I was there working and there is no waste being disposed of over there. They are trying to build a septic for new rooms they are building over there. The water level is so high that they have to pump out some of the water in order to cement the area. There is no human waste coming from that property. I know they are not happy because of the scent but maybe the contractor is not doing something right. I am personally going to go over there and fix it. What he should have done was pump out the water to the lagoon or an adjacent property that is not occupied and mot pump it out to the street. He was supposed to know what he is doing.Ē

While Alamilla was unclear as to what approach will be taken to alleviate the problem, residents continue to be expose to such putrid stench in the area. Love News tried contacting Mayor Paz for comment and a Secretary at the Town Council told us that she is out of the country and is expected back until Wednesday of next week.

Reporting for Love News from San Pedro Town, I am Jorge Aldana.