The ad hoc construction of paved streets throughout Belize City is raising an alert for health officials.

The uncontrolled and fast-spreading dust emanating from construction zones and cement poses dangerous health risks. Health officials told the BELIZE TIMES that dust causes numerous health problems, such asthma and other respiratory infections, bronchitis and other throat infections, ‘pink-eye’, sinus and other allergic reactions and even chicken pox.

The health risks are greater among children.

Already, the BELIZE TIMES has learnt of several cases of pink eye and chicken pox in various parts of the city.

The problem lies in the absence of any construction plan. The Belize City Council seems to be paving streets without rhyme or reason. One here, two there, maybe another one there. In residential construction zones, no measures of containment are taken to protect residents from the dust. Not even a simple notice is shared to warn residents that their street will become inaccessible and their clean air will disappear.

Another major problem is that once paved, the streets are not swept. Dust settles on cement pavement easily. When not swept away, it accumulates and spreads with the wind and car movement. Pedestrians are most at risk. The Mayor, Councillors and Ministers who drive around the city in the fancy, air conditioned SUVs have nothing to worry about.

Health officials say they plan to write the Council to advise them that control risk measures must be taken during construction before the entire city becomes sick.

The Belize Times