Authorities respond

Reports of the illegal dumping of raw sewage in northern Ambergris Caye has prompted local authorities to launch an investigation in an attempt to deter such activity and find the responsible parties involved. Mayor Daniel Guerrero, along with members of the San Pedro Police Department and the Ministry of Health (MOH) visited the area, which is a stretch of dirt road leading to a popular beach area. The noxious smell of sewage at the site was more than enough evidence to confirm the reports. As such, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is warning that local authorities are aware of the illegal activity and that heavy repercussions will follow against those found liable.

According to Mayor Guerrero they still do not know who is guilty of the dumping as it seems to be happening at night. He indicated that he condemns such activities by people who have no regard for the environment. “Anyone up here in the north of the island knows that they need to get rid of their sewage waste the proper way, which is by using the only sewage treatment plant on the island located south of town, operated by the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) and consists of four large ponds where the waste is deposited,” said Guerrero.

San Pedro Health Inspector Christina Sanchez commented that the issue is critical, since it not only concerns public health, but the environment and fishing industry as well. Sanchez told The Sun that they are investigating the matter and will be meeting with BWSL to find out more about their sewage procedures. According to her, there are four operators on the island that are authorized to conduct septic cleaning, and these then take it to the BWSL ponds. The ponds are only used by those connected to the company’s sewage collection system and by those authorized to dump there. Those authorized to use these sewage ponds include Miguel Briceño, Julio Aguilar, Christian Medrano and Cesar Cerpa.

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