Over a week ago, a resident on Caye Caulker wrote an article on Facebook expressing her concern about massive developments happening on Caye Caulker. Her concern was that there didn’t seem to be any proper checks and balances of these big construction projects such as five-storey buildings. The article called out the Central Building Authority for, “handing out permits for five-storey buildings like candy at Halloween.” The issue is that these big buildings are being built by driving piles on a geologically-sensitive island which has one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. When the media caught up with area representative Manuel Heredia Junior over the weekend, he was asked about the concern for the growing number of high rise buildings on the small island. Heredia told reporters that he didn’t have expert knowledge about the cave system and the impacts, but he was concerned that there was no system in place for a local authority to give approval for projects. In the same vein, he was not happy with the way the C.B.A. was operating on the island. Here’s what he had to say.
Manuel Heredia, Area Representative, Belize Rural South
“Caye Caulker, unfortunately, unlike San Pedro they have no authority for approval. It falls completely under the Central Building Authority. I am upset and I have raised my concerns and I believe very shortly I will have Mr. Harvey who is the highest authority in C.B.A. to go over there and speak with the local authorities. Even though I have personally spoken with Mr. Harvey that anything that will be done supposed to have some consultation with the local authority, because personally I believe C.B.A. is not doing a good job in Caye Caulker. Approvals are being given to buildings that I believe are too huge, without any parking areas whatsoever. I believe that it is time now that they consult with local authorities. I sympathize totally with the chairlady now.”
“Are you prepared to support a halt on all construction on Caye Caulker until a proper crest study of the cave system is done especially in the areas where it is just four meters from surface level to cave?”
“I will have to discuss that issue with the local authorities…..if they want my support they will have it in that particular area.”