The Department of the Environment (DOE) hereby informs the public, especially residents of Orange Walk Town and those people living in the vicinity of the New River, that the general condition of the river has improved over the past weeks.

Since early September 2019, the DOE has been monitoring the water quality of the river near Orange Walk Town on a daily basis and has observed a steady improvement of the river. The improvement is as a result of several factors: (i) the DOE has conducted remedial actions in the river, (ii) inspections of local industries by the DOE and other agencies to address discharge of wastewater, and (iii) the recharging of the river due to localized rainfall in central and northern Belize.

Since the start of October 2019, monitoring of the readings of the hydrogen sulphide stations along the New River has not indicated any presence of the gas, and therefore, the malodour has not affected the area recently.

The DOE will continue to monitor the situation on a weekly basis and we will modify our remediation activities based on information gathered during our weekly monitoring.

In accordance with its medium- and long-term plans, the DOE along with the New River Task Force will continue to meet regularly to continue to implement the medium-term activities that will greatly assist in the preparation and implementation of the New River Watershed Management Plan (long-term plan).

The public is advised to contact the DOE to report any abnormal observations on the New River.