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Stinking Canals Cause Mayor to Ask: When Will Project End? #550499
06/01/21 04:43 AM
06/01/21 04:43 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
The hurricane season is upon us, and as we have reported, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing are currently working to see to it that Belize City residents experience relief from annual flooding due to heavy rainfall. The works include the upgrades of the East and West Collet canals, as well the drainage system on some of the main streets that connects to the canals. But, the project, which began in 2017, has been drawn out and downtown residents are complaining about the foul stench coming from the canals. Mayor Bernard Wagner says he has written to the ministry asking for a timeline for the completion of the project.

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

ďAs you may know, the CVRP, the Climate Vulnerability Reduction program has been an ongoing program. It started in 2017, prior to the 2018 elections, and it involve different components. It focusses on Orange Street, Dean Street, and King Street, because those were some of the hot spots in respect to flooding. It looked at how they can do a redesign of drains in the area so that they are connected. The drains supposed to be able to connect to canals and canals of the river. And when flooding does occur, those sluice bridges that you see being constructed right now will automatically be put on and then the pumping station begin to pump the water out of the city. As it is right now, the construction of those sluice bridges requires the damming of portions of the canal. We have since written a letter to the Ministry of Infrastructure to ask them how long this process will be, because we understand the implications of those canals being dammed. And when flooding starts to occur and rains begin to come later June, July, we donít want to see that type of flooding.Ē

Channel 5

Re: Stinking Canals Cause Mayor to Ask: When Will Project End? [Re: Marty] #550727
06/10/21 04:18 AM
06/10/21 04:18 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Those Darn Dams

Last week Friday, he Belize City Council sent a sharp letter to the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing. The letter was basically demanding answers on the ongoing Climate Reduction and Vulnerability Project - which the council claimed still had dammed portions of the canal, causing problems for boaters.

Well, today the Ministry opened up its works to the media showing that that dams were cleared out more than a week ago. We got an overview and update on the project:

These are sluice gates - three of them have been built, this one on East Canal, another here on South Canal and one more on Collet Canal. They are the future of flood response in Belize.

Max Solis, Technical Specialist, CVRP
"This is part of an entire concept that consists of three sluice gates and one pumping station that will be located at the end of the Collet Canal side of the Yarborough bridge."

That's here - an area that has been transformed. This is how it looked in 2016 and this is how it looks today with. Concrete lining for the canal and rails along the expanded pavement, And while a transformation is underway, progress brings problems especially here on East canal where the canal had to be dammed in during works. The stagnation caused a stench and shut down drainage.

Max Solis, Technical Specialist, CVRP
"It was necessary to dam it during this summer before the starting of the rainy season and the hurricane season, because we are working under sea level, so to build this sluice gates, the civil works, the foundations it is necessary to do a clay dam at a small section. In this case for sluice gate number 3, between the West Regent Street bridge and the Water Lane bridge."

"So by now you have removed those dams."

Max Solis, Technical Specialist, CVRP
"Everything is already moved since more than 10 days ago and the water is flowing continuously, but the houses are really close here, so it more possible to fill this at the side of a house, or principally at the side of a restaurant, so I understand when we were doing the damming with clay, some odor was expelling from the canal and the neighbors were smelling that, but that as you can smell and see everything is clean and we don't have any odor at this moment. It creates a bit of stress with the neighbors, because everybody wants to be without noise and problems and without odor, but at the end of the day we are working hard to improve the conditions of the city for all the citizens and sometimes it is necessary to do some small sacrifices."

Small sacrifices but a big deal made in this letter of complaint from the city council dated last Friday - which is now outdated.

"Were you kind of blindsides or caught off-guard by this complaint from City Council?"

Victor Menjivar, Site Inspector, CVRP
"No, Mr. Jules. As the saying goes progress brings problems and we anticipated that we would have had some complains which have been voiced. We appreciate that, but at the end of the day the works were done, but that was needed to execute the works."

And while the water is moving from the Haulover creek into the canal, so is the garbage that accumulates every day:

Victor Menjivar, Site Inspector, CVRP
"Unfortunately, the litter travels with the tide, so it accumulates and people keep dumping and dumping, but I have liaise with the Belize City Council, maybe we can look at it from a sanitation aspect of it."

They dredged over 7 thousand cubic metres form the three canals and found a whole lot of refuse:

Victor Menjivar, Site Inspector, CVRP
"We found mattress dead dogs, you name it, it was there - biycles, tyres - everything we found there and we had to dispose of it, because clearing those items we have more volume going into the canals now."

So, the situation has improved and when the project is finished in a year, there should be a marked difference in storm response and flooding volumes:

Max Solis, Technical Specialist, CVRP
"When NEMO identifies a storm is coming the system will work like this; first they would block the sluice gates to stop the water flow from Haulover Creek from West Canal and from the other part from the fish market and then the pumping station will start to extract the water from east, west and Collet canal and then throw it into the sea. That will help to reduce the level of the canals to prevent the flooding during the storms."

As a part of the project 30 residents were also provided with basic bathrooms which will be connected to the sewer mains so they don't output waste into the canal

The only component left now is the pumping station here beyond the Yabra bridge which should finish in a year.

Tomorrow we'll have an update on the dredging of the canal between Conch shell Bay and Fish Market and Haulover creek.

Channel 7

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