The villagers of Hopkins have been contending with a two-headed hydra for the past few weeks: devastating erosion that has stolen over seven feet of the shoreline, coupled with the rotting stench of vast swathes of sargassum smothering the beach.

And it's more than just a pain to those living there - it's a source of major anxiety since it not only affects their daily lives but also their bread and butter which is tourism.

But the villagers aren't just throwing in the towel - they're planning to put up a fight against the corrosive forces of nature. Courtney Menzies spoke with the chairman and has this story.

Hopkins Village has always been a paradise for both locals and tourists, far from the bustle of the city, and bordered by the Caribbean Sea.

But it's exactly that latter part that has this paradise in peril. In the past few weeks, the beaches have been dramatically swallowed by the sea - its sand washed away and replaced with the putrid and unsightly sargassum. These pictures and video taken between yesterday and today show the extent of the exponential erosion.

Even the famous Hopkins beachside swing-set is in jeopardy of sinking into the sea.

The chairman says it's bad for their tourism business - and their health.

Macario Augustine, Chairman, Hopkins Village
"I'm a beach walker so every morning I go to the beach and walk my dog, it's so devastating. It's a devastating situation right now with the smell of it, it's very dangerous for our health. It's already been about five feet out, from north to south, it's very devastating for us."

"I'm concerned due to the fact that the beach is one of our main visitor attraction, I mean the people come to Hopkins to go to the beach and visit the beach and see what the beach is about. That is what makes Hopkins what it is. So now to have this smelly sargassum on the beach, it hinders us from having visitors in our village, which will decrease our visitors, I mean, it come to the visitors to help us generate our revenue for the locals, because there's a lot of local businesses on the beach. For that smell, they wouldn't want to come and visit the village."

"It's almost months now, us having this erosion going on and the sargassum added on top of the erosion and it's very bad for the economy, for us."

And he's been watching, day by day, as the shoreline recedes. He says that over the past few months, they've lost about seven to eight feet of beach - the worst it's ever been.

But all hope is not lost:

Macario Augustine, Chairman, Hopkins Village
"It's been the most I've ever seen and it is the biggest and longest erosion of the beach I've seen in years, literally years."

"Being it one of the worse, we still got to anticipate the natural way of how it goes, like I said previously, there's the east wind that usually wash away the sargassum and brings back the sand, it's like something natural, but like I said, waiting on something natural is like waiting for the dead to rise."

"The village council have already collaborated with the Belize Sargassum Taskforce, and we will create a local sargassum Taskforce to help combat this devastating situation. We have already collaborated with the Belize Sargassum Taskforce. So everything is in the pipeline to try and combat this devastating situation."

And the Taskforce plans to get tools to start cleaning up the sargassum on their own. As for the erosion, well, that's another matter they'll have to figure out - but residents agree it's time for immediate action and no more of the many workshops on erosion they've been asked to attend over the years.

We'll keep updating you on this erosion offensive.

Channel 7