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Apr 28, 2015

Commissioner of Lands on Hopkins Beach Erosion

On Monday’s newscast, we showed you the images of the massive erosion in the southern village of Hopkins. It started about a week ago and since then, some residents and resorts have lost up to fourteen feet of beach and the value of their properties has drastically depreciated. The Department of Environment was called in, but it would be the Lands and Survey Department that would take lead in the investigation. Today, a team from the department was deployed to Hopkins to assess the cause of the erosion, says Lands Commissioner, Wilbert Vallejos. Until that assessment is complete, there are many factors that can contribute to the erosion in Hopkins. A groyne constructed in the northern end of the village is believed to be causing the erosion. Well today, the management team of Hopkins Bay Belize issued a release saying that contrary to reports made, the resort got state approval to construct the groyne three years ago and that they are working with relevant parties to see if the erosion is caused by the groyne.  News Five spoke today with Vallejos who says that he was only aware of the situation down south when it was aired on this station.

 

Wilbert Vallejos

Via Phone: Wilbert Vallejos, Lands Commissioner

“I don’t know that the Lands Department has been contacted officially about anybody with respect to that. I myself learnt about it through the media. But just today, we commissioned a team and actually the staff from the physical planning unit is at Hopkins presently making an assessment of the situation after which we will know exactly if erosion is taking place, what is causing it and what needs to be done to ensure that it can be fixed, noh. The Lands and Surveys Department is in fact responsible for the managing of the reserve and the seabed and things like that and once we have found out the information that we need to be able to ensure that something is done to remedy the situation, then we will do so. I must tell you however, when it comes to groynes and activities happening on the beach and beach reserves, many times it is done without knowledge; one and without even consent or approval from the department. I’m saying this because couple months ago, I personally had to go down south to Placencia to ensure that a groyne that was properly hidden in the water, underneath a pier was removed. This matter was brought to our attention obviously by the people who were being negatively affected by it. I know for a fact that when it comes to activities like that, it doesn’t necessarily means that the department is aware of it or even worse that the department has granted permission for something like that to happen.”

 

Duane Moody

“We have a correspondence from the management of Hopkins Bay and they are saying that the groyne that they have in place was sanction by the government three years ago. Is it possible that now, after so many years, that it is having adverse effects to the area – the other residents and resorts in Hopkins?”

 

Via Phone: Wilbert Vallejos

“It could very well be. That’s what I am saying. We need to make a real assessment of the situation as to how this effect is coming about and why it is happening and see if in fact an approval was granted three years ago for the construction of that groyne. Why it is that now it is causing or having a negative impact on the beach?”

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1 Response for “Commissioner of Lands on Hopkins Beach Erosion”

  1. dejavu says:

    The dredging north of Hopkins back in the years is effecting the Erosion of HOPKINS Village today. The same will happen to Placencia few year from now when the hole on the seabed from dredging to fill Harvest Caye refills naturally, the beach will to Erode to accommodate the reshaped seabed. This has to happens as mother nature readjust it surroundings.

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