CitCo Turns Attention to Neglected Yabra Canal
For the past several months, there has been a backing up of silt in the Yabra Canal. The congestion has not only become an eyesore in the area, but it is also hindering fishermen from coming in and docking their boats. Residents in the neighborhood also complain that along with the silt, garbage and other waste materials have created a stench in the area that has become unbearable. Well, the City Council has heard the concerns and two weeks ago they, along with DOE and Hydrology Department, did a walkthrough of the area to do an assessment of the dredging that needs to take place. The report has been completed by the Department of Environment, but it has not been officially released, but today Council Phillip Willoughby met with the media to say that the works are to start soon but it will be in phases to get the silt out of the canal.
Phillip Willoughby, CEMO, Belize City Council
“What we are doing now is, one, we have dammed off the mouth of the Caribbean Sea that connects through to the East Collet and West Collet Canal. We have blocked off where East and West Canal connects through Z-Town right here and we have blocked off the Kut Avenue Bridge. The purpose of doing so is for us to, one, pump out the additional water that is left in the canal and that would enable us to dry the area of the canal so that when we get to the next step to excavate the material from the canal, there is less liquidity in it. We will get, I presume, more value for money if we extract just the silt rather than it be more liquefied than silt if you get what I am saying. That is the point with which we are at this current moment. I want to take this opportunity to advise the general public don’t have your kids playing on the canal. I was briefed on a situation that transpired last evening; kids running down there by Tot Bay and a fellow got stuck in the mud.”
“From users perspective, it has been too long delayed and too long in coming; what is a realistic time frame that you can give them?”
“Well, we are hoping that the pumping will not go more than maybe three to four days to pump out the actual water that is left in the canal; thereafter we wait and see how long it takes to dry and like I said once it reaches its optimum peak, but during that period, over the next few days we will be communicating with the various agencies so we can fast track that.”