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Jun 22, 2017

US $8 Million and 2 Years to Fix Collet Canal

Over the past few months, we have shown you the massive silt build up in the Yabra Canal. The City Council and other partners have been doing the ground work to chart a way forward to clear the canal. Today, CitCo started with the extraction of the silt, but this preparatory work is a second phase of the flood mitigation plan that will target the Collet and the East Collet Canal networks. It is being facilitated by the Inter-American Development Bank, through an eight million U.S. dollar loan, to get the area up to standard. But only part of the works will be completed under this phase two and it will take some two years for the actual work to start. Today, we spoke with an IDB Consultant and Belize City Councillor to explain the scope of work being undertaken in the Yabra Canal area.

 

Lucien Chung

Lucien Chung, Consultant, IDB

“The second phase is looking at rehabilitating the collet and east collet canal networks. What we are doing here is to do a small channel within this siltation, this blockage that we have here so that I can allow water or hoping that the water flows naturally and in the process I will be collecting data; hydraulic data.”

 

Reporter

“Now, you are saying it is a small channel not the entire thing; what is the reason for not doing the entire thing?”

 

Lucien Chung

“To do the entire thing that is a major project in itself. Under a component of the phase of the project will look at dredging the entire two canals.  They have something close to 8 million US for this project; so it includes dredging, includes putting locks at the end of the canals, rehabilitating some of the perpendicular streets, drainage that goes to these canals. So, those are some of the main components under this project.”

 

Reporter

“Of course, we are already in the Hurricane Season, by when would these works be expected to be completed?”

 

Philip Willoughby

Lucien Chung

“Oh these works maybe another two years before they start. As you can see, data collection, these data will be fed into computer models where we will be simulating the canal system and coming up with the best infrastructure. So, this is just the start.”

 

Philip Willoughby, Councilor, Belize City Council

“When we get the hurricanes, the canals can act as a deterrent and assist in the outlet of overflowing streets, inundated streets, inundated yards where water is concerned and flooding. So, we need these canals to work with us and for us. With the project, it will give the council and other agencies sitting at the table, the ability to at least control to a great extent the ebb and flow of the water.  As you know, the silt that has been excavated thus far will be on the canals, now if it gets hot it becomes dusty and people inhaling this and it is unhealthy for breathing and for your eyes; the smell is uncouth you would say but we have done our post-mortem since the last time this type of work has been done. So, the National Fire Service will be out here four-thirty to five to wash off the entire length of the canal where this silt was set.”

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