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Aug 23, 2019

Orange Walk residents seek solid commitment from government to heal the New River

Ian Cal

Tonight, representatives of the Department of the Environment are holding a public meeting at Orange Walk Town to address concerns on the deteriorating health of the New River. For several months now, the condition of the river has declined and it has turned into a milky green hue and a foul stench is emanating from it. Earlier today, more images surfaced showing the water with a milky chocolate colour. Fish have not been able to survive and have been dying in droves and washing up on the banks. The situation has become so grave that the Guinea Grass Village Council issued an advisory earlier this week warning residents to refrain from eating fish that came from the river. In a release the Department of Environment states that it hopes to hear all concerns tonight to chart a way forward in protecting the river. Ian Cal, Deputy Mayor of Orange Walk Town told News Five that it is the hope of those concerned that the Department and other stakeholders will work in unison to heal the river.


Ian Cal, Deputy Mayor, Orange Walk

“What we want to know is what DOE will do on their part to alleviate of find out what is happening because we want them to do their own investigation. Have they done it, I don’t know. That is what we will find out at this meeting that is coming up and of course solutions, ideas from the public. At the end of the day we know that the department doesn’t have all the resource it needs. Just like any other department we know it lacks those resources and that is when we the public have to step in one way or the other. We are here to work together with them and to find a solution to this issue. We don’t want it to repeat again next year Hipolito and that is why I would say that this year we are pushing together with other NGOs. If we see improvements we know that we are moving in the right direction but at the end of the day I will say it is everyone’s duty at citizens to ensure that we assist in this.”


The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:30 tonight at the Gala Lounge located on Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. Residents and interested parties are welcomed to attend.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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