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Sep 12, 2019

Community petition seeks full commitment from DOE in restoring the New River

The recently formed New River Task Force, Chaired by the Department of the Environment, met for a second time at Orange Walk Town today. The Department of the Environment updated the group on the measures being taken to address the current state of the New River. One of the members on the Task Force is Friends of the New River, F.N.R. It is an N.G.O. that was formed to promote the preservation of the river. Since the condition of the New River begun deteriorating, the F.N.R. has been actively involved in monitoring the situation and making efforts to restore the river’s health. Today, the F.N.R. Chairperson Lourdes Zaldivar submitted a Community Petition to the Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, Edgar Ek. Zaldivar says the petition reflects the community’s concern over the New River.

 

Lourdes Zaldivar, Chairperson, FNR

Lourdes Zaldivar

“The petition actually is based on section four of the Environmental Act and the petition reflects that. So, it asks the department of the environment to do what they are supposed to do and with that if they go ahead and do that then short term and long term and up until, I don’t know when, until we die I guess, we will see them working hand in hand with the community for the cleaning up of the town itself, of the river. But that will involve looking at how factories, agriculture, institutions and the public at large take care of their waste. Either it be water or solids. We finally collected 1860 signatures. I believe we could have collected many more but a couple things happened where people could not perhaps get their ID on hand and little things like that. I am sure that the numbers just reflect what many more people know already and whoever you talked to they will tell you, it is true that we need to do our part and the Department of the Environment does need to be checking monitoring and making sure that people do what they need to do with their waste.”

 

The F.N.R. handed over the signed petition and a cover letter addressed to the Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria. And while the F.N.R. is a part of the task force, it also has its own plans that include promoting education and awareness among the communities along the New River.


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