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Sep 16, 2019

Small Improvements Noted along the New River

The Department of Environment was in Orange Walk today monitoring the situation at the New River. The installation of aerators and the brief rains over the weekend have caused an improvement of the river. The students at La Inmaculada School are back in their classrooms and the stench is dissipating.  But while that is good news for Orange Walk residents, there are concerns that the Corozal Bay is being affected by the contamination. Dalila Ical reports. 

 

Dalila Ical, Reporting

It has been exactly one week that the aerators, four in total, were installed along the New River, starting from the area at Maracas Bar and Grill. Personnel from the Department of Environment have since been conducting water quality monitoring, which continued today.

 

Aldo Cansino

Aldo Cansino, Environmental Officer, D.O.E.

“We monitor before the aerators and after the aerators, at every fifty feet. The results are positive, so the team has been doing that for the past week. Additionally though what we have done is that we have installed some booms at specific areas and what we are doing is we are trying to capture the organic film at the top and then we will be scooping it out. But the measure seems to be working so far.”

 

Environmental Officer Aldo Cansino adds the short spells of rainfall over the weekend has appeared to help. Today, the water near Lamanai Riverside Retreat and La Inmaculada RC School flowed steadily. The thick white film and chocolate brown colour have disappeared.

 

Today the team was also scheduled take a tour along the river up to Corozal to identify areas that need immediate intervention. Cansino says they are also looking at conducting a more comprehensive water quality testing effort.

 

Aldo Cansino

“Along with Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation Development we will be doing water quality of the entire water way. So, from the head waters all the way to Corozal and so getting that information is very critical. It will give us an idea as the quality of the water throughout the system, so not only focusing here but we are now looking at the interventions upstream and looking at of course interventions downstream. But the results seem promising so far.”

 

As the work continues on the New River, concerns are now rising among residents in Corozal. Last week, a video was published on social media showing dead fish. The person filming claims it was along the Corozal Bay and made reference to the state of the New River.

 

Aldo Cansino

“If you speculate, you will always speculate but what we want are the facts. What we want is to gather the information so that then whenever these things, whenever claims come up we will be able to advise properly. And another reason for going up the river is to actually employ strategies to see, if we can, along those areas because we recognize these concerns. It’s an integrated water system. Everything that happens upstream winds up downstream, hence the reason why we are doing these interventions today.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Dalila Ical.


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