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Nov 13, 2019

BELPO Sounds Off on the State of the Macal River

The Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy wants answers on the Macal River in the west. BELPO sent out a release this morning to say that they have serious concerns about the state of the river. According to BELPO’s Doctor Candy Gonzalez, the vegetation and mud have accumulated on the banks of the river and portions have gone into the river. BELPO documented massive vegetation and sedimentation washing downstream last week following the rains. Today, Gonzalez shared those concerns and says they are calling on the relevant authorities for answers.


Candy Gonzalez

Dr. Candy Gonzalez, BELPO

“So, a lot of the vegetation rots, decomposes and go into the river. What we saw last week is all of the vegetation and rotting trees coming downstream with the force of the floods. It is only going to get worse because nothing is being done to clean up the river banks, to protect from further erosion. We don’t have accurate reports on the water quality. We don’t have accurate reports on what is happening with the river. We do know that they are trying to introduce a new siren, an early warning system, so we don’t have an early warning system in case the dam breaks. So, all of those things we have been bringing up over the years and they are still not being addressed. Now are concerned not only about the past tests on water quality and fish, because the problem is when you have all that turbidity and the water is really dark, something calls photosynthesis doesn’t happen and that is what is going on when the sun reaches the bottom of the river. There is photosynthesis that produces oxygen in the river. So, we are going to have a situation maybe like the new river where we are going to have all this dead vegetation and dead fish coming down the river because of lack of oxygen. We want to know what is happening and we are not getting answers.”

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