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Nov 10, 1998

Min. of Environment warns islanders against building piers

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San Pedro and Caye Caulker were two parts of Belize which received the greatest damage from Hurricane Mitch… but it appears that a different kind of storm is brewing over just what the newly restored beachfront of the islands will look like. A majority of piers in front of the communities were destroyed and the question has arisen of whether they should all be re-built. Local sentiment is strong that Mitch’s fury has opened an opportunity for San Pedro and Caye Caulker to improve the appearance of their coastlines by allowing fewer piers and making those that are built available to all members of the community. Those who own beachfront property, however, are not so enthusiastic and are more inclined to rebuild as soon as possible in the same place. For its part, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment is asking for some time to think things through. In a release today, it has advised all residents of the two islands that no pier may be erected or rebuilt without the written permission of the ministry and the Local Planning Authority. Any action contrary to that policy, says the release, will be dealt with according to the law.

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