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Sep 9, 2022

Vulcan Supporters Block Road in Gales Point

The news that came from the government, that it does not support Vulcan Materials Company’s project proposal for mining near Gales Point Village, caused a small protest in the village on Thursday evening. A few of the people who support the company lit tires and tree branches and blocked traffic entering and exiting the village.  Police had to be called in from Dangriga, but by the time they arrived, the road had already been cleared. Today, News Five’s Marion Ali returned to Gales Point to ask the villagers whether their position had now changed about the project. Here’s her report.

 Edwin Bowen, Upset with G.O.B. decision

Edwin Bowen

“Dehn Come down eena the evening and light wa fire da middle ah the street with tires and thing and bus dehn can’t pass. Dehn had fig oh all round pahn the back street and the policeman come and can’t handle dehn and three trucks come in from Stann Creek, police, but when dehn get ya dehn nuh see nothing.”

Marion Ali, Reporting
Remnants of tires and tree branches that were set on fire were still visible when we got to the scene this morning. The villagers who supported Vulcan explained that they were upset by government’s decision.


Lloyd Andrewin

Lloyd Andrewin, Upset with G.O.B. decision

“I benefit from Vulcan, mein. Dehn da the only company weh gimme job so far.”


Shannon Welch

Shannon Welch, Upset with G.O.B. decision

“We need the job. We can’t eat the hill. The hill is going to be there for many years, people going to die and that hill still will be there. The Coastal Road project blowing already a lot of the hills and we get dust, we get everything and so far there is no one sick.”


Roland Tillett

Roland Tillett, Upset with G.O.B. decision

“Right now we wa do wa lee bit ah work, clean up.”


Marion Ali


Roland Tillett

“Thereafter we don’t know what’s going to be next.”
But there were villagers who agreed with the decision to disallow the company from proceeding with its plan.


Ken Myers

Ken Myers, Supports G.O.B. decision

“Bout thirty ah dem nuh agree. How thirty gwein gainst the whole village? You understand weh I di show unu? No project cannot be in Gales Point Malanti, right my people. If Vulcan seh deh love the people weh deh ya, unu plant potato and beans and mek the people dehn work.”


Denika Bowen

Denika Bowen, Supports G.O.B. decision

“I love the government’s decision. I jump hurray when I saw the government decision. I was waiting on this day because from this Vulcan thing come I da like No to Vulcan, no to Vulcan! I da wa tourism student. I realize the beauty weh I have da my village, that da why I gone study tourism. If Vulcan come and destroy the village and destroy the hills, weh future I wa have ya?”


Winfield Slusher

Winfield Slusher, Supports G.O.B. decision

“I eighty-six years old. I born and grow da Gales Point. I know about Hurricane Hattie. If they move the hills from there we have no more Gales Point because when the hurricane come the whole ah the hillside – no leaf, nothing dehn pahn the hillside – stop most ah the breeze from coming in and the water. So if they moving the hills from there, we have no more Gales Point.”


Edwin Bowen, Supports G.O.B. decision

“If dehn bruk down the hills and the reef and weh dehn di talk bout I  uh thin k ih wa mek no sense because ih wa mess up the reef, ih wa mess up the water and the hills and mess up fi we lagoon.”


Calvin Bailey

Calvin Bailey, Supports G.O.B. decision

“If you do a research on Vulcan, you’ll see what they left behind, you do a research on the same kinda work, ih really bad for your lungs and if the people check, we are not people who have insurance who can go to the doctor and (**) like that when we get sick.”

Still, there was the common concern over economic opportunities, but while the project supporters felt that Vulcan was their only hope, some said there are other opportunities.


Calvin Bailey

“We down here want work. We understand that the people dehn want work but when yoh look back, what about the tourism?”


Shannon Welch

“Government come in, change, government come in, but there is no action, just talking, talking, talking.”


Marion Ali

“Would you guys support the tourism plan?”


Shannon Welch

“Yeah, I would support the tourism plan, the reason why I would support it is because I want to see tourism rise.”


Edwin Bowen

“Mananti nuh got no job. Mananti need job fi we survive. We can’t live from just ground food and things like tha”


Winfield Slusher

“Dehn mi di live before Vulcan come and dehn nuh hungry but just because we seh we nuh want that, dehn wa seh dehn hungry. Right now dehn just di get wa money; how dehn live? Some ah dehn fishing, we do hunting, see we have farm. We could eat. Tourism, now we need the tourism.”


As for Vulcan Materials Company, which had put forth its intention to carry out the project, we got a comment from the company today. It reads “We believe that a sustainably developed and managed White Ridge Project could bring benefits to Gales Point Manatee, the surrounding area, and Belize as a whole. Our intention has always been to follow the transparent and detailed processes established in Belizean law for the study, consultation, and consideration of any investment project”.  Vulcan did not answer our question as to what its plan or next step is. Marion Ali for News Five.

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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