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Jan 20, 2023

Developer and Villagers Cooperate to Solve Water Contamination Issues

Oftentimes, development brings problems, especially when there’s miscommunication involved and it leads to actions that need to be corrected. Such is the case in Alta Vista Village, Stann Creek. It happened when workmen for an investor in the village dug out an area on a hill so close to a dam that when it rains, the villagers who feed off the dam are inconvenienced by acutely discoloured water. The investor in this case sought to reverse the error as soon as he was made aware of it, but it will be a while longer before the fifteen families affected will be able to enjoy clean water again from their dam source. News Five’s Marion Ali went to Alta Vista today to find out what went wrong. Here’s that story.


Marion Ali, Reporting
This is how the water at the dam in Alta Vista looked today when we visited. It can look just like this coming out of the taps of the fifteen families connected to that source just after a heavy rain, when filtration is poor and the dam needs cleaning. Lucrecia Castellanos’ family is one of those affected.


Lucrecia Castellanos

Lucrecia Castellanos, Affected by Contaminated Water Source

“Fi the past months, the water muddy, like real red. And within this time we can’t even drink the water. We can’t wash with the water. If we have to do laundry, it wudda be like – especially with the rain, we full we drum soh we could wash.”


Chairman of the Alta Vista Water Board, Luis Tut, told News Five that workmen for the investor, David LaQua, had dug too close to a dam and that created the problem.


Luis Tut

Luis Tut, Chairman, Alta Vista Water Board

“The main issue was a drain that was dug up the road. He wasn’t aware until weeks later cause he is in the U.S., right. He just hire people to come do work. They do their thing and they did something that was over what he expected, right, so as he found out about the drain, he immediately within that twenty-four hours the drain was all covered up again. The vision I have which collectively everyone is working to make happen to come together is to come have a nice peaceful lunch and be eating the fruits and vegetables from the land around you and taking a hike through the creek and viewing the teak trees which are growing as we speak.”


We could not get a hold of LaQua today, but based on a mini-documentary he did on his LaQua Plantations project, he settled in Alta Vista in 2006 and has been sustainably developing his land since then.  Tut says that the village leaders and water board held a meeting with LaQua on Thursday night and he pledged to correct the problem.


Luis Tut

“Last night’s agreement was basically that he already has provided material to build a platform over the hill to provide water to the village. We’re still in the process of working with the filtration and everything.”


Marion Ali

“So that will be a permanent fix to what has happened?”


Luis Tut

“Permanent, not yet. It’s something temporary because we’ll still be using the dam up the hill that is on his land, so we’ll still be getting water from there. All so we’re going to do is just filter into the tanks and feed to the village.”


Tut says that LaQua has also paid to clean the dam as well. The cleaning, however, is something that needs to be done often since the digging uphill occurred. The rest of the families in Alta Vista are not impacted by the digging because they are connected to the government’s rudimentary water system. Marion Ali for News Five.


On January twelfth, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Orlando Habet told News Five that the Department of Environment issued a stop order to the development until the problem is sorted out.

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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