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Jul 29, 2009

What’s next for Belize City’s Krooman Lagoon?

Story PicturePortions of the Krooman Lagoon Reserve were parceled off and granted to a Belize City Businessman. The Lagoon is one point five kilometers square and five hundred meters wide at its widest point. It still sits snug by its borders of the Western Highway, Crewman Lane, Faber’s Road and Antelope Street Extension. On Tuesday Cabinet decided it will put back the reserve into the hands of the people who live in the area. The owner of Xtra House, Jitendra Chawla, who paid for nine point three acres will be compensated for his investment. But in an area where housing is needed, how will the government retain the reserve as an important catchment basin for water? That’s what we tried to find out from the P.M. today.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“There was a role that was contractually designed between government and the funders of the project, a role that was contractually designed for Krooman Lagoon and the entire area. What was done when the Ministry of Natural resources gave certain assurances to jack Charles was not just done in ignorance of details of that project. Because that project has contractual status, this Cabinet, this government, will not have the ministry continue in a way that would violate our obligations to the funding agencies under the project. That’s number one. Number two; whatever can be done with the lagoon and the surrounding areas that is consistent with the larger objective of the South Side Poverty Alleviation Project as it relates to the lagoon and to Collet will be done. There is a network of canals still to be built which will then assist with drainage for Collet, Port Loyola and for Independence. So whatever we will do with the area that’s been filled must be consistent with both those objectives. No question of the ecological balance in the area and one thing, that area to be some kind of nature reserve and secondly, with the need for engineering integrity and the preservation of the sort of hydrological functionality of the Krooman Lagoon.”

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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