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BEL hosts its annual Safety and Health Open Day

The Belize Electricity Limited held its annual open day today. Reporter Stinah Blease stopped by and has the story.

Sitnah Blease: “Striving to create a culture of safety and security for all citizens the Belize Electricity Limited hosted its fourth Safety and Health Open Day.

The event featured a variety of organizations showcasing different ways to be safe and healthy. Rowell Villanueva the Superintendent of Safety Health and environment explained the significance of Open Day.”

Rowell Villanueva: This year our team is creating a culture of safety and awareness for all and we are focusing on public awareness to have the public be more informed of some of the hazards of some of our electoral services. We have invited schools from Belize Rural, from Hattieville, from the Ladyville area. We have had schools from Belize City brought out here with us, we have the BEL booths, the interactive personal protective equipment, how the men protect themselves while they are working on the power lines, we have interactive and electrical do’s and don’ts, we have the road safety initiative, we have the Belize Audubon Society on environment, the Kidney Association of Belize and we also have the National Fire Service. This is our hazard handler, this is interactive for us to discuss with children do’s and don’ts of electricity, how to protect themselves.  For instance we have the kite flying. We have a poster explaining to them when they are building their kites to use plastic or wood, non metallic material to use thread and not to use metallic lines so that if the Kite should come in contact with our lines they are protected. We also tell them not to fly kites in areas where power lines are available, to fly them in open areas.”

Sitnah Blease: Several Organizations such as the department of the environment, Belize Audubon Society and the Kidney Association of Belize were in attendance. They spoke about the safety and the health factors their organizations have been promoting in Belize.

Speaker 1: “We are here today with BEL to speak about the whole phasing out of plastic and styrofoam containers and the phase out really is targeting single use containers that we use for food so for example the styrofoam and plastic cups so the plates, the forks, spoons, knives as well as shopping bags like the what we call Tshirts bags that we get when we go to the shop. Basically in March of this year government announced that they are going to phase out these products and what we are trying to encourage or promote the use either reusable products that can replace the items or biodegradable products. We more encourage the reusable ones because those are products for example like the regular plates: China or ceramic plates or the hard plastic containers that you can use to store your food and those are better than the biodegradable because biodegradable you use it one time and you throw it away so you still create garbage. The reusable products you can use over and over again. We are just raising general awareness about what we do, who we are, where we work and we are just here today representing the health of the environment raising awareness on plastic pollution and proper waste management in Belize and you know just for the general protection of the environment. Belize Audubon society turns 50 next year so we are one of the longest running conservation NGOs in Belize. We work in seven protected areas across the country so behind me you will see a map of that. We have St. Herman’s blue hole national Park, Half Moon Caye National monument, Blue Hole Natural Monument, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, those are just a few of the areas that we work in. We do environmental education, biodiversity research and monitoring and community outreach as well as protected area management.”

Speaker 2: “The Kidney Association of Belize is a non profitable and non governmental organization who try to assist Kidney patients. So from end stage renal failure, we assist them in getting dialysis and we are also doing education and awareness and that is the purpose of us being here today to bring educational awareness to the general public. We know that persons started being diagnosed with renal failure like every week. One of the signs that people should look for is the urine, they should be aware of the color of the urine. You know yourself, you know you have to look at the urine. The urine should be clear, once you know that the urine has changed color then that brings a sign to you, also the other sign would be that your body will start to get as well also there will be nausea and vomiting, that will be so when the person is diagnosed at stage 4 and 5. We also recommend that persons that are suffering from Diabetes or Hypertension check with the doctors regularly because those are the two main causes of renal failure.”

Sitnah Blease:BEL Health and Safety Open Day coincides with the company hosting its Health and Safety week which has been ongoing since 2001. Reporting for Love News I am Sitnah Blease.”