Cabinet establishes task force to address forest fire issue
And, the increase in forest fires is also a concern for the government due to the harmful effect they pose on the country’s air quality. The flames are creating a blanket of smoke over communities in the west and residents say it is affecting their breathing. Prime Minister, John Briceno, says that in order to address the issue Cabinet has established a task force.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “It’s a combination of things. One, Santander has thousands of acres of land and of cane and so when they would burn the field it creates the smoke but also there’s been forest fires, there have been a lot of forest fires it’s been very dry and so people when they try to clean their land for agriculture and they burn the excess, the debris from cleaning out many instances they’re not careful enough and then that gets away from them and then we have these forest fires. So it’s a combination and yes the ministry is concerned, the Ministry of Health and I think they said they’re going to be going out into the area to try to see how bad it is, what can be done, what advice we can but we have set up a task force with Minister Espat, the Minister of Environment Landy Habet, the Minister of Health and Minister of Agriculture Minister Mai they have set up a small task force to take a first hand look at this and to see what recommendations we can do to prevent this now and also from future occurrences.”