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Cayo residents concerned over dredging

Concerns have surfaced in the Cayo District, over dredging taking place in the Mount Pleasant area.  According to our Cayo Correspondent, Fem Cruz, a company headquartered in Belmopan has been digging in the Belize Old River which is compounding the problems for residents who are already having difficulties with the drought.  Here is our correspondent’s interview he did with spokesperson for the residents, Antonio Martinez.
Antonio Martinez, Resident’s spokesperson:  “Yeah we have to be concerned with this river because they are digging out the sand in this river and a lot of the mud and the water is murky and we can’t use it like that because it has a bad smell too.”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent:  How bad is this affecting not only you in Saturday Creek but the other people that live on the river banks especially More Tomorrow and those areas?
Antonio Martinez, Resident’s spokesperson: Well I think the same effect because the water is muddy and you can’t use it like that.”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: What is causing the water to be like that because it is dirty, what is the problem?
Antonio Martinez, Resident’s spokesperson: Well the problem is the excavating the river that is the problem.”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: Do you feel that it affects not just you that consume water here to drink and bathe and give the animals but we are in the peak of the dry, as a farmer living here for umpteen years how is this going to affect the river especially in this dry?
Antonio Martinez, Resident’s spokesperson: Well I think it’s a long dry season and we shouldn’t be digging that much in the river because at one time they used to dig from the back but now they’re excavating the river.”
Our Cayo Correspondent, Fem Cruz, followed the story and spoke with the owner of Belmopan Sand and Gravel, Frank Blatts, that is carrying out the digging of the river.  According to Blatts, he heard the story on Love News and met with the residents, offering them a vat and a water truck to supply their water needs until the digging is completed.  The company reportedly digs for the sand and gravel they stock.  This is reportedly being done with a permit from the Department of the Environment.  The problems for the residents arose due to the dry season and drought affecting the conditions of the water.

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