Yesterday, residents of the Port Loyola and Yarborough communities had the opportunity to speak with representatives of Waterloo Investments Holdings Limited over the proposed Port of Belize Cruise and Cargo Expansion Project. The endeavor by Lord Ashcroft’s company has seen much opposition from the NGO community over environmental concerns. In an effort to discuss these concerns with residents the company held a public consultation meeting at the Port Loyola Cumberbatch Field. President emeritus of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), Tom Greenwood Sr., attended the consultation and spoke to Love News about the outcome.
Tom Greenwood Sr., President emeritus, FECTAB: “It was eventful in that the people of Port Loyola where it was held got to ask a number of very important questions concerning particularly how it would affect them in every single way possible financially being one of the big ones. Their fears about disadvantage that they may find themselves in and the presenters were quick to ensure that they told the people that this was a public project for the company of course and that they naturally would like to do everything in their power to ensure that the people of Port Loyola particularly benefited from this industry not just the greater picture of Belize. I don’t think that they covered adequately the subject of dredging and all that it was briefly mentioned but it is a touchy subject where the environment is concerned and more than just a touchy subject it’s a subject that’s fraught with a lot of worries, a lot of fears. The people attending seem to be saying well listen we hear a lot from people like yourselves who come with these big plans but we need to know the details, we need to know who we’re going to get affected, we need to know what is going to happen to the area once the port starts taking on cruise ships and I think the presenters tried hard to show them the benefits that they thought the people should enjoy. Well that’s left up to what happens and how the people control what happens to them in that area.”