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DOE reports improvement in the New River

The Department of Environment is now progressing into their next stage to heal the New River. The river has been in a terrible state releasing a strong stench and the water quality has been poor. This raised concerns for health officials and residents who use and live near the river. The DOE has since then, set up aerators for a quick fix to the New River. After about a week of these aerators being active the Department has reported improvement in river conditions. During today’s press brief Dr Omar Figueroa, Minister of Environment, noted that other pollutants from our logging days in Belize are contributors to the problem the river faces today.

Hon. Dr.Omar Figueroa, Minister of Environment: “We don’t have any data for the New River and so one of the first things we are embarking upon is getting a full scale bathymetric study of the entire river bed, we need to understand the sediments that have accumulated there over the past 30,40,50 years. As we do our research we begin to understand that way from the times that we had men cutting log wood in vast quantities they used to coat the log wood with aldrin and so all those chemicals are somewhere along the sediment of the New River. Where we might need to go in and dredge in certain key spots but the bathymetric study will allow us to better understand that, better understand where the sediments are that we need to dredge but we need to also understand what the sediment composition is before we even try to touch it and I’m not saying we will dredge, chances are we probably won’t need to dredge it might be too risky but what I’m trying to say is we are approaching this problem comprehensively, systematically to try to understand the key causes of pollution and then we will tackle that going forward.”

DOE, in a press release issued today, has been monitoring the water quality and hydrogen sulfide twice a day. They have also noted a decrease in hydrogen sulfide and some improvements in water quality.