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FCD Continues to Monitor the Quality of Water Ways in the Chiquibul

The organization, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) continues to monitor the quality of water in the Chiquibul Forest. The watersheds of the Chiquibul provide more than forty-percent of the nation’s population with water so outrage sparked when it was reported that activities conducted by Boiton Minerals was suspected to have affected the water quality. FCD Executive Director Rafael Manzanero says his team continues to carry out monitoring test but the task is easier said than done.

Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD:  “Apart from doing macro inverts we just started to do the water quality in terms of looking at the physical and the chemical attributes of those water resources in the head waters. That has been supported by the Belize Nature Conservation Foundation which is based here in Belize and we had also started a small project under the Germans with the water quality testing on the Mopan River which was a transboundary also activity with Belizean and Guatemalan counterparts. So that was a short program but this one that we have started in the Chiquibul should go for the long haul. We realized that establishing a baseline is just the beginning and so that I would want to expect that will continue on. The repository of all of that data will be the Department of Environment.”

Reporter: Okay so is there any preliminary data in terms of the quality of the water there ?

Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD: “In terms of this first baseline we are just about to make the first analysis although it cannot be taken also for granted as a final result because like what I said water quality testing is quite a complicated one. To establish a baseline is important and really to see the context and the conditions of a river it cannot be done only in one collection of data it has to be established well the methodology and the protocols and then really to sustain that over a tight period. What I can tell you is that based on the macro inverts that was used as a key indicator for water quality that’s only one of the indicators away from physical and chemical. We have done three studies on macro inverts across in the Chiquibul forest which is over twenty two transects and spots we have done so that has been covered over a period of six years and what we started to observe was that a higher concentration of pollutant resistant microbes were started to be documented in the southern part of the Chiquibul. But that’s only one of the indicators. I think the chemical and the physical attributes will be able to tell us more in terms of the quality of the water resources in the Chiquibul over a time period.