Natural Resources Minister discusses dredging in Caye Caulker
Residents of Caye Caulker sounded the alarm recently over reports that a water taxi company began a dredging exercise. The reports suggest that this company did this without the consent of the Ministry of Natural Resources and instead of using what was collected for the community, it was sold to a resort. Following the report, the Mining Department of that Ministry had to intervene and stop the project. Minister Cordel Hyde was asked about this in a recent press encounter.
Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources: “I just recently got an update on that. Our mining people are saying that the San Pedro Water Taxi, I don’t know the correct name, they usually dredge in and about where they operate in Caye Caulker and they usually would provide those materials and spoils to the village council for them to use how they see fit. Along the way I think somewhere last year these folks may have discovered that maybe they can do some cost recovery because of course dredging costs and I believe they may have sold three our four loads of materials to this resort that you’re talking but once our people at the mining unit found out they stepped on it and they insisted that they cease and desist from that.”
He was also asked about whether the residents of the island village were consulted. Here’s his response.
Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources: “As I understand it this is not the first time. You know you have buildup in these areas, these boats have to go in so there are some areas where you do dredging annually to make sure you clean the area, deepen the water and make sure you have clear passage. My sense is, at least the report I got, is that they’ve done this before, the village council there got the material used it as they see fit for the village. In this particular instance what was different is that the material was being shipped to some resort somewhere off in Turneffe. Once our mining unit was made aware of it then we stepped on it.”