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Official discuss flood mitigation project

Back in 2015 the Ministry of Works and the Belize City Council launched the Flood Mitigation Project. Today officials from the Ministry of Works, Ministry of Finance, NEMO, Department of Environment and Belize City Council conducted a tour of the various project sites undertaken under the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project. We caught up with Project Manager Fernando Chan on Juliet Soberanis Street in the Belama Phase One Area.

Fernando Chan – Project Manager

“The stretch here is 200 meters that was done but only the drains and the sidewalk, not the concrete pavement that was done the City Council. The side drain is only two feet wide by two feet deep. The slope is very minimum, water flows from the highway towards the creek, the only situation is that the drain only reaches up to Albert Hoy Street. I want to mention also that from the Ministry of Works we have a contract that just got signed to rehabilitate what we have the Phillip Goldson from Buttonwood Bay to Haul Over. The water flowing from the highway towards the Haul Over creek it will be very minimum. Yes we are avoiding flooding in this area but the stretch that is of concern now is from Albert Hoy street to Haul Over creek. We have under the Ministry of Works the poverty alleviation project which also entails the upgrading of existing canals and some areas have been lined. With our project let’s say joining the canal from North side from Haulover to the sea we saw it and it was 540 meters that was upgraded and then the existing section that was from 540 to 860 that is toward the sea that was only cleaned. So basically the water when it rises and when we have flooding the water will flow toward the sea. When we have high tide the water will flow toward the Haulover creek so it’s something that is designed to flow that way.

Also a part of the tour was Lionel Cutkelvin, the Operations Officer for the National Emergence Management Organization, NEMO. He told us what NEMO’s role is.

Lionel Cutkelvin – NEMO Operations Officer

“We’re not here to prevent flooding from happening in Belize, if there is excessive rain or extended period of rain in Belize we will have flooding but what this project does is minimize the effects. It allows water to run off more easily. There is an area in Belize where water becomes stagnant but with proper drainage systems it allows the water to flow out more easily and that is the case of this project.

Hipolito Novelo

“In terms of this tour again when you talk about the tour what exactly are you observing?”

Lionel Cutkelvin – NEMO Operations Officer

“We’re looking at all the projects that this project itself is a part of. As I mentioned we have this portion here on Cinderella Plaza, we have the Albert Hoy canals. In Belama Phase 3, we joined most of the canals either to the river or out to the sea, we cleared some of the canals that were congested in that area and we will probably see it after this. A lot of work was done in joining the drainage to the canal system to the river to the sea to ensure that we have better run off in terms of rain.

The team also visited Douglas Jones Canal, North Side Canal, Juliet Soberanis Street, Albert Hoy Park, D’ Nest Park, Albert Hoy Street, Link Road Street, Loop Road, Mahieas Canal, and Bill Lindo Canal.