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Outsiders causing problems for villagers

Vice-Chairperson of Barranco Village Council, Beatrice Mariano was in Belmopan yesterday. Mariano was part of the group that met with representatives from the Forestry Department over logging concessions. Mariano said villagers are faced with a number of problems, including the roads that are in a deplorable condition.

Beatrice Mariano, Vice Chairperson, Barranco Village: “It’s pretty bad and you know and we keep complaining, government will just send Ministry of Works they just would scrape the road. If anybody comes in they would see all the pile of materials on the edges, you know the road is not upgraded as it should be so when it rains as it will soon all that water will settle in the middle of the road and it will be back to how it is and also because then these trucks don’t stop going out with the log. The way the bus goes there are times you have to call, they have to wait there the bus man, there are huge craters in the road you know and it’s not just the market bus, it’s the school bus. The road is so bad the school bus refuse to come in and bring back Barranco children, children have to walk getting home at night because you do have a school bus that leaves here at five in the morning but now it’s like 4:30 because of the road condition. In order for the bus to get out in time they have to leave the village earlier now because the bus has to take its time going out on the road. I recall approaching loggers who were here about ten years ago, these were from Boom Creek and I asked them what you can do to help us with road. He said ma’am we can’t touch the road, we already asked and the government says that’s their duty so we can’t touch the road I said because you all are contributing to this mess, He said” we are aware ma’am” that was his response to me but he says the government doesn’t allow them to touch the road. I don’t understand why if a logger is willing because I believe they should assist with the road they are aware of the mess that they are making and how it affects the villagers.”

Mariano added that Guatemalan fishermen have been a threat to fisherfolks in the village.  She said fisher folks in the village are now taking steps to manage their waters.

Beatrice Mariano, Vice Chairperson, Barranco Village: “As of recent our guides decided to come together and form a fishing coop so with the help of a team and Tide you know they have been liaising with the Fisheries Department to try to set up a management area so they will be in charge and responsible to be around here and because of the base now at the Sarstoon you know the Guatemalans coming over have slowed down a bit.”