Residents of Placencia Village are concerned over a case of rapid erosion taking place near the main road. In recent interviews, it was indicated that if a strong storm would hit, chances are that the residents would be stranded. It was also brought to our attention that the erosion is being caused by the clearing of trees and mangroves by a land developer who recently acquired the land. Minister of Natural Resources, Hugo Patt spoke to Love News responded to us on the issues.
Hugo Patt – Minister of Natural Resources: “A report was made to us indeed, I think the Ministry of the Environment was called to that particular situation whereby a particular issue came up with mangroves that were being cleared and so we were informed of that particular incident and we did some quick checks on it but as we speak it does not reveal that there is any particular ownership to that parcel of land. Bear in mind that under the law there would have to be an above of 66 ft and so we are looking at what the distance would be but just from an initial standpoint I can tell you that everything indicates that the land is still government land and there has been no kind of application or any kind of approval issued by us.”
Renee Trujillo: “Now while that is from a land perspective there is also the environmental aspect of it which concerns residence. Is there something that perhaps you have alerted other technocrats in the Department to basically look into?”
Hugo Patt – Minister of Natural Resources: As far as we know this has been reported to the Ministry of Environment. I know that they took action in terms of penalties, in terms of convictions, they have a process which they actually manage and so I think it would be more prudent for you guys to speak to the people from the Environment, for you guys to get the knowledge of what kinds of actions will be taken or if in the eventuality if there will be any court action taken against this particular individual.”
Rene Trujillo: “Now what are the aspects of works? I know you said that you have notified the environment but have you notified Works in terms of perhaps setting some sort of barrier to protect the infrastructure there?”
Hugo Patt – Minister of Natural Resources: “Most definitely, I think the issue of erosion and this is not only Placencia. We are looking at a large portion of beach land that we had leading south that really the erosion is out of control and so this is an issue that we will take seriously and I am sure that the ministries will join forces to ensure that whatever damage was done we can reassess and we can control.”
The residents held a small protest this morning on the peninsula.