Residents of San Antonio Village, Toledo District gathered in protest on Sunday afternoon, in front of the Isabel Palma Polyclinic. The residents were up in arms over the way the clinic was disposing of its harmful waste. Toledo Correspondent, Paul Mahung, spoke with some of the concerned residents and filed this report.
Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: A protest against irresponsible disposal of hazardous medical waste and other garbage materials was held in San Antonio Village Toledo. Sunday afternoon’s protest was held in front of the village’s poly clinic where one of the protesters, Aurora Coc spoke to Love News.
Aurora Coc, Protester: “We are here to express our concerns about the garbage burning here at the San Antonio Polyclinic. This has been happening for quite a while know you know even before I started to bring it out on social media which was April. Every time I had the opportunity to get the scene of the burning and the truck coming in I have always been trying my best to address the situation but it has fallen on deaf ears. So this time here I am pleading to government or Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment to really look into this serious situation. Recently I had a patient at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for over a month, she recently returned just two days ago after having this very serious complication of respiratory problem. Well we know now that everybody would be looking at it as something being taken for granted but it’s a very serious issue and it is not only affecting us here in the neighborhood it is reaching everybody even those in San Antonio.”
Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: In additional remarks Coc alleged that the burning of such hazardous medical waste was done previously for over a year on the ground and over another year in the current hole in use. Village Alcalde Sylvino Salam, who remains concerned and was present in support of the cause of the protest also spoke to Love News.
Sylvino Salam, San Antonio Village Alcalde: “I think this throwing of garbage inside San Antonio is totally disrespectful of our community and moreover I want this thing to stop immediately and for the authority to look into it and do something against this.”
Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: Have you had the chance to talk to the authorities here in San Antonio?
Sylvino Salam, San Antonio Village Alcalde: “Yes. Last year we met with the administrator and we brought this concern to the table and all she said is that she’s going to look into the matter and send a memo to Belmopan but however there is still no answer and no feedback again.”
Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: The placards carried during the protest by especially those affected by the medical waste disposal clearly indicated that they are fed up with the situation in their neighborhood and called on all relevant Ministry of Health authorities to address and put to halt the unhealthy and unacceptable practice of burning and disposing hazardous medical waste in a hole a short distance behind the village’s poly clinic. Love News here contacted relevant health authorities in Toledo who commented that they are not authorized to make any remarks.