REPORT #320 June 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

The Dangriga Town water supply came under danger from an overflow of upriver Citrus waste Leachate Ponds overflowing during early rainy season downpours. WASA the Water Authority for the town at the mouth of the river was told to switch to wells as a source of supply instead of the river. Lobster were fleeing the river and fish were dying. A bubble of decomposition went down river without oxygen and left marine species dead in it's wake. If there are not heavy government fines, I wonder why not? It will be time to see what happens next! You teach environmental responsibility by hitting the pocketbook.

The ID Bank gives a $22 million GRANT for Tourism Sector development. Every time I see a grant from this bank, it is usually followed by a huge more than $100 million's dollar loan from our Finance Minister in Belmopan. I wonder what the deal will be this time? Not that I'm not appreciative of the grant for the country, but it is a lot like BTL with it's minor gifts for the port town CREOLE crowd. They give out gifts to the townies to garner favorable publicity and screw the rural areas on lack of services and overcharging. Our Minister of Finance has shown no financial capability at all. All he knows how to do is borrow money abroad! "I stand corrected", to his credit, the arrangement of secondary mortgage sales in Barbados is his one claim to fame. The $1200 million national foreign debt is his other claim to the DUNCE cap! I wouldn't hire him to run a snorkeling trip to the barrier reef with tourists. I'd go broke in six months.

News from the small lobster fishing village island and tourist spot, one mile inside the Great Barrier Reef can be found at:

The highlights are here, as this is my home village and the paper is from my daughter! Hmmph! ( Proud Papa!) Villagers are going to centralize the government services, by bringing the Post Office to a location under the Health Clinic. The Health Clinic and Community Center is a concrete building on concrete posts, for survival in a tidal hurricane surge.

It seems Patty Arceo, the elected area representative is starting to produce some things for Caye Caulker. ( So far they are only promises! ) Patty lives on the nearby island of San Pedro, 15 miles along the great barrier reef. In a recent meeting she promised a Mazda pickup truck with a water pump and hoses as a fire truck. She says, she has got approval of a backhoe and tractor to be provided to the village. These are write-offs from the Ministry of Public Works, but the village should be able to maintain them and get use out of them for streets and the garbage dump. She is talking about providing the water osmosis treatment plant from neaby Caye Chapel ( a private island ) that is used for watering the golf course to the village of Caye Caulker. The membranes will have to be purchased and some slight changes to the system to provide water during the next dry season in January 2001. I had intended to give Patty Arceo a dig on the lack of production of the dredge for filling the beach street destroyed many years ago by Hurricane Fifi. This street has been promised so many times by different elected area representatives that it is a sad standing joke. However, Patty has come up with another twist to the joke. Because in 18 months she has not been able to do this street reclamation, the new news is, that TRACTO of Belize ( whoever they are ) run by Al Chanona is going to fill in about 3000 feet of the village beach street. It doesn't say what year though! The idea according to Al Chanona is to pump sand from the back bay to the front beach, so as not to mess up the reef, just a mile away. Additionally, the government has now decided to fill in the split.

The split is a cut through the island caused originally by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. I owned a 20 acre coconut plantation up the middle of the island and could still walk there after Hurricane Hattie. The cut was about 3 ft wide and 1 ft deep, that you waded across. It gradually got deeper and then another Area Representative had it dug out to provide a boat channel. Since I could no longer get to my cocal, I sold the plantation to an English Army Officer as an investment. He then sold me back a prime front beach piece on the high ridge for a house lot. I got the deed, built a pier and channel twisting through the mangroves and had them trimmed up about 15 ft to let the breezes come through. It was a pleasant place, but unable to walk there because of the boat cut, got neglected. I gave the house lot, to my daughter Sharon as a wedding present when she grew up. It is marked by four 3 high foot cement posts on the corners. The village still has not got that far north yet. But the next area representative Glen Godfrey in line, pulled some kind of scam. I'm not sure if it was personal, or for government. But before they built the island airstrip, the government nationalized the whole north end of the island, including my house lot. They then sold it off to other foreigners. Who made money and how much in this nefarious scheme I never found out? I complained, sent in a deed copy and so forth. My daughter took up the cause as this was, or is her lot now. Though the Lands Department in Belmopan said they had sold it off to a foreigner. Sharon is trying to get her lot back as it was prime beach high ridge land.

To make a long story shorter, the dredging is talking about filling in the cut as it is now 20 feet deep and a hundred yards wide and the island is losing a lot of land. Plus access to the north part for development is impossible. I think they should fill in the cut also. Sharon would be able to build on her lot if she can get it back and walk up there, like I used to in my youth.

The new Area Representative Patty Arceo says a new subdivision will be made on the north side after the filling up of the cut and 90 lots available. Unlike the past, government is going to charge a $500 up front fee and the eventual price of the lots will be $12,000. That makes me wonder if Sharon, my daughter will be able to get her lot back from the government seizure and re-sale to another foreigner. If not will they give her $12,500 , or another lot that is beach front and high land ( 8 feet above sea level ).

There was a rum tasting contest on the island at the Sandbox. 10 glasses were numbered and contestants had to identify the rums. The bartender during the contest was carried away unconscious half way through.

The lobster season opens and lobster fisherman are tending traps armed as usual for poachers who are almost as common as coconuts.

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