BACONGO TAKES ON TOWN AND VILLAGE COUNCIL STREET REPAIRS AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION!
Bacongo an NGO in Belize interested in seeing that the proper environmental studies are done on new projects. Have shifted their attention to public works street repairs by Village and town councils.
The issue first came to question, when the Village Council of Caye Caulker voted and approved after public meetings to repair beach street and the right of way, destroyed by Hurricane Fifi.
In an attempt to confuse and obscure the issue, last week Bacongo first charged that permits and studies were needed to be completed, treating the street repair public works project as a NEW VENTURE. Rather than a simple Village Council Beach Street Repair.
After being challenged as to the wording of their enquiries, based on announcements that this was a "beach reclamation project" (their words) and they wanted to see permits and studies and put it to a village vote. It turned out Bacongo is an NGO looking for something to make an issue of! They had all their information wrong and did not even know that the beach repair had already been voted on by the citizens of the village after much debating months ago. In fact the project has been a subject of contention for funding for 20 years since Hurricane Fifi with different Belmopan governments.
Sort of like interfering outsiders coming in to something, way after the fact. NGO's exist on GRANTS, so they have to find issues. The attempt to make the Beach Street and Right of Way repair an issue fell on deaf ears in Caye Caulker and opposition quickly mounted in the village and Bacongo backed off. Next they plaintively pointed out there should be studies about the source of sand used to repair the beach street and right of way on the East side of the village. This has already been studied to death by the local village experts and a course of action agreed upon. Of course the villagers, do not have a vested interest in making GRANT money off an issue and thus lack academic degrees, but did get some professional advice GRATIS, through the internet from USA certified Coastal Management people experienced in such seaside street repairs, in a verbal e-mail manner. This may not satisfy the NGO Bacongo who need bureaucratic paperwork to justify their GRANTS sources.
In the meantime, there are those who are politically street wise in Caye Caulker, wondering if Bacongo has influence over Belmopan; what will it be like, if Caye Caulker people take out court orders to similarly stop all street repairs in Belize City by the Belize City Council, if the truck loads of street repair materials do not have requisite environmental paperwork, the public works crews the appropriate permits for each and every hole and street washout and other studies to show investigative citizens and reporters, the streets that the Belize City Council wants to fix from various Government departments. The Belize City streets would quickly go to hell the next rainy season because of backlogged court cases, environmental studies and permit processes.
Caye Caulker people are highly vocal, intelligent and nowadays able to get to the mainland on an hours notice. Filing suit and stopping street repairs by the Belize City Council would take not much to get done. Pickets and blockages would follow. A heck of a way to run Public Works street repairs by any Council, be it Village or town in Belize.
The NGO Bacongo needs to pull in it's head. They are holding a Tiger by the tail when they mess with the Caye Caulker Village Council. Those stupid uneducated fishermen could easily show them how to fight cases in court. It would cost Bacongo big!
It is interesting to note that the health problems in Belize are different nowadays. Gone are the big killers, like malAria, diarhea, mysterious fevers and such, that used to be at the top of the list. The new health problems recent studies over the last ten years by the Health Department show that modernized living has changed the patterns. Most health problems are caused by the economic development and rising standard of living for most, but not all people.
The Number One killer is now traffic accidents.
The government is a partner in a new resort to be built at Punta Azul on Ambergris Caye. The whole resort is to have a huge 500 rooms. Feasability studies have been done and the financing is arranged, so says a Government Press Release.
One has to wonder, since Ambergris Caye and Punta Azul is extremely close to the clear lagoon shallow waters and Great Barrier Reef, how those feasability studies have outlined where the toilets are going to be flushed for 500 rooms? Septic tanks would not handle it, that is for sure. That is a large volume of people in a very sensitive area. How are they planning to handle urine and defecating matter, plus all that toilet paper and sanitary pads?
I would also wonder where all the garbage is going to be put? They would need a garbage dump system as big as San Pedro. Sounds like they would need their own incinerator compactor plant? Are they going to have one? Then there is water. Water shortage plagues most Caribbean islands. Ambergris Caye is no exception. Where will they put a desalination plant? Just curious, I'd like to see the plans for those problems. I think the rest can be handled.