The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) has written to the Department of the Environment (DOE) asking for intervention in a matter of environmental urgency by ordering the San Pedro Town Council to stop using toxic waste for land and street fill.
The letter, dated March 10th and addressed to Chief Environmental Officer (CEO) in the DOE, Martin Alegria, explained that a study conducted on and around the island by Dr. Marisa Tellez, Ph.D in Biology from UCLA recently confirmed that the island is at the tipping point of an environmental crisis.
Tellez, who is also a crocodilian parasitologist, has submitted her findings to the DOE and the Fisheries Department, according to VIP. These should be given serious consideration. The VIP has called on heads of the department to visit the island and see first hand the effects of the hazardous practice.
The VIP has called on all citizens, not just residents of San Pedro, to unite to reverse the effects of the environmental devastation and restore the eco-system as an integral part of Belize’s tourism sustainable development.
The VIP said it became alarmed by San Pedro Mayor, Daniel Guerrero’s recent comments that the Council would continue the practice of using garbage as fill for land and roads in the wetlands, despite the fact that Tellez’ study has indicated this practice may be directly linked to the increased levels of lead, arsenic and mercury in the water and marine-life in the area.
According to the study, large and small appliances, fiber-glass, non-biodegradable products and contaminants are all included in the garbage being used as fill. Tellez and other experts have recommended that this practice be done away with.
The VIP said it is a matter of health and public safety and is awaiting a response from the DOE.