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Editorial: November 3rd. 2019

Editorial:  November 3rd. 2019
November 01
14:26 2019

The Caye Caulker Town Council has the authority to apply to the Supreme Court of Belize for an injunction for a cease-and-desist order to halt any construction which it deems dangerous or undesirable to the island environment.

It is the Minister of Housing who holds ultimate responsibility for approving all construction in Belize. But if the islanders are not satisfied with the way the Ministry of Housing is exercising its authority, the Town Council has the right, indeed the responsibility, to take action through the Supreme Court.

The revelation last week by attorney at law Wendy Auxillou in the Reporter newspaper, that the island of Caye Caulker is sitting on top of a huge submerged cave has come as a stunning surprise to most Belizeans. It is a fair assumption that the Ministry of Housing was itself unaware of the submarine cave and its immense significance to the island’s geophysical safety and wellbeing.

If this information had been available to it, the Department of Housing and Planning would never have given approval for construction piles to be driven into ground which may be too fragile to support a five storey concrete structure.
There is an urgent need for the government and people to find out more about this underground cave and how seriously the people of Caye Caulker may be impacted by new construction.

The cave, which does not yet have a name, was discovered in 1981 by two Americans, Paul Heinworth and Chuck Hattel, and though there have been many diving expeditions to the cave, its exact size and shape have yet to be determined. Experienced divers say it could be the largest underwater cave in the world.

The Caye Caulker Cave is a well known destination in the world of scuba, but is not generally known outside of this esoteric circle of adventurers. All are agreed, however, that this is a treasure of immense importance for Caye Caulker and for the people of Belize.

The Belize Tourist Board and the Department of the Environment have not made any comment on the effect which pile-driving on the island might have. Reports say that the pile driving now in progress has been causing unusual vibrations. It is possible that the steady pounding could be causing fissures in the crust of earth over the cave.

If there are severe vibrations or even moderate vibrations, this is a red flag which must be heeded at once.

We believe that the people of Belize and others abroad would support an appeal for funds by the Caye Caulker Town Council if it needs money to pay for legal expenses.

Woman Power
The Reporter takes this opportunity to congratulate the women candidates of the United Democratic Party who are running for leadership positions at this week’s national convention.

We take our hat off to Mrs. Tracy Panton, who is running for the office of Deputy Party Leader.

We congratulate Mrs. Beverly Williams, who is running for the office of Second Deputy Party Leader and Dr. Carla Barnett, who is running for the office of Party Chairman.

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