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Belize: TOO MUCH TOURISM BRINGS PROBLEMS-Colin Hyde Opinion

It would turn one’s stomach if one were to imagine what’s inside the belly of those floating beasts, those bilges filled with water contaminated with oils and lubricants and spilled diesel and detergents and soap, and waste from people. Squeamish isn’t always good because on some matters you can’t play the ostrich. We have to know that there is effective monitoring of those massive ships, these floating towns with 2,3,4,5 thousand people on board. We need to make sure that the waste on those ships stays on those ships, not leak into our waters.

How does Harvest Caye handle the load? Those little cayes weren’t made for that quantity of traffic. Are Placencia and Seine Bight safe from the toxins and the algal blooms that result from effluent, liquid waste that is dumped (or seep) into the sea?

This Stake Bank development, will it be standard practice that tourists do their bathroom business on board ship, before they come on shore? What will happen to Belize City and the surrounding cayes and reefs if the sewer system on that Stake Bank isn’t 100% efficient?

I am told that in the early part of the 20th century, “bathing kraals” were common on the shores of Belize City. We are in the holiday months of July and August. You bet the children in PG, Dangriga, and Corozal Town, are bathing in the sea in front of those sparsely populated towns. On any given day the sea in front of Belize City should be dotted with a thousand joyful little heads, frolicking in pristine waters.

The BWS website explains that treatment of waste water in Belize City is “provided by a two-cell facultative lagoon system and the treated effluent is discharged into the Caribbean Sea via canals cut through a mangrove wetland. The lagoon cells operate in series and are designed to provide 10 days hydraulic retention time in each. The system presently serves some 37,500 consumers and treats about 1,500,000 gallons of sewage per day.”

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