In an interview with Express on Tuesday, Maracas/Santa Margarita People’s National Movement councillor Martin Gonzales said any attempts to construct the dam would be opposed.
Gonzales said: “The dam is expected to cover an estimated 40 to 50 acres of land which include cocoa estates. We are extremely concerned about the environmental impact of the works.
We are looking at 24 families being relocated. This is totally unacceptable. There is no justification for the construction of such a dam and the impact it would have on the community.”
Gonzales said concerns were raised with ECL about the impact the dam would have on the Maracas Waterfall.
“We were told that after the dam is built a highway will be constructed for people to access the waterfall.
This sounds very unrealistic. We are speaking about several millions of dollars. When is this project going to be completed?” Gonzales asked.
According to Gonzales, the idea of the highway being built only came up after residents informed ECL that the route to the Maracas Waterfall would be affected by the construction of the dam.
“The impact the dam would have on the waterfall was not included in any of the mitigation measures. The Maracas Waterfall is a natural wonder of the world. The construction of the dam will destroy the access to the waterfall. At this point in time Waterfall Road is the only access route to the waterfall. Tourism is the future of our country and we need to learn to think ahead and not only count on the natural resources of oil and gas. These proposed plans are going to destroy a major tourism site,” Gonzales said.