Since 2010, the Belize Municipal Development Project has been in the pipeline. It’s really a multi-million-dollar project that will give seven municipal communities facelifts through a loan from the World Bank. Today, the Social Investment Fund, which is overseeing the project, held a workshop looking at lines of communication over the project. Director of Public Relations for the Social Investment Fund, Mike Hernandez, said that the idea is really to come up with a way in which to communicate with the public in these communities what the project in their areas will entail and how it will affect their lives.
MIKE HERNANDEZ, Director of Public Relations (Social Investment Fund)
“The project aims basically to provide and enhance basic municipal infrastructure in selected town councils and city councils. Namely Benque Viejo del Carmen, San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Orange walk, Corozal but San Pedro and Belize City are actually not included as part of the infrastructure project. They are actually included in other projects that are being implemented separately from the BMDP and the BMDP is concerned with. For example, street enhancement in the case of Dangriga for example we are improving and expanding the market in the case of Punta Gorda we are rehabilitating the administrative offices at the Town Council. Under the other aspects of the projects in other municipalities we’ll be looking at the repairs of streets. In Belmopan for example we have done a pilot project, very soon we will be undertaking the pavements on the street along the bus terminal and so this project basically is looking at ways to effectively inform the public as to what is it the project aims to accomplish. Bare in mind as I said we have already, through our own public relations office at SIF, we have been informing the people but we want to look as at what is it we are doing. Bare in mind that a lot of these changes will have some impact on people. For example in the case of Belmopan there will be some inconveniences perhaps to the taxi drivers. In the case of Dangriga for example the market vendors had to be relocated. So we want them to be fully informed as to what it is this project will do. Hopefully at the end of the day we want to come up with a communication strategy to effectively inform the general public as to what the BMDP is all about.”
One area which the Municipal Development Project will impact is the nation’s capital, Belmopan. That city’s Administrator, Ismael “Miley” Garcia, told Love News that the taxi stand in the centre of the community will see a significant upgrade.
ISMASEL GARCIA, City Administrator
“The first part of the project will be the paving of the bus terminal area in Belmopan and that is going to impact on taxi vendors and a few food venders. So we have brought taxi men here today so they can find out what is going to happen with the project, how the project is going to evolve, how they can interact with us as the project develops so that at the end of the day they can all benefit from the project and that they are not really affected, their business is not affected by this project negatively. What you see when you go to Belmopan bus terminal area is a little bit of chaos right now. We have an overcrowding of taxis and the street is really broken up badly. For people who come to drop off and pick up people at the bus terminal it’s really a nightmare and i think with this project enhancement its really going to make the area look nice, there is going to be a provision for more safety for pedestrians, there is going to be a more orderly distribution of taxis and a more easier access for people dropping off and picking up people at the bus terminal. So if you do come on stream we continue living in a fairly chaotic situation. The bus terminal, the way it is going to be fix now, I think there’s going to be a queuing system for the cars and proper pedestrian – as you know you can’t just shift the center of town so easily. Three main commercial banks are in the center of Belmopan and therefore this paving I think will definitely assist us as the council to put more order. As like am saying a fairly chaotic situation, taxi piling up over on one another, people coming to drop off passengers, honking of horns and lot of noise pollution in the area. So yes, it does make provision for that and it also make provision for the business people in the area who are finding themselves with no place to park because of the overcrowding and over congestion with the taxis.”
The loan to carry out the project is for thirty million dollars and comes from the World Bank.<< Read other news