Thursday, 19 September 2013

Over flooded streets in Northern Corozal

After days of rain in Belize a northern part of Corozal has been flooded here is the story. This particular situation hits me personally since I have so many friends in the beautiful villages of Sarteneja, Chunox, Copper Bank, Progresso, Consejo and other surrounding villages. These are the most humble, peaceful and hardest working people, I have run across in Belize. As Editor of the Corozal Daily, I stand firm in solidarity with them as I feel their pain. It is sad and a crying shame that at a time of Belizean Patriotism/Nationalism, as we comfortably celebrate and rejoice at home our Independence Day Celebrations that for the past months, these villagers and residents have been enduring much pain and suffering in silence.
Their road condition is farthest, the worse. In some areas deep ravines have carved themselves out on the road making traffic impassable and unbearable. Water is as high as 2 feet and more in some areas.
This falls nothing short of the oppression, marginalization and malignity against those that don’t seem to have a voice. It is social injustice and travesty by those that don’t give a damn and those that do not stand up for them. These villagers are tired and have had enough of not being able to make it to their work or just the simplest task of getting their children to school on a daily basis makes it unbearable. This is utterly troubling my friends and I don’t buy the Ministry of Work’s explanation that they have nothing to do with the road project. They have everything to do with it as the overall responsibility of this project lies in the hands of the CEO of the Ministry of Works and the Supervising Engineer is the Ministry of Works, so they are directly responsible for the good governance of this project. Yesterday, the contractor Bella Vista Development/Lopez Equipment Co. Ltd. via a Joint Venture spokesperson stated to the media that the project had been suspended. We ask why since it never got underway?
Belizeans are becoming intolerant of being fooled and everything seemingly being pictured as honky-dory when it is not. It is no longer business as usual. We are tired of the ball always being shuffled around and around when controversy arises in these issues. The poor people in these areas have had it and paying a high price on these games of chance played by both political parties. I am sick of it and WE all are sick of the schisms. In July 2011 a multi-million dollar contract had been signed by the contractor. The work was to commence November 21, 2011 and ended 18 months later on May 21, 2013. This is the second time that the project would seem to have been suspended after 5 years. The first time was on this Government’s first term in office in 2008 when the funds were diverted to Albert Street in Belize City. Is this punishment for the hardworking people of the north, particularly Corozal? Why? The current funds were said to have been allocated under the European Union’s AMS 2008 Sugar Belt Road Rehabilitation Project-Phase 2, which would have seen the paving of the 16 miles of road from the Orange Walk San Estevan Bridge to the village of Progresso in the Corozal District. Where are those funds today?.. Certainly not on the ground and we want to know where is this money? The road project is certainly a key role in the development and growth of the Tourism Industry in these areas but most important for cane farmers and agro business who use this stretch of the road especially during the crop season.
The condition of streets and roads in general has deteriorated in our beautiful Corozal District but even a greater problem has emerged now, due to the past 12 days of continuous rain and flooding. A more striking thought is the noxious spillage of garbage from the dump taking place right along the Consejo Road. For the record, we respectfully draw the immediate and urgent attention to the Ministers and Area Representatives responsible due to a continuing health and safety problems between Corozal Town and Consejo. The road of some 8 miles length is constructed of compacted white marl which is failing to withstand the heavy traffic it now carries. The road invariably floods in the rainy season making it almost impassable. Along the main road at approximately Mile 3.9 lies the Corozal Waste Dump, which is now posing serious health and environmental hazards to the Consejo Communities.
The Corozal Daily takes the liberty today on the eve of our independence day, that as we celebrate we also address these pressing and human issues at a turning point in the way forward for this community. We ask the local chapter of the Corozal Belize Tourism Industry Association, Ministers of Works, Health, Minister of Tourism, Labour, Natural Resources and all Area Representatives of Corozal to draw appropriate attention to these urgent problems facing a community of Belize which honours fully its obligations to the State with no less wish than to see our “Jewel” shine as it should. God Bless the people of Corozal. God Bless Belize.


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