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Jul 19, 2012

SIF prepares for infrastructural works in Municipal Development

An initiative known as the Belize Municipal Development Project is being financed through a thirty million dollar loan by the World Bank. The Social Investment Fund is responsible for implementing different infrastructure projects in the towns of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Belmopan, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Orange Walk and Corozal.  During implementation, it is expected that traffic will be disrupted and market vendors will be displaced. So today the SIF held a workshop to discuss how they will be working around the hiccups. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Social Investment Fund through its Project Implementation Unit is tasked with implementing the Belize Municipal Development Project; which is aimed at providing and enhancing infrastructure in six of the municipalities. Some of these million dollar initiatives have already started says, Mike Hernandez of SIF.

 

Mike Hernandez

Mike Hernandez, Director P.R., SIF

“In general I can tell you that we are moving on schedule. We have done project launchings in Punta Gorda, Dangriga. We have signed contracts for the renovations of the streets in Belmopan and we have invited bids for other contracts. In grand total, I believe it’s roughly about five point seven million dollars worth of contracts and other projects that are already in the pipeline; when I say pipeline, I mean contracts that are about to be signed.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So a number of these projects will be running simultaneously around the country?”

 

Mike Hernandez

“Yes. Yes.”

 

The projects are expected to impact primarily people who access these spaces and service providers of the respective municipalities.

 

Mike Hernandez

“The project entails enhancing infrastructure, so there will obviously be changes, as in the case of Punta Gorda where they are rehabilitating the administrative offices and town council building. In the case of Dangriga for example, we will be rehabilitating and expanding the market, so you could appreciate that these projects will obviously create some level of inconveniences because vendors, for example in Belmopan we will be addressing the whole street infrastructure around the Belmopan market so it will affect people like the vendors and taxi drivers.”

 

And for that reason, Hernandez says that it is important for there to be clear communication among all stakeholders.

 

Mike Hernandez

“It is important for them to understand what the project is all about. It is important for us to keep them informed and listen from them, see and listen what they have to say, what their concerns and so what we are doing basically this morning is to bring together over forty people from the participating town councils. We have for example, taxi drivers, vendors, administrative staff from the town councils and also the Mayor of PG; whereby we come together and look at what we are doing as a team and how effective are we informing the public. Basically to come up with what we have termed an effective communication strategy and will come up with a guideline, you know, to use it back and forth.”

 

A written document, which it is hoped will help to inform successive projects, is expected to be produced from this work-shop. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

While San Pedro Town and Belize City weren’t listed under the infrastructural projects, the two municipalities are a part of the project’s capacity building initiative.

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1 Response for “SIF prepares for infrastructural works in Municipal Development”

  1. Storm says:

    I pray that this NEW DEBT will be used wisely and actually for the good of the people. Past performance of all GOBs in living memory is such that the people normally see a penny of benefit for every dollar of debt and new taxes, while a few cronies with “construction companies” get rich.

    Since our children will be saddled with repaying this NEW DEBT, we really must keep an eye on how it is spent.

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