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Oct 4, 2019

A US $6.8 Million Loan for Caye Caulker Electrification Project

A six-point-eight U.S. million dollars loan motion was presented during the Sitting of the House of Representatives. The loan was offered by the Caribbean Development Bank and the monies have been earmarked to assist Belize Electricity Limited to reduce B.G.B. emissions and improve the reliability of the supply of electricity to Caye Caulker, with increased capacity to meet projected increase in peak demand. The loan will be guaranteed by the Government of Belize. The project consists of five components, including submarine cable feasibility study, land acquisition, and infrastructure works. It is great news for Caye Caulker residents but Area Representatives from across the aisle reminded the Prime Minister that other areas of the country are in desperate need of electrification.

 

Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Area Representative, Freetown

“Too many villages particularly in the Toledo District remain without electricity and my colleagues have raised this consistently and also in my own constituency tried over and over to get electricity for Belama Phase Four but nothing has been done since 2008. That is a residential, growing community and again we place on the record the need for that to be addressed.  We support in terms what is taking place in Caye Caulker but certainly but we are very concern, the ongoing neglect of rural communities.”

 

Oscar Requeña

Oscar Requeña, Area Representative, Toledo West

“The Toledo District is in dire need of consideration to ensure that we have a reliable source of electricity for our rural communities. In my constituency alone I still have fifteen communities that do not have access to electricity. Let’s bear in mind that these communities have students who go to high school and there is the need in this technological age to ensure that they have electricity to be able to student, to be able to ensure that their gadgets are connected and use of those gadgets. Similarly Toledo East also has quite a number of villages that do not have access to electricity.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“One Independence Day I read out a long list of the villages that had been electrified over the past few years by B.E.L.  I also recited the list of villages that will be electrified in the immediate future.  That does not necessarily help the member of Toledo West. But it does make the point that this is a work in progress, it is an ongoing enterprise and B.E.L. will continue to do its best to complete the process of electrifying the entire country.”

 

Francis Fonseca

“We have concerns about the fact that there is a lot of waste and mismanagement taking place at B.E.L.  Last year I believe the company recorded losses of over four million dollars and base on the preliminary reports for this year it seems to be headed in the same direction. They will report losses again.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I certainly take issue with the member of Freetown characterization of B.E.L. as being inefficiently or wasteful managed. That absolutely is not the case. The last C.E.O. from all accounts did an excellent job. There is now a new C.E.O. and he has started off doing great guns. The members of the other side must also remember that while B.E.L. is majority nationally owned. Fortis the international company has thirty-three and a third percent stake in B.E.L. shareholding. They are on the board and they are there as watch dogs if you will. They are concerned about the bottom line and they certainly will not tolerate any inefficiency or wasteful management which would affect their dividends, profits. So I absolutely reject that particular motion.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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