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Aug 16, 2021

Belize Urban Resilience & Disaster Prevention Project

Today at San Ignacio Resort Hotel, a ceremony of achievements and presentation of a third disbursement for the Belize Urban Resilience and Disaster Prevention Project was held. It is a collaboration between Belize and the Taiwanese Government that sought to make the Cayo District, which has been recently affected by flooding, more resilient to the impacts of climate change. News Five was there and here’s a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Plagued by recent flooding in the west, the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena were the beneficiaries of the Belize Urban Resilience and Disaster Prevention Project – an initiative between the governments of Belize and Taiwan. Today, the achievements of that partnership were presented.


Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management

“This project is basically to see how we could do some adaptation to build resilience in the area of disaster risk reduction. I think the project looked at areas where we normally have flooding, especially when we have heavy rains in a short period of time and we have that type of flooding. And so we looked at certain areas where it needed drainage, larger culvert both in San Ignacio and also a section of Bullet Tree Village. And so, guiding that water that comes from the hills into lower areas and instead of going into people’s yards and flooding out to find a way through to a lagoon or into the Belize River.”


The project, which was funded by the Republic of China (Taiwan), strengthens bilateral relations between both countries.


David Kuan-Chou Chien

David Kuan-Chou Chien, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize

“Over the past thirty-two years, Taiwan maintained a close and robust interaction with Belize government and the people. Over the thirty-two years, both Taiwan and Belize also corroborated in implementing many projects and programs ranging from public health, education and disaster prevention and climate resilience and some like transportation. And the most important one is the climate resilience. We know that both Taiwan and Belize are facing the same challenges and difficulties caused by climate change.”


Orlando Habet

“We have had assistance from them in the area of agriculture, education with a lot of scholarships; there have been cultural exchanges and now with the area of disaster risk management and I think recently also we have seen some input from them in the area of infrastructural development and even with a project going up north. I will tell them also that from our standpoint of sustainable development, we will like to see this move forward into the area of technology and innovation.”


While coastal communities are considered most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Minister Orlando Habet says that the hope is that the project will focus on flood prone areas in the Belize District.


Orlando Habet

“Whilst we understand the severity of the problem especially from coastal communities, in terms of disaster risk management, those areas would be very expensive to address especially if you start looking at seagrass restoration, reef restoration which is extremely expensive. So I think that the conversation that we are having with them is that maybe we can look at other areas along the Belize River Valley where we have flood waters that remain for four weeks, five, six weeks at a time. So we are looking possibly at that area and maybe areas in Toledo and Orange Walk where we also have some flooding.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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