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Nov 10, 2009

City residents complain from the crevices of potholed streets

Story PictureThere was a huge cry from City residents last year for the City Council to do something about the deplorable conditions of Albert and Regent Streets in downtown Belize City. The main thoroughfares were a nightmare to drive on. Finally, this year in January, the two streets were paved by the Ministry of Works and the traffic flow in the heart of the City improved. Elsewhere, however, the potholes and broken up streets have residents up in arms. News Five’s Duane Moody hit the city streets and has this report.

Duane Moody, Reporting
Once again outbursts of the same nature are coming from the Southside of Belize City. Numerous arteries along Central American Boulevard, Mahogany Street and other areas are in similar conditions with craters of diameters spanning the width of the street.

Dona Cayetano, Belize City Resident
“Well I call it a drain because dat too big that’s why I call it a drain. And you know how long dat deh like dat? Fi di longest. Even di kids go dah school dehn have to walk eena di water with dehn socks and shoes. Dat out ah control mein, dat noh right.”

Duane Moody
“And there are other parts of the streets that aren’t in good condition either noh?”

Dona Cayetano
“Di whole Oleander Street; like dehn forget all about Oleander Street.”

Eunice Bernard, Belize City Resident
“One time they mi come throw a little bit ah sand and by di time di next rain come ih all gone. Di drain need fi dig out, ih need fi put wah good culvert so di water could flow. When ih rain all wi yaad stop up fi days and days di yaad wet up wet up so we have to di walk eena water. From di yaad we need fi put London bridge.”

Bernard feels that they are being neglected by their area representatives.

Eunice Bernard
“We need fi dehn come and do something because when voting day, we tired ah see dehn face every minute. Sometimes yoh noh even know dehn people deh dah Belize but when voting time all kinda people deh eena yoh face and dehn wah do dis and dehn wah do dat and after di voting you noh see noh wah body.”

Councillor Responsible for Works on south side streets and drains, Dean Samuels, says that the council is strapped for cash and are aware of the dreadful conditions of the streets.

Dean Samuels, Councillor Responsible for Works on South Side Streets
“I’m not going to sugar-coat it, the streets in Belize City on a whole, not only on the south side, are in deplorable condition. Whenever there is rain, and we’ve been getting a lot of rain due to this weather that was out, the streets were not maintained and paved for quite some time now. Our job is to keep the streets maintained and we personally could just patch right now.”

Duane Moody
“Patching is not the solution because you patch it and then it comes right back. So what are you guys going to do about it?”

Dean Samuels
“Again like what I said, it would be a beautiful thing if we could pave all the streets in Belize City. The City Council, pressed the way we are financially for cash, we can only do our best and doing our best means maintaining. The Southside now will be getting the attention that it should. They have been doing some work on the north side and the Southside now will be getting some attention in collaboration with the Ministry of Works and the City Council.”

Duane Moody
“Wouldn’t you say that the south side would have needed that attention more than the north side?”

Dean Samuels
“Again, I must say everybody in the city pays tax and some people might say the people on the north side might pay more tax. But the point is that the city needs to be address and we are trying our best to address the problem.”

Duane Moody
“Oleander Street, the people who live there are really irate and there is a crater there the size is the width of the street, when can they get the help?”

Dean Samuels
“I’ve been called couple times concerning that situation, I’ve even been out there to see the problem: Oleander, Olivera, Morning Glory, that whole area. We’ve looked at the problem; we see that we need to put down some culvert in the area. We are getting in material this week.”

And while the residents are pleading for immediate and permanent fixing of the streets, Councillor Samuels says that at this point in time, due to various reasons, they are only face-lifting the streets, which is a temporary fix that includes filling potholes with crushed stones. Duane Moody, reporting 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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