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Sep 28, 2023

Pickstock Land Clinic Draws Hundreds of Constituents

A land clinic for residents of Pickstock concluded today at the Belize City Center where hundreds of constituents were present to seek assistance with obtaining land titles or applying for land as first-time owners.  Earlier today, we stopped by the Civic Center where the lines were still pretty long and the staff of the Lands Department was working through lunch to facilitate the various transactions.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Pickstock, as an electoral division, includes four thousand, eighty-nine registered voters.  Many of them live in that constituency, while others reside elsewhere in the country.  Despite their physical location, they all have a need for land, as Belize City is virtually out of parcels to give.  The past two days have seen hundreds of residents attending a land clinic where several concerns are being addressed by their area representative, as well as personnel from the Ministry of Natural Resources.


Anthony Mahler

Anthony Mahler, Area Representative, Pickstock

“I strongly believe, just like the Minister of Lands, that if you give people the ability to acquire a piece of land, then they have strength and power behind them.”


Those parcels that are being sought, according to Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde, are elsewhere in Belize District.  Priority, nonetheless, is being given to first-time landowners.


Cordel Hyde

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources

“We’ve done a lot of land clinics all over the country, but we’ve not done Belize City nearly enough.  This is our fourth clinic in Belize City and we’ve been in high demand here and it’s really been a fun clinic because this particular clinic has been less about problems and more about helping first-time landowners and the people here are really enthusiastic about the opportunity to own a piece of the Jewel.  They don’t care where it is, they just want a piece of the Jewel because they understand how important it is to get a piece of this pie, the shrinking pie.”


To acquire a piece of land, as someone new to the process, requires patience, lots of it.  For many, countless trips to Belmopan is quite frustrating.  An opportunity to have those concerns addressed here in Belize City saves time and money.


Anthony Mahler

“I think the department has it down like clockwork and so they know what they are doing, they are the experts.  They have been processing these titles and leases and documents for a couple years now and so, I think they have it under control.”


Isani Cayetano

“When you listen to your constituents, what, perhaps, is the primary concern that they have regarding land or land acquisition or the processing of their documents?”


Anthony Mahler

“The process.  Normally you’d have to go to Belmopan and all of that, wait, and then you have to compete with the entire country in terms of having time to get in and see the relevant people.  So these clinics provide a service to the communities that we’re catering for.”


Since the Pickstock land clinic commenced on Wednesday at the Belize City Center, the Lands Department, including Minister Hyde, has been working overtime to accommodate the process.  In speaking with News Five earlier today, he attested to the fact that there is a land shortage in Belize City, but that applicants are looking elsewhere in the district to own a piece of property.


Cordel Hyde

“Well we do have some land at mile eight, we do have some land at Hattieville, Sand Hill, [and] Biscayne.  In terms of the Belize District, those are the areas primarily that we are able to assist people with land.  But you’re right, Belize City doesn’t have any land.  Lord’s Bank, Ladyville, doesn’t have any land again and people want closer to Belize City, of course, because this is where the action is, of course.  But living in the villages, that’s a beautiful thing too and Belize District, in a sense, is becoming one big city, for lack of a better description.”


The land clinic concludes today. Isani Cayetano 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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