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Jan 3, 2014

M&M Engineering accused of tearing up the Old Northern Highway; residents up in arms

Residents along the Old Northern Highway are tonight up in arms, following the destruction of the road at the hands of a construction company.  They contend that M&M Engineering Ltd. is responsible for its deplorable state since their trucks are constantly up and down the road.  The incessant rains aren’t doing much to help the situation.  This morning, News Five’s Isani Cayetano visited the community where irate residents spoke out against the company.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Endless rainfall since October of last year has caused considerable structural damage to streets and roads across the country.  While the overall destruction has been calculated at a little under six million dollars, that estimate does not include a stretch of road in the vicinity of Lake Gardens, Ladyville.  The Old Northern Highway, as it is known, is the primary approach to enter or exit the community.  Despite being unpaved, it remained safe.  That was until a few months ago, when an unwelcome neighbor moved into the area.


Alvaro Alamina

Alvaro Alamina, Resident

“This road has always been trafficable through rain or the dry season.  But over the last five months, when this construction company set up their base here nearby and their heavy trucks started passing here, as you can see they have totally destroyed this road.”


The company being referred to is M&M Engineering Ltd., a private concern owned by businessman Roque Matus.  According to residents, the frequent movement of dump trucks, towheads and other heavy equipment used in road construction has created huge cavities along road.


Sherlene Marin

Sherlene Marin, Resident

“I was very concerned in the month of October so I went to speak to Mr. Matus himself and he told me two things.  He said, one, that roads are not meant to last and he said, secondly, he doesn’t feel that he should repair this road; that he thinks it’s the government’s responsibility so therefore I should approach government, you know.  But this is, this is going beyond what we could bear with.  It‘s taking a toll on us the residents who have to walk and who have to ride bicycles.  It‘s taking a toll on our cars and we would really like some actions.”


But, when the complaint was lodged with the Ladyville Village Council, whose jurisdiction includes the area, it fell on deaf ears.  To date the chairman has done nothing to address the issue.


Errol Usher, Resident

“He says all we’re [supposed] to do is get the names of the people that are in the area here and take it to him and he’ll pick it up from there.  But it looks like it’s something else between him and the boss to the back there, Mr. Matus that owns this M&M to the back here that just come to the back here and just condemning us, our road right here.  He says go to the government, he ain’t gonna fix nothing.”


Notwithstanding all efforts to contact Matus on the matter, we were unsuccessful.  Meanwhile, residents say the heavy traffic is disrupting their serenity.


Isabel Marin

Isabel Marin, Resident

“What I can say is that the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood has been shattered, along with the road, as you can see, you know.  And the trucks hammering on the road has it all messed up and it goes sometimes all day, even up to the wee hours of the morning.”


To make matters worse M&M Engineering Ltd., because it has chosen not to take the bull by the horns, stands accused of being a bad corporate citizen.  Alvaro Alamina, a resident of mile eleven for the past thirty years, says that if it were a more reputable company they wouldn’t be experiencing this problem.


Alvaro Alamina

“This construction company purports to be one of the premiere construction companies in Belize but they don’t behave that way.  Their behavior is inconsiderate, very disappointing and when I compare them with an outfit like Cisco Construction, I know the people from Cisco Construction personally and in a situation like this they would have been good, corporate, decent, civil people and they would have remedied this situation right away.”


Unfortunately, since that is not the case residents are prepared to take matters into their own hands.


Errol Usher

Errol Usher

“Come Monday, if doesn’t do anything to this road I’m going to dig some craters in this road right, that only small vehicles could pass.  I don’t mind if they mash the side of my yard with the small vehicles but those big trucks ain’t coming through here after Monday, no more if he doesn‘t do something to this here.  And he has the material to the back there.  He has the material to the back there that he could fix it.  He has all the equipment and everything.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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1 Response for “M&M Engineering accused of tearing up the Old Northern Highway; residents up in arms”

  1. Marie says:

    send in GST and business tax to investigate

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