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San-Estevan-Road0007At yesterday’s Press conference held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, flanked by a host of UDP ministers, CEO’s and heads of departments, the government promised to inject over seventy million dollars worth of money into road improvements across the country.

 

Now the promise for, as the PM put it “road network improvements” comes at a time when there are still several projects pending completion and even commencement. We can think of two major roads in the Orange Walk District alone. So asking the Prime Minister whether the government will be rolling out these new projects soon and if they will be dragging their feet seemed only logical. Of course his natural and immediate response was to defend his administration saying that the government is delivering and delivering well.

 

Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize


“And while the need for action is real and while the need for speed must be undeniable must be deliberate speed so that you don’t do any foolishness with the public monies, in that context I am absolutely satisfied that we are delivering and will deliver that the respect to what is absolutely urgent people will see the action taking place immediately and we will make a complete nonsense, we will rubbish your faeces that you put forward a while ago.”

 

The Prime Minister adds that with the new projects, like with many others, the implementation of the work is not necessarily done by the Ministry of Works but contractors and that the ministry merely takes on a supervisory role. In regards to projects that have not even seen the commencement of implementation, such as the IDB funded drainage project in the Belama area in Belize City and others, the Prime Minister placed the blame squarely on the international funding agents.


Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize


“That is because that wasn’t dependent on us, it is the funding agency, it is the same thing with OPEC and Southside poverty alleviation phase II, when it is not your own money you can’t call the tune, it is the same thing with the European Union and what is been happening in the north and with those road that they are responsible for supervising because it is their money and the cockup that is been taking place for which the government get blame but which the government is powerless to do anything about because it is free money I told you already we could take play view of one minister of works in the past who said we don’t want their money because they are too slow and it comes with too many but I don’t think that is constructive.”


And with the clarification that government is “powerless to do anything” Belizeans living in villages along the San Estevan Road which should have been paved by May of this year may have no other choice but to keep waiting.

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