REPORT #322 June 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

The cynics who are watching the wasteful spending of government funds on foreign travel trips, which could be just as easily be handled by internet conferencing using video cams and audio FREE internet software, agree that the present European Tour by the Prime Minister is a valid expenditure. Needed are, face to face talks, hand shakes, personal confidences, and rapport with charisma to promote Belizean needs and problems. The Prime Minister gets approval from budget watchers for this trip.

HONEST GOVERNMENT IS A DEVELOPMENT ISSUE! The apparent coverup of embezzled millions of social security funds by the PUP party and current cabinet, leaves the idea of transparency in government a big joke. With the ability to inspect all bank records, tax records and other financial records, there should be no problem for the current cabinet of PUP darlings, to produce proofs, that the millions of social security funds were actually spent on an IEEI option. Since no proof has been forthcoming and the people standing under suspicion are the cabinet of the PUP party itself, one can only draw one conclusion! What would that be I wonder?

The recent bubble of oxygen depleted water flowing down river to Dangriga town causing fish kills from the citrus waste pond overflow leaves people considering alternatives. The environmental disaster fine is expected to be above $250,000 for the citrus company. One solution has been suggested to cover a number of rural district producing problems. From sugar cane waste, to citrus waste to waste garbage on the island communities. This is co-generation of electricity by compressing sifted selected garbage or waste, compressing it, drying the waste, to lessen the humidity for burning and then running it for a steam boiler turbine electricity producing plant. Unfortunately, most industrialized countries do not build plants small enough for places like rural Belize, or rural Guatemala. But the plant could be manufactured either here in Belize, Guatemala, or Mexico. It is not that difficult! Probably come out cheaper. The volume of waste and small size required are the problem. I had that problem 25 years ago with trying to find a cement block plant. Wanted something to produce a 1000 blocks a day, but the industrialized countries only produced million blocks per hour plants. Guatemalans solved that problem with a two man operated hydraulic block plant, welded up in Guatemala. Nowadays, most cement blocks are produced by these two man cement block hand operated machines in Belize. These small block plants cost $1500. They could surely do the same with co-generation requirements? It is just practical machine shop engineering.

Caye Caulker barrier reef island, has not wanted any FOREIGN INVESTORS at all! Not for thirty years! The cry is the same today as it was thirty years ago. Foreign Investors stay away! The villagers enjoy a good quality of life and do not want it disturbed with foreign investment. Come as tourists and spend money, YES! That is welcome. Enjoy the place and make friends, but do not plan to invest here in a business. Not wanted! Caye Caulker, a small village of 800 just inside the GREAT BARRIER REEF has a diversified economy. It also has the highest standard of living and leisure than anywhere in Latin America and the Caribbean. The natives did that by welcoming foreign tourists, but keeping foreign investment schemes out. Leisure and social activities are big on the standards of lifestyle quality, with barefoot living in sandy streets and forbidden combustion engine vehicles, as part of the rules. The ideal exotic romantic small village reef island life.

The Caye Caulker Village Council is sitting on $225,000 being held in escrow, the owner/editor of the island newspaper says, for dredging and filling up of the beach street on the eastern side of the village that was washed away by Hurricane FIFI many years ago. The dredge is supposed to show up on July 2nd. We shall see! If the dredge of myth and legend and failed government promises does arrive and the filling of beach street back to original restoration does take place; the credit for the funding will have to be given to Patty Arceo, the PUP area representative who lives in San Pedro a nearby island.

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