Residents of Dangriga are become uneasy because of the slack an important project in that municipality has taken, since it is a means of revenue for the municipality. Correspondent Harry Arzu has more on the issue.

HARRY ARZU

“The delayed work on the existing Dangriga Market is becoming more of a concern for the residents of this municipality and more so for Mayor Gilbert Swazo.”

MAYOR SWAZO

“On Wednesday, June 12, 2013, Representative of the World Bank accompanied by their counterparts from the Belize Social Investment Fund was in Dangriga to conduct their midyear review after the phase one component of the Belize Municipality Development Project which consists of the construction of the extension to and the refurbishment of the existing Dangriga Municipal Market. The review included a meeting and a site visit to the market project. During the meeting, I as the Mayor and on behalf of the people of Dangriga explicitly expressed concern on the snail pace speed of the project and its token employment of the residents of Dangriga.

I also, as a consequence demanded forcefully yet respectfully that the contractor increase the number of Dangriga residents on the project and to speed up the construction of the project without compromising the quality. The World Bank Representative also expresses their concern on the present state of the project and their disappointment with the contractor for having completed only about 40% of the project. The project was, in the first instance, as per the contractual agreement was to be completed on July 2013. It is noteworthy that the Dangriga Market Project is the largest in the Phase 1 component of the Belize Municipality Development Project and is the only one yet to be completed under Phase 1; all other projects from other municipalities are now completed except for Dangriga Market.

It is also noteworthy that during the site visit, the World Bank Representative and SIF have demanded and conceded to the cause of the delay, requested from the contractor a new realistic and projected date for the conclusion of the project; the new date set by the contractor is end of August 2013. The contractor was requested by SIF and World Bank to complete an analysis of all the likely risk factors in order to justify his tentative and conclusion date of August 2013. I also expressed concern in regard to the loss of revenue by those venders who were transferred to the temporary market location.

The loss of revenue, in part, is as a consequence of the Ministry of Natural Resources intent to conditionally transfer the parcel 991 which is at the foot of the main bridge to Mister Anthony Adderley who is renting space to those vendors who realized it to be a good location for business and subsequently preventing the vendors in the temporary location to lose revenue. It must be noted that the Dangriga Town Council is taking measures to regularize this issue as early as possible and again we must inform the residents of Dangriga that although the council does not have any formal control of the project we continue to advocate that the people of Dangriga derive benefits from the project.”

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