The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In the letter, the tourism stakeholders of the Orange Walk district express their disappointment and frustration in relation to the deplorable conditions of the streets of the town. We spoke with BTIA Orange Walk President Osmany Salas.

OSMANY SALAS
President (Orange Walk Chapter)
Belize Tourism Industry Association

ďThe whole purpose of the open letter to the Prime Minister was to draw to his attention of the streets and roads in town. I know this is a problem all over the country but we represent interest in Orange Walk. For several of our last meetings, the conditions of our streets and roads in and around town have been a topic. Our members, we currently number about eighteen; they are quite frustrated and quite disappointed that we are not seeing any improvements at all in particular with the section of Philip Goldson Highway that goes through Orange Walk Town, Iím referring to the Belize Corozal Road, Queen Victoria Avenue and Otro Benque Road; that section is in a deplorable condition. I think that all Orange Walkenos would agree that we canít remember when it was in such a bad state. We also referring to the Yo Creek/San Antonio Road that goes through town; so in this context, we also draw the whole situation of the streets to the Town Council as well.Ē

BTIA Orange Walk says the deplorable conditions of the main road and streets have affected several businesses Ė from local vegetable and fruit stall vendors to the local restaurants and supermarkets. Orange Walk tourism stakeholders believe prospective customers are avoiding passing through Orange Walk Town on their way to Corozal or Chetumal and instead are using the bypass.

OSMANY SALAS
President (Orange Walk Chapter)
Belize Tourism Industry Association

ďAs tourism stakeholders we feel that it has started to affect business; itís affecting the quality of life because of all the dust when itís hot, all the mud when itís wet, all the holes, the impacts to our vehicles; it just increases the expenses that we have when it comes to repairs, the wear and tear of our vehicles; it just adds all up. By continuing to ignore the conditions of the streets and roads and by continuing to not do anything about it, it is just adding to the problem; it is just adding to the misery that we all feel as citizens and so, we felt in this open letter that we would draw attention to the situation that we face and it is a plea to Government to act on their promises. We heard that the Government had announced that there were monies earmarked for the improvements of those sections of roads I just referred to; we want to see it happen rather than just scraping and filling and just patching which only lasts till the next rain; we are throwing money down the drain and rather than doing that, the purpose of this letter was to implore government to spend its money wisely and do good improvements to these streets and roads.Ē

The BTIA Orange Walk Chapter believes that by collaborating with the local government and town residents, the Government of Belize can improve the situation of the motorways. BTIA invites Orange Walk residents to stop by their office at Central Park and sign a petition for immediate attention to roads and streets in Orange Walk.

LOVEFM