After 16 years of neglect residents in the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town are finally about to get direct electricity from the national grid owned Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). For years residents have had to live in the area with limited infrastructure, especially electricity, and they had to resort to unsafe hazardous connections. However, according to the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero, after much backlash from the island residents and the media, works have begun on the San Mateo Electrification project. He said that all residents will have access to connect directly to BEL before the Easter holidays.
The project is financed by the Government of Belize (GOB) through the Area Representative of Belize Rural South Manuel Heredia Jr. and the San Pedro Town Council at a cost of over $300,000. The first set of light poles was barged to the island to start the project. “BEL has been paid for the electrification of San Mateo and it should start at any point now. The entire area will be included in the electrification project. Each property owner will be incharge of paying BEL to get connected, just as everyone else does in the country. We are providing the infrastructure and the residents must pay to be connected with the approved requirements from the Public Utilities Commission,”
When questioned about areas in the community that lack adequate road access to accommodate the electrification project, Mayor Guerrero explained that the council is working on opening new roads to accommodate the project. “Those roads will be installed shortly,” replied Guerrero.
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