have been seen daily in front of the Lands Department in Belize
City. It's a cause for concern since the space in front of the
department is limited and visitors are not able to properly social
But according to the Minister of Natural Resources, Cordel Hyde, the
crowd is because of all the first-time landowners that have been
registered. He noted that the sheer number of persons who are seeking
to own land is proof of the grim situation that the country faces.
"It speaks to how much deprivation and how much inequity exists in this
country where a handful of people have a lot land and ordinary people don't
and we welcome the fact that people want to sign up for land, we welcome
the fact that so many of our people are coming forward to make us know that
they don't have land and they need land and we ask them for patience and
for time as we try to find where exactly where these lands are available.
Our people in the ministry have been tasked with finding that out, I'm
hoping to get a report over the next few days as to where exactly in the
Belize district the closed we can find to Belize City and we'll make that
available freely and fairly to all those people who don't have land. We've
not been asking for any minister's letters, we stop that, so people can't
freely apply but we beg of people to not congregate so much as the offices
in such massive crowds because it's just not healthy, over 300 people have
died from COVID, none of us are exempted, hopefully by next week we'll have
an online opportunity where people can apply and don't have to go to the
office and we're also going to establish a drop box system where you can
pick up an application, fill it out and drop it back without having to stay
in those long lines, we ask people please to be patient, we're working
overtime on that, that's the mandate of this government to make sure that
we make lands available to first time land owners, that's our absolute
priority and that's what we're going to deliver."
Hyde mentioned that Cayo is next on his list for his mobile land
outreach program. While he initially wanted to travel there tomorrow,
he can't because of the ongoing budget consultations.