Tour of Belize City Flood Mitigation Project sites Print E-mail
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Friday, 19 February 2016 00:00

The 21 million dollar Belize City Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project is almost complete and members of the press were guided on a tour by the project managers on Tuesday, February 16. Rolando Chan, Project Manager, led a tour to several sites across the city to assure the public that the city’s signature drainage project will be completed far ahead of the Inter-American Development Bank’s November 2016 deadline.

In November 2011, the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank signed onto an agreement for a loan of US$10 million for a flood alleviation and mitigation project for Belize City. As part of the agreement, the Government of Belize provided $1.5 million in counterpart funding. The project consists of three main components to be implemented over a period of five years. The first component is Engineering and Administration. This includes the establishing of an Execution Unit along with Operational Expenses. The second component is divided in two sub components which are First Year of Civil Works and Second Year of Civil Works; First Year of Civil Works is further divided into outputs such as street improvements, canal construction and upgrading of Albert Hoy and D’Nest Inn Parks. Component Three is for Institutional Strengthening with a focus on developing a maintenance system for the Belize City Council and a look at Geographic Information System among others.

Under the second component, streets to be improved were Albert Hoy Street, Juliet Soberanis Street,  Link Road and Loop Road. Chan said, “We have two streets completed which is Juliet Soberanis and Loop Road. We have Albert Hoy ongoing which is the longest one with 1.6 kilometers of street to be paved. With Link Road we had some delay in the activity.” Under canal construction; three canals were to be built as part of the civil works: Maheia’s Canal, Bill Lindo Canal and the Douglas Jones Canal. The North Side Canal was then to be upgraded. Chan said, “We have three canals completed, which are Douglas Jones, Northside and Bill Lindo Canal. The one ongoing right now is Maheia’s Canal which should be completed by the end of March.” Parks improvement include the changing of damaged lights, construction of sidewalks, drains and benches and the repair of basketball courts and football field.

The project is expected to provide a relief from prolonged flooding for Belize City residents. Phillip Willoughby, Belize City Councilor, said, with Belize so low below sea level “The flood mitigation project is not intended to stop flooding; the program is to try to reduce the duration and the impact from the flooding in the area.”