The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter is not happy about the roads in Orange Walk and today they made their point very clear in an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Belize.
In their letter they expressed their utmost disappointment and frustration in relation to the quote, “deplorable conditions of the streets in Orange Walk.”
According to Osmany Salas, Acting Chairperson for BTIA-OW, the terrible condition of the roads is affecting the livelihoods of Orange Walk Town residents.
“In Orange Walk, the conditions of the roads are deplorable. We refer particularly to the Philip Goldson Highway that is close to Town, and that includes the Belize-Corozal Road, Otro Benque Road and Queen Victoria Avenue. also the San Antonio-Yo Creek Road that is within the town limits. Those two roads are central government’s responsibility. When it is hot and dry, we suffer with all the dust; when it is raining we suffer with all the mud. The roads there are so bad that the guarantee of the vehicles are to the point that is already making a tent on everybody’s pocket”.
Salas says that the deplorable conditions of the roads are having a significant impact on businesses in Orange Walk.
Osmany Salas: “We find out that more and more people traveling to Corozal or Mexico and back to Belize City, are attempting to bi-pass Orange Walk Town entirely and the business will be affected. We thought it is high times to bring this to the attention of government; I am sure they are aware of it by now, but the frustration and disappointment levels are increasing. All we are good is at scraping, the rains wash everything and is back to the drawing board. It is high time for real improvement to be done”.
While the PUP town council of Orange Walk has been raising the same concerns for several months, according to Salas, the Association’s position is completely independent of any party influence. The Association, he explained, would hope to see the Government and the town council working together to address this issue.
Osmany Salas: “We would like to see central government working hand in hand with what can be done to improve the streets in Orange Walk town. Citizen’s involvement is as well, very important and a couple of examples where citizens and residents are trying to get together to see what they can make, but in the final analysis, central government has to step in and be involved”.
The Association is launching a petition drive to call on the Government to address the matter. The petition drive starts on Wednesday, June 11th at the Tourism Centre in Orange Walk Town.