The Dangriga Market project was launched in May 2012 has had some severe set backs after several inconsistencies with some Social Investment Fund (SIF) workers. Since then, there has been some reshuffling of staff and the Belize Social Investment Fund turned a new leaf and resumed works at the Dangriga town Market on April 2014. However, the project has stalled again according to the Mayor of Dangriga.
Gilbert Swazo – Mayor of Dangriga Town
“There are some internal delays that are causing the contractors to hand over the market to SIF, who will then hand it over to the Council. As you may recall, we handed over to them a fully functioning market in May of 2012, but at this time the market is not yet fully functional.
Now you may recall that we have spent a whole lot of money, and they have not done anything that is the ‘state of the art’ in that market in any way or form, for the cost of about two million dollars.”
The Town Council pays 3 percent of the total amount of monies being allocted to the project, which amounts to about $34,000. And while that is the situation with phase 1 of the project, phase 2, according to the Mayor has dealt them an even heavier blow.
“Our Phase One still has not been completed. Phase Two still has not started in any way or form, and it should have started this month, October. And now we have been told that it will not commence until January of next year. That is what SIF is saying. And again, if I did not call SIF in any way or form, we would not have even known that this delay existed.”
Phase two includes the asphalting of Gadbsy Ramos and Trucking Boulevard Street, in Dangriga Town. According to the Mayor, due to the fact that those streets are prone to flooding , SIF believes the project might not be worthwhile. Belize Municipal Development Coordinator at SIF Ernest Raymond told Plus News that the handing over of the Market will take place on Thursday October 16th. The Mayor concedes that the contractor is doing a good job, but he still has some complaints.
“I cannot fault the contractor in any way or form in relation to the workmanship, but my concern remains that we should have had a market handed over by the end of September. If there was going to be any problem, then the Council ought to have been informed officially in writing.
I believe they owe the people of Dangriga an apology, because the inconvenience continues. The market, as anyone knows, is the heart and soul of any community. There are several things that are happening within Dangriga proper, as a result of the temporary relocation of those vendors and the market services, from where the market originally was. SIF owes the community an apology, and they indeed need to compensate the committee for all those loses that has taken place. That is my humble opinion.”
The project is being implemented by CB Construction from San Ignacio, through the Belize Social Investment Fund.