However, the aftermath is very much still a reality for residents of Dangriga Town. Due to the mismanagement of finances allocated for the renovation of the Dangriga Market, works have once again been put on hold. We haven’t heard much about this situation since September of last year, but the Municipality’s Town Board certainly won’t allow the public to forget the ills that have befallen local vendors as well as consumers. Today, the Council issued a press release, reminding that
“It has now been 146 days and counting since the people of Dangriga have been deprived the use of their much and highly anticipated market” and that “It will take another 9 months before Dangriga will see a completed market.”
According to the Council, SIF has assured them that seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars of the estimated 1.3 million dollars remain in the accounts for the completion of the market. In addition, it is now estimated that it will cost an additional four hundred thousand dollars, coupled with the seven hundred and fifty thousand that is presently in the account, for a new overall cost of some 1.4 million dollars to complete the market.
SIF stated that the shortfall of the additional four hundred thousand dollars needed for the market’s completion will have to be taken from monies already allocated to PHASE 2 street works projects (the paving of 1.2 mile of streets which includes the Aranda Crescent, Gadsby Ramos Road and Trucking Boulevard) that Dangriga Town most desperately need.
Our Colleueges at Krem News caught up with Mayor Season earlier today in Dangriga.
“It will irritate an additional nine more months before we see a completed market, the earliest being October, perhaps November. That is also the rainy season. So, the act of God may even see us getting a market even later, which started from May of 2012. So then, with the subtraction of that $400,000 from Phase 2 project, it simply means that we will not be able to pave the $1.2 as the people of Dangriga requested. We continue to be punished, so, it’s jeopardy”.
In an effort to resume the market project, new tender bids are now being accepted, by SIF. Mayor of Dangriga, Gilbert Swaso, has advocated for local contractors to be employed for the project, but the likelihood of that occurring, says the Council is doubtful. The Council states
“Adding insult to injury, local contractors from Dangriga Town will find it almost if not completely impossible to tender bids for the market project as part of the bidding criteria requires contractors to have a minimum of at least seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars in liquid assets/Credit facility.”
The estimated earliest time of commencement of the project is April 2014. The estimated time for completion of the market project is set for a minimum of six months after the start of the project which will be the earliest October 2014. During this time, says the Council, the vendors will continue to be inconvenienced and continue to lose income.
Mr. Gilbert Swazo: “Our people continue to be inconvenienced, the vendors continue to lose a minimum of %25 of their income as a result of the relocation of the original market to the temporary facility and we will again be punished because we wil lose the amount of streets which the people of Dangriga asked to be paved. so, it is double jeopardy and the punishment continues. This is demonstrating that the inequality and the injustice that is being perpetrated on Dangriga will not be tolerated and we want the Government and SIF to regularize teh situation immediately”.
The release ends by saying, “Essentially this plan by the Government of Belize through SIF will continue to punish the people of Dangriga and is a clear case of double jeopardy for the people of Dangriga. No love for the people of Dangriga.”