The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, headed by Minister Anthony Martinez, is spearheading a project on Southside Belize City to provide landfill to residents of the Port Loyola, Lake Independence, Collet and Pickstock divisions.
On Wednesday morning, the Minister of State in the Ministry and Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King, kicked off his leg of the project a few days ahead of schedule.
Minister King spoke to us about how the project will work.
“Today we are launching the landfill program in Lake I. As you know this year we had a lot of rains and we also have a lot of flooding in these Southside areas. So, really and truly this Is a project that is sponsored by OPEC. It is ran by the Senior Minister in Human Development, Minister Martinez, and it includes four Constituencies: Lake I, Collet, Port Loyola and Pickstock.
However I got off to an early start, because you know I always push harder. I got my contractor to give me an early start, before finances are available for the project. Actually we needed this from October, but the rains were heavy.
So we are looking at distributing these loads of material to all the residents of Lake I, UDP/PUP. Everybody that wants will get a load, two loads, three loads, dependent on what their needs are, and this will help them under the Ministry of Human Development.
It is for poverty alleviation, to assist people mainly in upgrading their property from low lying areas, from swamps, and building up their property so that they can get out of all that mud and mess that the rain has created.”
Mark King expects that for the next three months in his division, close to 2,000 loads of landfill will be distributed. To participate, make a formal request with the constituency office in your division; in the case of Lake Independence the representative can be reached via Facebook.
The project is sponsored by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
We also got an update from the Minister of State about his readiness for the municipal elections in March, and a general election showdown with former area representative Cordel Hyde. Mark King, as the incumbent,enjoys an advantage, and he says Cordel Hyde has not been seen in the Division since being endorsed last year.
He says that he has been working hard in his Division and expects to reap the benefits down the road.
“Absolutely not. First of all, there is no Cordel Hyde in this constituency. He’s gone. His time is up and he’s no longer returning.
As a matter of fact, I’m not even moved, more or less, not even intimidated, because he can’t even be seen in the area.
Secondly, this is not the first time I, if you want to call it, ‘show your muscle.’ I don’t believe in that because my campaign began in Lake I right after the election was completed. You’ve seen the amount of work I’ve put in this area. People get land, then they get education, then they get landfill, then they get just about everything. All Lake I people are receiving their share.
As a metter of fact, if you want to talk numbers, look at the UDP Convention for Lake I. We brought out the most votes in the entire city, and we topped that Convention.
My driver is going to a City Councillor when they win right here, and I organized for that. At the end of the day, if you look at Belmopan, I took twelve buses full to Belmopan on a rainy day.
At the end of the day, I have guaranteed Shackron that I will be the cause of her losing the municipal election, because I will bring out the most votes from Lake I.
So we’re not guessing our numbers in Lake I. We know who supports us.”