Independence Village, also known as Mango Creek, is one of the largest villages in the country.
According to Emilio Zabaneh, secretary of Independence village council, many of the streets in the village have been in disrepair for a long time, and the portion of the start of the Southern Highway is also in a terrible state.
Emelio Zabaneh – Independence Village Council
“In the village of Independence, where I sit on the Village Council as its Secretary, we have see a lot of our roads, that were over twenty-five years old, have been ignored under this administration for the past seven years, and I’s just patch, after patch, after patch. Now you can’t patch anymore. The video will show you, you cannot patch this anymore.
They promised us last year that they would fix our road by March. March came and left, and now we’re coming upon March again. They promised that they’ll fix it again by March when the dry season comes.
I am appealing to this good Government, please come and assist us in the South with our roads. I’ve been to Hopkins, the main street is a disgrace. In Independence Village, the main street is a disgrace. In any village you go to, the roads are just not maintained. We cannot run our Public Works Department with one grader for the entire District. That is ridiculous.
So I’m just appealing to the Government to do a better job.”
Recently, however, Emilio Zabaneh says there have been some road repairs, but with dirt.
“Coming up to Belmopan this morning, I saw them patching the Southern Highway, which is a road that is only 15 years old, and they’re patching it with sand and gravel in the holes. This is a disgrace, and we’re really tired of seeing this kind of activity in the South. I see them doing it sometimes on the Hummingbird [Highway], and they do it on the Southern Highway, and we can’t stand for that.
The people of the South deserve better than that, and it’s high time this Government stops fooling the people, pretending that everything is fine and dandy, talking about standing up for the people here and there. One rain will come by and wash it all out.
Not only that, the beating that the potholes take from the tires from the vehicles just makes the potholes bigger and bigger. So we’re making a big problem out of something that could be addressed with a little bit of tar. Mix the tar properly and you have a good quality repaired road.”
Mr Zabaneh, who is also the chairman of the People’s United Party Stann Creek West constituency, also says PetroCaribe monies are being spent in big cities and towns, but not in villages like theirs. He says Mango Creek wants its share.
“Why are you spending all your money in Belize City? Why are you spending all your money in the areas of towns that only the UDP control?
We are all Belizeans! Run the PetroCaribe money in the South. Run it in Hopkins. Run it in Independence. Run it in Stann Creek Valley. Give us something too. We are Belizeans too. We deserve better.
Cement our roads. Do something. Don’t promise me that you’ll going to come in March, and then don’t show up, and then tell me you’re going to come in March. Which March, this year, next year, or Election year?”