The construction of a much anticipated roundabout at the Guanacaste Park Junction in Belmopan is slated to start this month. The project, which is a part of the Belize Road Safety project, is being co-funded by the Government of Belize and the Caribbean Development Bank ,and in January 29th earlier this year the contract for that project was signed with RGB Construction Co. Ltd.
A recent post on social media made by Belmopan resident John Pinelo has caught the attention of many residents of Belmopan. According to Mr Pinelo, he got wind on Monday from a reliable inside source that indicates that the Guanacaste tree that sits at the corner of the Hummingbird Highway and the George Price Highway is slated to be removed to accommodate the roundabout.
John Pinelo spoke to Plus News on Tuesday as he expressed his genuine concern.
“This tree is about 75 years old. It has so much different life on it. It’s a marker for Belmopan.
Whenever I travel and I get here, when I see this area [and] the tree, I say ‘OK, I’m home.’
People from around the country may not recognize it, but we Belmopan residents, we have a sense of appreciation for the tree. It’s in our city. It’s a marker when we get here, and we wouldn’t want to see it destroyed.
You can shift the roundabout. It’s not started yet. They have not started digging. They have not constructed yet. So we can easily shift a little bit. We have all this land on the side of the Showgrounds, and if you notice the markers didn’t even go into the Showgrounds. So we could do a little shift and try and protect this [tree].
If we don’t respect our trees, then we don’t respect anything. We’re already having a lot of deforestation going on in the country. We say we’re an environmental country. We promote environmental protection, but then we’re going to do something like this.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not against development, and I support the roundabout, because we need it. A lot of accidents have happened here, but there must be some leeway that we can make adjustments to keep things like these trees around.”
Since the post was made on social media on Monday by John Pinelo it has gotten more than 200 hits and counting. The comments made by community residents vary but for the most part seem to suggest that the contractors make adjustments to ensure the Guanacaste tree survives the construction of the Guanacaste Junction Roundabout.