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Editorial – Sunday November 24th. 2019

Editorial – Sunday November 24th. 2019
November 23
13:37 2019

Sarteneja and Copper Bank are two beautiful villages which enjoy coastline status, but the two have languished because they are so hard to reach.

True, there is a road which con- nects a string of these northern vil- lages, but this is a road which takes hours to cross because it is in such bad shape. The hundreds of villagers who comnute every day do so because they have to get to work and they don’t have a choice. But things are about to change.

The government has announced that it will move to rehabilitate the existing road and ground-breaking ceremonies were held this week. To bring these nearly 30 miles of road up to international standards, the government of Belize propos- es to spend $100 million dollars. That works out to some $3.3 million per mile of road. But this is not the complete story.

There are two costly bridges which have to be built to replace the two hand-cranked ferries which have been in place since colonial days. These bridges have to be built to international standards as well. For a larger country an investment of this size would not seem like much, but because Belize has such a small population (est. 390,000), it will take a longer time for these infrastructural projects to make an impact on the economy.

The fact that the government is tackling this project now and not later is evidence that it understands the important role which roads and bridges play in opening up a country to development. Copper Bank and especially Sarteneja with its wide, white sandy beaches stand to gain the most from this huge investment. These will benefit almost immediately, as soon as the road is completed.

Belizeans will not need to travel 300 miles to get to Mahahual in Quintana Roo to find a vacation spot for Easter when Sarteneja is within easy reach. The popularity of places like Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Placencia show that Belizeans are happy to stay home for the holidays if the vacation conditions are right.

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