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Machakil Ha May Get Its Road…Maybe!

Machakil Ha May Get Its Road…Maybe!
April 27
09:38 2019

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 –
Since the story of the five children from Machakil Ha, Toledo who had to walk some five plus miles in the dark of night to the nearest village that had a road and transportation to take them to their exam venue in another village on time, we have gotten a hopeful feedback from the Ministry of Works that the process to cut and shape an access road to the village is possible this year, but that possibility is dependent on a number of variables.

Chief Engineer with the Ministry of Works, Lennox Bradley laid out for us the challenges first that Machakil Ha faces. The budget for roads is very limited, he said, so a five-mile rocked road for that village right now would pose a challenge, particularly because Machakil Ha is geographically spaced far apart from other villages in the south and that stretch of road would have to include investment in other structures, such as a bridge and culverts over waterways. He mentioned that there is the cost-benefit aspect that would have to be looked at – which is really comparing the investment with the return.

But Bradley said there has been discussion at the Ministry to see if they can start to cut and shape the road this year. The Ministry just recently acquired three dump trucks to improve its capacity in infrastructural development and there is the will to begin some type of road access, even if limited at this time, Bradley said.

“We have every intention to start (cutting a road there) this year. We can open up the road, but there is no commitment to say we can provide a rocked or surfaced road,” the Chief Engineer advised, adding that Ministry of Works officials have walked the trail that the villagers currently use. He said that the Government and the Ministry officials are aware of the hardship the villagers face and they will make an effort to cut and shape the road before the rainy season starts at the beginning of June. The rains would hinder the work for another few months and the trail during that time would make the walk for the villagers even worse, having to keep their balance while contending with cuts, bruises and the occasional snake.

But even if the Ministry cuts open a road for the village so vehicles can enter, they would not be able to drive the entire five or so miles in because of the waterways that need the crossings. Additionally, the vehicles entering the village would face a bumpy ride in the dry season and would see a slick road that is likely to make them bog in the wet season.

Bradley went on to share with us that this week there is a workshop in Belmopan that addresses road maintenance in the future. The money necessary to maintain the country’s roads and infrastructure is simply not enough, he added.

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