by Charles Gladden
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 11, 2022 On Thursday and Friday of last week, the Ministry of Natural Resources, which has been hosting mobile clinics at various locations in the country, to provide Lands Department services to members of the community who might find it difficult to travel to Belmopan to access such services, took its mobile operation to Price Barracks in Ladyville—the headquarters of the Belize Defence Force (BDF). At the end of the clinic on Friday, over 200 soldiers and civilian staff of the BDF, as well as 150 police officers and members of the Belize Coast Guard, had received the assistance needed to purchase their land title at the clinic. It was a fulfillment of a promise that had been made to them by the Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Cordel Hyde.
He had explained to local media last week what prompted his decision to host a mobile clinic especially for members of the country’s military. “The birth of this is a few months ago at our Sandhill land clinic. The BDF came out in droves. It must have been a couple buses of them, and so we promised them that they don’t need to subject themselves to that, that we’ll bring a special operation for them here. I don’t think they believed. We’ve put it off a couple times, but we’re here, and really it’s about giving them a special treatment, because what we are going to do is, we are issuing purchase price approvals for them, and then they are going to pay, because they’ve said they had the money to pay, so they’re going to pay immediately and apply for title immediately, and so we are hoping that by tomorrow to issue the titles to these folks,” he told a local reporter on Thursday.
He further noted, “We understand that they don’t have the time to chase their land matters. They’re very busy. They’re dispatched all over the country in very remote places, and it’s impossible for them to spend the time and the energy to chase down their matters. As it turns out, some of the officers we were able to help are retired officers. They are retired and were not able to complete their land transaction, so we consider this to be a very big deal, and we’re happy that we had this opportunity to fulfill that promise.”
Chief of Staff at the BDF, Lt. Col.
Jermaine Burns, was one of the soldiers who received a land title. “It wasn’t a few minutes ago when I received my title that it felt really good to see the level of commitment that our government has put into today’s activities to see the projects through, because we have cited these areas for over the past three years and we’ve been trying in and out to try and get the soldiers something, some sort of benefit for serving the country, and I’m glad today that we’ve done that. I’m glad to do that; I have capitalized on the process to secure one of these for myself,” he said.
“I feel privileged and blessed that the ministry took the initiative to bring it here to us as soldiers, because due to our schedule and operations we don’ t have the time like others to go out, so it’s good that they brought it here. And it’s not only one day. They made it a two-day event so soldiers that couldn’ t make it yesterday made it today. They made the process much easier for us,” Cpl Jereen Chun, a member of the BDF, told local media on Thursday.
“Finally getting land for myself, it’s been a good experience. For a while, it seems like it was going a long period, but eventually, it came to fruition. Better than going to Belmopan or going to Belize City and going through that long process. This clinic helped a lot in speeding up the process for us,” said Cpt. Pierce Coleman, a BDF pilot.
Minister of Defence and Border Security, Hon. Florencio Marin, Jr., has also publicly applauded the initiative.
Plans are also reportedly being made to host a mobile ckinic especially for members of the Belize Coast Guard.