Thurs. Aug. 31, 2023
The now Coastal Plain Road is finally completed and has been officially opened. Here is a main thoroughfare of the country that was neglected for decades and finally got a much-needed upgrade which was long overdue. The impact of this road on the development of this country is significant as it provides a shorter route for goods and services from the south to access Belize City and the rest of the country.
This is one of several infrastructure projects that got started with the last administration and now is completed by this government. This is important to mention as it indicates a natural progression of what should happen for the development of the country. There are many projects that have fallen by the wayside when a new administration takes over the government. This is a terrible precedent that politicians find appealing for their ego. I’m sure that the last administration will also want to take credit for this project, which is fine, as we are all Belizean and we all will be able to enjoy driving on this highway.
How ironic that this stretch of road has exactly 36 miles.
In light of this new paved road, my interest is directed toward the complete abandonment of the project on the Placencia highway where construction had already begun for an international airport and a luxury hotel. These two projects which complement each other would have offered major economic opportunities for the people in that area. These abandoned construction sites today have become an eye-sore when going into the Placencia peninsula. Unfortunately, the last government refused to recognize the importance of finishing the airport and/or the hotel or it was not in their best interest. The effect of the completion of this project would have been tremendous for many residents in southern Belize. It would have created many jobs for many families, much more than the 300 jobs that the NCL docking facility generates at Harvest Caye during the high season. It would be good to know what happened with that multimillion-dollar investment project which was just scrapped after a change of government in 2008.
This is just another example of how politics restricts the development of small nation-states such as ours. Any initiative that will enhance and be beneficial for the people should be supported by all parties involved. By now that airport and hotel project on the Placencia peninsula would have been completed and the disenfranchised population in the south would have had meaningful employment. The reluctance to implement major investment in southern Belize is a clear indication of the colonial mindset of our politicians. We need to move away from petty discrimination and segregation that we have been enduring since independence and even before. The most important resource of any nation is its people.