|Prime Minister Said Musa
addresses gathering at new marina
The Prime Minister of
Belize, Hon. Said Musa along with Minister of Works, Transport and
Communications, Hon. Vildo Marin visited Ambergris Caye last Friday for
the official inauguration of the San Pedro Commercial Marina.
Former Area Representative Patty Arceo welcomed more
than a hundred invited guests, stating how proud she was that government
had fulfilled its promise to the people of San Pedro. She continued with
praise for former Mayor Alberto Nuñez and his town councillors for their
hard work initiating and implementing the project and finally, being
present to dedicate this landmark development.
Hon. Vildo Marin was the next to address
the crowd, acknowledging San Pedro as the "heart of tourism" in Belize.
He recalled the devastating effects of Hurricane Keith and assured those
present that the new commercial marina was designed to resist hurricane
and earthquake forces, and could accommodate more than six barges at a
time. Minister Marin added that the road leading to the pier was a
project in itself. He explained that because the marina was constructed
on swampy land, the road was specially constructed to withstand heavy
loads and the equipment needed to transport cargo from the barges.
Prime Minister Musa then expressed his
delight at how both past and present government leaders in San Pedro Town
have worked together "as one," to achieve this major goal in the
development of the island's infrastructure. The PM then admitted that
there was still much more to do, referring to his muddy ride through the
almost impassable streets of the DFC housing area. He then reassured
residents that "the longest journey begins with the first step," and
stated everyone will benefit as long as San Pedro pioneers continue to
show others how tourism can work.
Businessman and former Mayor of San Pedro, Pedro
Salazar Sr. wrapped up the ceremony by giving thanks for the vision of
local leaders from days gone by, who were responsible for the initial
purchase of the land where the marina was built. He also praised
government for putting the land "to good use."
A government press release stated that the pier is
comprised of steel sheet piling, reinforced with concrete capping,
complete with seven anchorage bollards for vessels on edge fenders. The
hardstand (surface) is paved to provide best control and to extend its
The release also explained the extra measures that
were taken to reduce settlement of the marina road. Reportedly, the
builders used "geo-textile" material in the road works as well as cement
stabilization and gabion baskets. More than a mile of channel (a minimum
of 100 feet wide) was dredged to allow barges to safely cross the shallow
areas of water approaching the wharf.
According to the report, the San Pedro Commercial
Marina was fully financed by the Government of Belize (GOB) at a cost of
approximately 3.5 million Belize dollars. Johnson International
constructed the San Pedro Municipal Pier, considered Phase I of the
project. Future phases of the development will evolve with the
construction of warehouses and outdoor storage spaces.
Following the inauguration ceremony,
The San Pedro Sun questioned Belize
Ports Commissioner Andy Suddes as to when the new pier would be fully
operational. Mr. Suddes explained that bids were currently being
requested to install the appropriate lighting and other equipment needed
to allow 24-hour usage at this facility. He added that this part of the
project should be completed by the end of November. The Ports
Commissioner was scheduled to meet with the project manager in Belmopan
on Tuesday to discuss further developments with the project. This
information will be provided as soon as it becomes
Also attending the long-awaited
dedication were Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs
Alan Usher, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works Dave Burgos,
Belize Rural South Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr., SP Town
Mayoress Elsa Paz, Past SP Mayor Alberto Nuñez, former Minister of Works
Fred Hunter, members of the SP Town Council (past and present), as well
as other distinguished guests representing Belize, Taiwan and Guatemala.