By Benjamin Flowers
The Social Investment Fund announced this week that Belize has secured a $60 million loan from the World Bank for a climate change project.
The project is called the Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project” (BCRIP) and is geared towards improving and strengthening Belize’s climate resilience against the anticipated impacts climate change will have on infrastructure.
The project will target specifically a 24km section of the Philip Goldson Highway, and other smaller sections of primary roadway on the George Price Highway near Belmopan if possible.
The project activities will include, among other things, hydrological improvements, small- scale creek alignment; river embankments protection, re-sizing of culverts and some replacement of culverts with small bridges to improve hydraulic capacities, road rehabilitation, road widening andshoulder improvement, and re-establishing improved road safety features.
The project will also improve the Ministry of Works’ capacity in road maintenance and training of road maintenance personnel, as well as improve government’s personnel capacity in flood mitigation systems.
Nestor Mendez, ambassador of Belize to the United States/Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States, signed the loan agreement on Belize’s behalf last week.
Climate change has been increasing as a topic of discussion for Belize and countries all over the world. Several climate change and related projects are ongoing in the country, such as the flood mitigation project in Belize City, which is currently upgrading underground drainage at the Cinderella Plaza.
Others are still in the process of being finalized, such as the The Belize Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project, a US$6 million climate change project also being funded by the World Bank.