General / Weekend News

Controversy erupts over Fabers Road reconstruction contract

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

Members of civil society and the political third parties have condemned the Government of Belize’s decision to award the contract for the reconstruction of Faber’s Road to the nephew of former Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega.

The Vision Inspired by the People third party, called for the contract to be rescinded because it was awarded in contrary to the Finance and Audit Reform Act, Chapter 15 of the Laws of Belize. The community activist group, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), has also retained the services of a law firm to demand that GOB make the contract public.

The firm of Musa and Balderamos wrote to GOB on COLA’s behalf asking that the contract be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.

GOB had issued a release on Thursday, explaining that it awarded the contract, valued at $7,995,926.40 to Imer Hernandez. The initial release mentioned only that the contract was for the rehabilitation and drainage infrastructure improvement of just over a mile of Faber’s Road, and made general mentions of the works that are to be done.

Following the public outrage, GOB issued a second release on Friday, giving in detail of all the works that will be done as a part of the contract.

Those works include the construction of lesd than 2 miles of reinforced concrete road pavement, and close to 3 miles of reinforced concrete sidewalk and side drains, along with the construction of less than a mile of earthen trapezoidal drains commencing at Krooman Road to the Caribbean Sea.

“The eight-inch-thick, high-strength, reinforced concrete is necessary to accommodate heavy-duty transport vehicles commuting to and from the Port of Belize. The drainage from Krooman Lagoon to the Caribbean Sea will provide further flood mitigation in the general vicinity,” GOB explained.

The entire scope of works was submitted to and approved by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) as part of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase 3.

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