San Mateo cleanup campaign off to a great start

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The San Mateo cleanup campaign took place on the 17th and 18th of December and it was a great start to a long-term beatification project of the area. Fifty garbage bins, which were donated by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) were distributed to residents who came out to work towards the initial cleanup of the area. Residents, along with Town Council members, came out to support the cleanup campaign, while UNICEF provided demonstrations and training on proper hand washing and water purification techniques.

Residents of San Mateo at launch of Clean up Campaign

This is just yet another “blessing”, as stated Karina Romero – resident of San Mateo – in her vote of thanks at the commencement ceremony of the campaign. As of recent, the San Mateo committee has seen much attention with some $100,000BZ being donated by Bay Trust International in Belize which facilitated the construction of various streets throughout the subdivision. With the construction of the streets, residents that were forced to reach their homes via “London Bridges” (elevated wooden walkways above contaminated water) or via canoes – finally had proper access to their homes. Further to this, there has been much work by international entities, such as students from the University of Mississippi under the guidance of Miss Kim Shackelford – who helped to create the San Mateo Empowerment Committee which has organized much work in the area. These are just two very positive initiatives that work to bring a better life to residents of San Mateo.

residents gearing up for cleanup

San Mateo resident, Daisy Howe, who has been living in the area for four years, says that she is more than happy with the level of support that the area receives. There is a wider public that works hard towards helping residents improve their living conditions. She joins her neighborhood in expressing hope that electricity connection will be the next issue tackled in the near future.
Addressing the gathering at the commencement ceremony on December 17th, Mayor Daniel Guerrero re-iterated that the Town Council is aware of the conditions of San Mateo and stressed the council’s initiative to provide proper electricity to ALL residents of San Mateo. He informed those gathered that he has received a quotation from Belize Electricity Limited on the cost of providing proper electricity for the entire subdivision and it is well over $1,000,000. This, he stated, would be the Council’s next focus as far as providing services to San Mateo. He assured the residents that while this will take some time, what is certain is that it WILL happen.
The Town Council will also be widening the streets in San Mateo so that garbage trucks can enter the area and collect garbage on a regular basis.

The widening of the streets will be a great asset for Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) to run power lines as well. The active residents of San Mateo will continue to promote the need to keep the area clean.
Councilor Kenrick Brackett asks for the continued assistance from the business sector on giving donations to the cause. Councilor Brackett informed The San Pedro Sun that the Town Council is looking to launch cleanup campaigns in DFC, San Pedrito and the Boca del Rio areas. He believes that this effort will not only help to reduce illness caused by poor hygiene but also promote the beauty of the island to tourists.

Garbage bags and gloves in hand – San Mateo residents make out to “Clean UP” San Mateo

Both the Town Council and the residents of San Mateo would like to thank UNICEF and all parties that supported the cleanup campaign and San Mateo in general.

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