Sunday, April 21, 2024

Child-Friendly initiative prompts Central Park renovations


Under the child-friendly municipality certification, the San Pedro Town Council is embarking on a beautification project at the central park to improve its playground. On Friday, April 21st, new construction began at the park for a brand-new playground for the island’s children.
The Child-Friendly initiative under the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund watch entails protecting children in a particular community, including living in a safe and healthy environment and considering their concerns. In June 2021, San Pedro was awarded the silver status certification recognizing the island’s commitment to making the municipality safe for children.
The next step is for San Pedro to reach the gold and platinum levels. This depends on how the local administration manages the municipality’s affairs, such as trade licenses, markets, sporting facilities, health, education, social services, development projects, and works on parks and playgrounds. The work at the central park is one way to continue efforts to keep such areas safe for children and aims for the next level of certification.
Another change in the downtown area is the closing of two nightclubs and bars near the park. The next move will be relocating the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi company from near the park. The SPTC also supports sporting programs and tournaments to engage the youth. Although these changes make San Pedro family-friendly, some believe more can be done under the Child-Friendly program, such as improving sporting facilities, better access to primary health services, and monitoring development projects through public consultations. These concerned islanders say that consulting is very important to ensure such developments have the most negligible impact on the environment and enhance the child-friendly atmosphere.
Despite the challenges, the SPTC is committed to ensuring island children have the appropriate services. Another goal is to continue working hand in hand with the police department to deter illicit activities in public areas and tackle the issue of drinking alcohol at the parks across San Pedro.

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