Friday, August 29, 2008

The Northern Highway

What a disgrace the Northern Highway between Belize City and Ladyville has become. In fact, it has become the symbol for the sorry state of the country we live in.

When it is dry it becomes a dust bowl. When it is raining it becomes a swamp. In between, it is a mixture of potholes, badly patched tarmac, half-fixed tarmac and Indianapolis speedway for buses, taxis and blue plated vehicles. If this is not just like our country, what is? Everything is falling down, while the few elite breeze on through. GOB attempts to patch itself, but it keeps raining on them, and bigger holes soon appear. When it does stop raining, they are so relieved that they forget to work on the issues that cause the disrepair in the first place.

As we continue to dodge countless potholes and drive through chassis high salt water on a regular basis, we must wonder...are we really living in a country moving forward? Where are our priorities? And shouldn't the highest priority be to fix the one piece of road in the country that is not only the most driven, but the first stretch of road that visitors, investors and the IMF see? The people that keep Belize going.

We've thrown down millions for a now trash littered Marine Parade, but those tour buses still have to chug through the eyesore we call "Friendship Street". They still drive on the stretch of road that is a killing field for pedestrians and motorists. Several years ago, someone coined the term Kamikazi Junction. Well, this road should be called Snipers Alley. Every time you take a drive on this road, you are risking your life, dodging holes, vehicles, people, water and even the odd real bullet. Mostly we avoid all the perils, but occasionally we fall in that big new hole and never come out. Will Belize finally fall into a really big hole and never come out? Some would argue that we already have.

Lets fix the road, fix ourselves, and fix our country. We deserve it. Our children deserve it.