CDB Funding to improve Crooked Tree Road and Causeway in Belize
The village of Crooked Tree in Belize is home to approximately 1,000 residents, many of whom need to commute daily for employment or educational opportunities. Currently, the village can only be accessed via a 5.6km-long unpaved road, or causeway across the lagoon. During periods of high-intensity rainfall, high water levels in the lagoon regularly overtop the causeway and portions of the road, interrupting access to the community. To assist with ensuring uninterrupted access to the village, the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding in the amount of USD400,000. The funds will be used to partially finance a feasibility study and the preparation of designs to upgrade the Crooked Tree Road and Causeway. “With the changes that we are seeing as a result of climate change, there is a very real possibility that there will be an increased risk of more frequent flooding at Crooked Tree, as well as inundation of the road and causeway. This represents a significant health, welfare and livelihood risk to residents. This Project aims establish technically viable solutions to establish all-weather access to the Crooked Tree Village, as well as improve community resilience," said Andrew Dupigny, Division Chief, Economic Infrastructure Division at CDB. The village is also in close proximity to popular Tourism sites, namely the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and the Chau Hiix archaeological site. Access to these attractions facilitates significant economic benefits associated with Tourism. As part of the project, a vulnerability assessment of the Crooked Tree community will also be undertaken, and mitigation measures identified to improve resilience to climate change. Funding for the project will be provided through a loan of USD250,000, and a grant of USD150,000 allocated from resources provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the Grant Facility for Climate Action Support to CDB. It will be implemented by Belize' Ministry of Works, Transport and the National Emergency Management Organization.