By BBN Staff: Hundreds of people swarmed the Belize City Lands Department this morning, hoping to become first-time landowners.
The crowd gathered despite the ongoing pandemic and mandatory preventative measures, as police tried their best to keep the order.
Natural Resources, Petroleum & Mining Minister, Cordel Hyde explained that the “nightmare” situation unfolding in front of the department was caused by a combination of neglect for first-time landowners by the previous government, and a misconception that today was the only day people could sign up for the initiative.
“I think what we are seeing here is after year and year of application, ordinary people haven’t been able to get their lands,” Hyde said. “What we are doing is we are looking for government lands as close as we can to Belize City, and once we find the government lands we will survey them and make them available to all first-time landowners, no matter who they are.”
Hyde said that, given the enormous crowd, it will not be possible to serve everyone gathered today, so the department will be taking names and phone numbers and getting in touch with applicants so they can come in for an appointment.