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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Belize City Infrastructure

1. Project Data:   
Project ID:
Project Name:
Belize City Infrastructure
Urban Management, Urban Development
L/C Number:
Partners Involved:
Prepared By:
Charles Derek Poate, OEDST
Reviewed By:
Kyu Sik Lee
Group Manager:
Roger Slade
Date Posted:

2. Project Objectives, Financing, Costs, and Components:

The project objectives were to: (i) improve the health and safety of the Belize City dwellers; (ii) preserve the rich ecology of the City and its environs, one of the most important economic assets of the country; (iii) promote the economic development of the city, through tourism; and (iv) strengthen the City capacity for infrastructure maintenance and delivery of urban services. The project included four components: (a) rehabilitation of the street network and traffic management; (b) improved drainage system, including canals and creeks; (c) coastal protection and berth facilities; and strengthening the City's capacity to maintain its infrastructure, to manage its solid waste and to improve the delivery of urban services. The loan amount was US$20 million which was fully disbursed. The total project cost was US$33.25 million.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The project objectives were partially achieved: (i) Canal and drainage works have contributed to a reduction in the areas subjected to floods, which is likely to contribute to improved health conditions in the City. (ii) Street and traffic improvements have had a positive impact on the traffic safety. (iii) The project has had negligible success in protection of the City's environment. (iv) Tourism to Belize has increased over the past decade but it is difficult to establish a cause-effect relationship with project activities. (v) Strengthening of the City's capacity for infrastructure maintenance and service delivery has not happened, but the project has established a good base to facilitate such capacity in the future.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

(i) The project works were well conceived and designed with innovative ways of overcoming space constraints, and difficult geographical, geological, and hydrological conditions. (ii) Twenty two kilometers of major urban streets were rehabilitated including improved pavement and intersections, traffic signalization systems, improved street drainage and widened sidewalk for pedestrian as well as bicycle lanes. (iii) Four kilometers of canals and creeks were rehabilitated, including dredging, lining and widening, as well as improving interconnections, crossings and outfalls.

5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

(i) The Government complied with most of the institutional reform actions stipulated in the Loan and Subsidiary Agreements, but for the most part, these involved only parliamentary or similar legal approval and were not made effective. (ii) By not having an appropriate cadastre system in place to obtain funds needed to maintain the project works, there is a great risk that within a short time the physical works may begin to fail due to lack of needed maintenance. (iii) While there was a clear understanding and legal agreement for the City council to assume responsibility for the works after they are completed, there was no clear transition plan for this.
6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
SatisfactoryMarginally Satisfactory
    ICR rated "physical works" as satisfactory and "institutional" as unsatisfactory using the old form for Table 1. OED rating is equivalent to a combined ICR ratings of the two. The ES form does not allow a "marginally satisfactory" rating for the ICR.
Institutional Dev.:
    "Partial" is equivalent to "modest" in the ES form.
Bank Performance:
    "Deficient" is equivalent to "unsatisfactory" in the ES form.
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

(i) Incorporating the active participation of all stakeholders (including beneficiaries) at the earliest stage of a proposed project and continuation of this practice during all subsequent phases is a necessary condition for viable success and to build ownership. (ii) The Bank needs to be realistic about what can be achieved in terms of institutional development. The institutional, administrative, financial, legal and related framework should be very clearly defined, understood and agreed upon by all parties and include clear procedures not only for the conceptual phase, but also for making them operational. (iii) Legal covenants need to be phrased such that they do not just require parliamentary or similar legal approval, but also must be implemented.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is satisfactory. It addresses all project issues clearly and concisely and identifies some important lessons of general applicability. The Bank had not received the Borrower's comments at the time of finalizing the ICR.

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