More water, better health for village in Belize

On the first day of August, in the Maya community of Conejo in Belize, villagers gathered at the future site of their new water supply system. Officials from the Government of Belize and Belize Social Investment Fund had joined them for a groundbreaking ceremony, which kicked off construction works for the system.

Maya community gathered outdoors
Residents of  Conejo Village during the groundbreaking ceremony on August 1, 2016.

When the Conejo New Rudimentary Water Subproject is completed, it will provide 300 villagers with the continuous supply of reliable and safe drinking water they need for daily living. Getting enough water for drinking, washing, bathing and cooking will no longer be an inconvenience. With the new water supply system, men, women and children who live in the village will also be less vulnerable to waterborne, foodborne and vector-borne diseases.

The water supply system will run with clean energy from the sun. A solar panel array will provide electricity to the pump house and electronic controls. A submersible solar water pump and chlorinator will also form part of the system. 

Villagers will get access to water through nearly 14,000 ft. (4.27 km) of transmission and distribution pipelines, which will be supplied and installed through the subproject. A water tank will be constructed at the highest point in the village and water will be gravity fed to householders in the community.

Under the subproject, all villagers will have access to training in public health education, in areas such as food and nutrition, personal hygiene, and water and sanitation. 

Maya community with shovels, wearing hard hats
Members of the Conejo community will soon have better access to reliable and safe drinking water.

The Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund has provided a grant of USD333,488 for the subproject, which will be implemented by the Belize Social Investment Fund.

The Conejo New Rudimentary Water System Project is scheduled for completion by December 31, 2016.