Better access to water for more than 1,000 Belizeans
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize have provided more than 1,000 Belizeans in three villages with better access to a continuous supply of potable water within their communities. CDB supported two water sub-projects through financing of USD669,000 from the Social Investment Fund II (SIF II). Both sub-projects were inaugurated during the past month. One of the initiatives, which benefits the residents of adjoining villages, Gardenia and Biscayne in Belize District, was officially handed over on August 31, 2016. It has provided residents with reliable and safe quality water to meet their daily needs. Instead of sourcing water from wells and creeks that traditionally dried up during certain times of the year, the villagers are now able to turn on the taps right in their neighbourhoods. Two girls test drive the new water system for Gardenia and Biscayne, financed by CDB through the Social Investment Fund II. The Gardenia and Biscayne water supply sub-project, constructed, involved the installation of a transmission and distribution system, which is now connected to the Belize Water Service water grid. It was funded through a loan of USD500,000. The other sub-project, the rehabilitation and extension of the water system in Aguacate, was inaugurated on September 8, 2016. Aguacate is a small rural community in the Toledo District. The work included the Construction of a pump house, installation of a submersible pump and chlorinator unit, an additional pump, new transmission and distribution lines, and four polyethylene water tanks, secured by a fence. The existing distribution main was repaired and expanded; and water metres were installed in households to measure the consumption of water for billing purposes. This sub-project was funded through a loan of USD169,000. The rehabilitation and extension of the water system in Aguacate means residents now have better access to water to meet their daily needs. In addition to providing residents with a reliable water supply, both sub-projects will also contribute significantly to the reduction in the vulnerability of men, women and children of these villages to incidences of waterborne, food-borne and vector-borne diseases. The completion of the sub-projects helps the Government of Belize to meet its target of reducing by half the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water. Both were implemented by the Belize Social Investment Fund. The SIF II loan, combined with USD5.5 million and USD1.6 million committed to Belize in the seventh and eighth cycles of CDB' Basic Needs Trust Fund respectively, continues to support sub-projects in education and human resource development, water and sanitation improvement, health, and basic community access and drainage improvement across the country.