Breaking ground to end water worries in Maskall Village, Belize
March 9, 2016, was a historic day for residents of Maskall Village in Belize, who witnessed ground being broken for an improved water system for their district. This initiative, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), will bring an end to the acute water shortages the 1,500 residents have had to endure. The existing water system, built in 1985 and now obsolete, has made completing routine tasks such as bathing, cooking, drinking and washing a frustrating chore for households in the village. “I am so glad and proud that the system is getting off the foot and because we really need this water to go on properly, that we can have to use it whenever we want. Because sometimes you go to bathe, when you get there the water isn't pouring in the shower, you have to go outside and fill your bucket and go back in the bath. So it will be of a great use," said Ilda Swift, Chairperson of Maskall Water Board at the groundbreaking ceremony. Breaking ground at the site where the new water pump for Maskall Village will be built. From left to right Ilda Swift, Chairperson of Maskall Water Board; Hon. Hugo Patt, Minister for Labour, Local Government and Rural Development; Leslie Pascascio, Chairman of the Village; William Lamb Jr., Executive Director of BSIF; Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State, Ministry of Works, Transport and National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) and Area Representative, Belize Rural North; and Ruth Meighan, CEO in the Ministry of Transport and NEMO. CDB has provided USD501,000 in financing to the Government of Belize to fund the Maskall Rehabilitated Rudimentary Water System Upgrade. “We know that better access to water can transform communities and lead to better livelihoods for residents. CDB is pleased to collaborate with the Government of Belize to deliver an upgraded water system to the people of Maskall Village, help put an end to the acute water shortages they face and give them a better shot at leading more productive lives," said Darran Newman, Portfolio Manager, BNTF. Officials and members of the community during the groundbreaking ceremony on March 9, 2016 in Maskall Village, Belize. The upgrade is being supported by CDB through the Belize Social Investment Fund II. The Fund, comprising a USD 15 mn loan, finances interventions in poor under-served communities, on a demand-driven basis. Its aim is to help improve living conditions and enhance social capital in poor communities in Belize. The Belize Social Investment Fund II, 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, supports development in areas such as education and human resource development; health; water and sanitation improvement.