CDB Funding Helping to Improve Water Supply for Residents of Chan Pine Ridge Village in Belize

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Over 447 residents of Chan Pine Ridge Village in the Orange District of Belize will soon have access to quality, potable water thanks to a Social Investment Fund (SIF) project, which will be funded through a government loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The project, which began last week, aims to improve and expand water supply to rural communities in Belize. This project is being implemented by SIF in collaboration with the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) and financed by the Government at a total cost of BZD980,475.61. Of this amount, CDB is providing BZD693,951.82. BWSL will provide BZD250,000.00, the Government will provide BZD34,523.79 in counterpart funding, while the community of Chan Pine Ridge will contribute BZD2,000.00.During a recent survey conducted by the Chan Pine Ridge Water Board with the assistance of SIF, 95% of households surveyed signed a document agreeing to connect the village to the BWSL water grid. As part of this agreement, BWSL decided to waive the standard connection fee of $85.00 and requested that only the $50.00 deposit be paid by the customers. The project will upgrade the present water system and connect the village to BWSL's northern water grid. This entails the trenching of 2.14 miles of 6" PVC transmission line, 3.50 miles of 6", 4" and 3" mains-distribution and service connections. The existing water system in Chan Pine Ridge Village was constructed in 1996 and was funded jointly by the Government of Belize, Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI), Belize Water and Sewerage Authority and the community of Chan Pine Ridge. Presently 90 out of a total of 95 households are connected to the water system which is no longer efficient as it has deteriorated significantly over the past years. With the upgrade of this water system, the residents will be able to enjoy a 24-hour supply of quality, potable water, better sanitation and good health, especially in the prevention and possible reduction of water borne diseases. As part of the project, the SIF will also carry out rehabilitation works to the school's bathroom as well rehabilitation works to the health post, including Construction of a bathroom at the health post. Chan Pine Ridge Village is located approximately two (2) miles south of Orange Walk Town or one mile west of the Philip Goldson Highway entering from BSI's factory. Chan Pine Ridge Village has a population of approximately 447 people, predominantly of Mestizo descent, in 95 households. Most of the villagers are engaged in sugar cane cultivation while some are involved in cattle production. A few of the residents are also involved in small businesses. It is the intention of the project to eventually connect all 95 households to BWSL's water grid in Orange Walk. The installation of meters will regularize the use of water and will assist in the control and monitoring of water usage.

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