Water Treatment Plant in Caye Caulker Eases Financial Burden
Since 1989, the residents of Caye Caulker have been begging for a water treatment plant in the village. In 1995, a proposal was made for a project but it never materialized. Finally in 2008, 19 years after the movement started, groundbreaking was done for the Caye Caulker Water Supply and Distribution System Project. According to Haydon Brown, Belize Water Services Human Resources and Public Relations Manager, the project is based “on the foresight of the Government of Belize seeing the need for
better water service in Caye Caulker”.
Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Water Services Limited, Alvan Haynes, said that the project took two years to complete and cost $3.05 million. Of that amount, the BWS provided $1.30 million and the Government of Belize provided the additional $1.75 million through the United Kingdom’s CDI funds. The first phase of the project was the construction of a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. The plant converts sea water to clean drinking water and is capable of treating 150,000 gallons of water daily. The plant has a tank that has a storage capacity of 150,000 gallons. The second phase of the project was the implementation of a distribution system. This included the laying of 5.5 miles of main pipe. So far there have been 307 residential connections and 62 non-residential connections.
At the inauguration of the plant and distribution system on Thursday, July 1, no one was happier than the Area Representative of Belize Rural South, Hon Manuel Herredia Jr. He said that though it is just one part of government’s larger plan for the country, “This water treatment plant could not have come at a better time.” Numerous studies have shown that the water retrieved from their rudimentary water system, hand dug wells and roof catchments are contaminated and unsafe to consume. Minister Herredia Jr. said that because of the contaminated water many residents of the village have opted to purchase purified water. Purified water is relatively expensive and those who cannot afford it are faced with serious health concerns.
The implementation of the new water treatment plant and distribution system relieves the dependence on purified water which could save a fortune over time. It also improves the quality and quantity of water available throughout the day and provides better health and environmental standards to the village. Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr. and the Caye Caulker Village Council expressed their gratitude on behalf of the residents of the village to the Belize Water Services Limited and the Government of Belize. They hope that the upgrade will be effective in attracting more tourists to the beautiful destination.
This government has been dedicated to expanding water services throughout the country. Groundbreaking ceremony was held on Monday July 5 for the Belize River Valley Water System Project. This is also a part of government’s millennium goal to have the entire country with access to clean potable drinking water by 2015.