The Social Investment Fund is preparing to inaugurate a Rudimentary Water System in Bladen Village and an Electrification Project for Bladen and Trio Villages in the Toledo District. The water project was financed by the Government of Belize and the European Union as part of the Banana Belt Clean Water Project. Mike Hernandez is the Director of Public Relations at the Social Investment Fund.

Mike Hernandez; Director of Public Relations

"Some weeks ago we did the inauguration of the San Isidro Electricity Project as well as the San Isidro Rudimentary Water System. In reality tomorrow's inauguration of Bladen Rudimentary Water System is really a follow up to that event. In essence what is happening is that the Bladen Village Rudimentary Water System as well as the electrification project for Bladen Village and also the electrification project for Trio Village will be inaugurated tomorrow at 10:00 in the morning and at 2:00pm respectively. In reality the project for the water system at Bladen is part of a Banana Belt Clean Water Project which aims to provide clean potable water to over two thousand residents in the villages of Trio, Bladen, San Isidro and San Pablo Villages in the Toledo District. It is a collaborative effort between the European Union and the Social Investment Fund. The situation in these villages has continuously posed health hazards from water born illnesses and therefore the provision of potable water to these four communities is considered to be urgent and beneficial to their social and economic development."

Hernandez says the targeted villages are poor communities, which experience critical water shortages especially during the dry season.

Mike Hernandez

"The scope of works for the Bladden Rudimentary Water System included the construction of a 20 thousand gallon Ferro-concrete elevated tank reinforced for earthquake resistance, a pump house with generator, a submersible pump with chlorinator unit and 22 thousand feet of transmission and distribution lines. The cost for the project is estimated at just over $461 thousand and of this amount; the Government of Belize contributed $121 thousand. The electrification project for Bladen and Trio Villages was implemented by Belize Electricity Limited as part of the Banana Belt Electrification Project. Under this project, there are seven communities in the area are being connected to the national electricity grid. The communities include: Santa Cruz, Monkey River, San Isidro, Trio, Bladen, Cowpen and San Pablo. It is important to note that the villages of Santa Cruz, Monkey River and San Isidro have already benefitted from the project. The electrification project will no only benefit local residents and banana workers and growers but it will also benefit small businesses in the areas as well as small manufacturers of local products."