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Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted #539815
12/31/19 05:39 AM
12/31/19 05:39 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Caye Caulker water interruption for an extended period

The BWS reverse osmosis plant on Caye Caulker is malfunctioning, causing a prolonged water shortage. Folks, this is bad. If there is a fire there will be no water to fight it, so please practice restraint in the use of firecrackers and please do not light unnecessary fires. You might also want to unplug your water heater if you have one as well and, folks, the washing machine is not going to work without water flow. You’ll just burn the motor out and potentially cause a fire. So disconnect that for now as well.

For Immediate Release
December 30, 2019, 11:30am

On Sunday, December 29, 2019, at about 11:00am, the Caye Caulker Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant experienced a shut down due a broken main drive shaft. This shaft had just been replaced on December 24, 2019, with the previous drive shaft having performed for 8 years before wearing out. Unfortunately, the BWS team realized, at that time, that the replacement shaft was slightly out of alignment and prone to failure. Replacement shafts were immediately ordered, and are due for shipment out of the U.S. later this week. Unfortunately, by today, December 30, 2019, the 150,000 gallon water storage for the island has now been depleted. BWS is dispatching 12,000 gallons of water via water trucks on barges to help provide customers on the island with water. This limited supply will be rationed to customers in the coordination with the Caye Caulker Village Council.

A team of technicians has been dispatched to the island to install a customized shaft in an effort to get the plant operational by the end of today. BWS is hopeful of having this issue fully resolved within the next few days and apologizes to consumers for any inconvenience caused by this situation. BWS acknowledges and appreciates the patience and understanding exhibited by our Caye Caulker customers.

Belize Water Services Limited




THE BELIZE TOURISM INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION makes this urgent appeal to the government to rectify what appears to be negligence of legally mandated suppliers of electricity and water on the island of Caye Caulker.

Potable water is a basic necessity for Belizeans and for the productivity of the economy. Belizeans and their livelihood deserve this basic resource and a reliable electrical supply.

The patience of the Caye Caulker community is now at an end as the problem with these utilities is a chronic problem which has been worsening over this past year. The island has been left without water and electricity on an ongoing basis and, especially, at peak times of 2018 and 2019 including Christmases, Easters and Lobsterfests.

The time is now for long-term solutions as the negative experience of Caye Caulker has detrimental ramifications for the entire country of Belize, the national tourism industry and the livelihood of Hicaquenos. The BTIA repeats that this is NOT a new situation as the BTIA has participated with relevant planning agencies over the years to avoid and to solve exactly these problems to the communities and the industry. The BTIA stands in solidarity with the Caye Caulker Branch and the island of Cayc Caulker in demanding an immediate acceptable remedy to this situation.

Contact: Caye Caulker BTIA Email: [email protected]

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539816
12/31/19 05:47 AM
12/31/19 05:47 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Tonight, the situation on the island of Caye Caulker is that of total desperation after they were plunged into complete darkness and without water. Separate press releases from the two utility companies outlined the dilemma they are facing in trying to get the much-needed services up and running. As it relates to water supply from Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL), water could take days to be restored due to a part that is being shipped from abroad. This follows a broken main drive shaft that caused the interruption in the water supply on December 24th. When the replacement was made, the company said they immediately noticed an alignment problem, which would have caused a further interruption in the water supply. To make matters even worse is that the 150,000-gallon tank reserve has been totally depleted. While the company has deployed a tanker with 12,000 gallons of water to be rationed, it is a major concern since the island is expecting a high influx of tourism arrivals. At this time, BWSL is unable to say when water will be fully restored. For its part, BEL says that they are replacing a faulty generating unit. Once that is completed, power is expected to be restored. The local branch of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is calling for immediate actions to be taken by the Government of Belize to have the matter addressed. Reports from the island are that hundreds of tourists have checked out of their hotel for what they view as a “major inconvenience,” and we are told that the tourists are even leaving the tourism-dependent island. It’s a major economic blow to the small community, especially since the last of the two essential services is happening at one of peak week for tourism in Belize. This report was made by San Pedro Correspondent Jorge Aldana.



Speaking with Honourable Manuel Heredia via phone call in regards to the water and power crisis.

BWS has arrived on the island with two water trucks, one that holds 4,500 gallons of water to supply the hoteliers. Another truck is at the BWS site in Caye Caulker with 12,000 gallons currently filling the reservoir to distribute water in portions to the rest of the community.

The truck will be back again tomorrow to continue the distribution of water. This is only a temporary solution until the matter is permanently fixed.

Caye Caulker experiencing water and electricity outages

Residents on the island of Caye Caulker are experiencing a shortage of water and electricity, affecting thousands of residents and the business sector. At this time of posting, most of La Isla Cariñosa is in darkness with low pressure or no running water and many tourists are leaving the island.

The problem with the water supply worsened after Belize Water Services’ (BWS) Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant shut down on Sunday, December 29th due to a broken main drive shaft. The island had 150,000-gallon water storage, but by Monday, December 30th, the reserve was depleted.

On Monday, December 30th, Caye Caulker experienced a power outage due to the failure of generation units which supplies La Isla Cariñosa with power. Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) in a press release stated that over the past days, they had to conduct load shedding during the evening peak hours to compensate for the loss in the generation capacity. According to the release, when the demand for electricity is higher, imminent power outages take place. A BEL team is currently repairing a generation unit, which is projected for completion tonight.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

BEL Addresses Generation Issues on Caye Caulker

Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is working to resolve power supply issues in Caye Caulker following failure of one of the generation units that supply ekctricity to customers on the island.

Over the past five days, the Company has had to conduct load shedding during the evening peak hours to compensate for the loss in generation capacity.As a result, some customers on the island have been experiencing intermittent power outages when the demand for electricity is highest.

BEL teams are currently repairing a generating unit, which is projected for completion tonight. Thereafter, there will be no further need for load shedding, as the generating units will sufficiently supply power to the island during peak hours.

As a measure to mitigate the need for bad shedding tonight, the Company is asking customers who have back-up generators to run their self-supply after 5:00 p.m. today.

BEL appeals to customers for their patience while our teams work diligently to complete repairs and restore stable power supply to the island.

Customers may also all 0-800-BEL-CARE or 0-8-00-235-2273 for questions or concerns, and Customer Care Representatives will be at the Caye Caulker Office on Tuesday, December 31 to address concerns.

Caye Caulker In Water Crisis; Rationing Water; Tourists Leaving

Our neighbors in Caye Caulker Village are currently experiencing a water crisis as the island’s water supply plants has broken down. There are reports that guests are leaving hotels and the water shortage is gravely impacting everyone from restaurants, hotels, all businesses and consumers.

A team of technicians has been dispatched to the island to install a customized shaft in an effort to get the plant operational by the end of today, December 30, but word from an afternoon meeting at the Caye Caulker Village Council informs that the issue will not be solved until the end of the week. BWS is hopeful of having this issue fully resolved sooner and apologizes to consumers for any inconvenience caused by this situation.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the Ambergris Today

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539830
12/31/19 01:03 PM
12/31/19 01:03 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Update on Water Interruption for Cave Caulker

Belize Water Services is pleased to inform customers in Caye Caulker that water has been restored in the distribution system but for, the next few days, water will be supplied at lower than normal pressure. BWS crews worked into the night on Monday to restore functionality to the Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant. However, there are some additional works that will require shutdown of the plant. During this period, BWS will continue to barge in water to help maintain supply to customers on the island through the distribution system.

BWS takes this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to all those who continue to assist during this challenge. BWS also extends commendations to our crews who worked tirelessly through extended hours to conduct the necessary repairs to the plant and those who assisted with the transportation and distribution of water. Special thanks are also extended to the Caye Caulker Village Council. especially the Chairlady who helped to ensure that water was delivered to those in critical need.

Most importantly, BWS extends appreciation to our customers and consumers in Caye Caulker for their patience and understanding exhibited during this difficult period.

The BTIA press conference addressing the situation regarding the power and water interruption.

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539831
12/31/19 01:12 PM
12/31/19 01:12 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
BEL is asking anyone with generators to power them up during peak time this evening.

See "BEL Addresses Generation Issues on Caye Caulker" above...

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539835
12/31/19 01:30 PM
12/31/19 01:30 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
BEL Update to Caye Caulker customers

Belize Electricity limited (BEL) advises that power supply was restored to customers in Caye Caulker following an emergency outage at 5:11 p.m. on Monday. December 30. The outage affected a portion of Southern Caye Caulker between 8:45 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. The outage was necessary to compensate for a loss in generation capacity, when one of the units that supplies electricity to customers on the island failed, requiring repairs.

BEL teams completed repairs to one unit last night. and normal service has resumed to Caye Caulker. Repairs to the second unit are scheduled for completion later today.

The Company recognizes that any power outage negatively affects customers, including those in the tourism sector. Therefore. BIII. continues to put measures in place to address equipment failures and the extraordinary demand for power in Caye Caulker, particularly during peak tourism seasons.

BEL is also proceeding with plans to install a submarine cable to connect Caye Caulker to the national electricity grid by early 2021, which will help to maintain reliable power supply to customers on the island.

The Company acknowledges the dedicated team of employees who have bees working tirelessly and thanks customers for their patience during the intermittent outages over the past five days. BEL representatives are available at the Caye Caulker Office until 5:00 p.m. today to address any questions or concerns.

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539838
12/31/19 03:51 PM
12/31/19 03:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 1
Attemale Offline
Attemale  Offline
Hello Marty,
I'm not a local but have a trip coming up January 7. Was planning on staying in caye Caulker for 4 says than San Pedro for 3. Do you think we should re-book and spend the whole time in San Pedro? I've been to caye Caulker before and love it but really don't want to be without water or electricity. What are your opinions?

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539841
01/01/20 05:31 AM
01/01/20 05:31 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Official press release from the CCBA addressing the water and power situation

The Caye Caulker Business Association (CCBA) is appealing to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), as the statutory body charged with regulating and oversight of the Belize utility compani., to get involved in the ongoing substandard services on Caye Caulker. The unacceptable situation involves both the electrical company (BEL) and the water company (BWS). It has reached the point that it cannot be ignored and beyond the point of acceptance by the people of Cayc Caulker.

The management at the PUC should be well aware of the catastrophe that occurred when BEL's infrastructure on the island could not handle the crowd for Lobster Fest 2019 weekend. Equally as devastating to the island was the near complete lack of water during the 2019 Easter Holiday period. Unfortunately, we are in that same situation again on the island due to BEL and BWS reporting mechanical failures for the past two days. The low or no water pressure has been an ongoing issue since April. Tourists have been on the island without water and electricity for extended periods over the past two days specifically and all too frequently during the past year. Guest complaints are mounting, visitors are leaving, negative reviews are flooding the Internet and causing serious damage to the Car Caulker tourism product.

The poor performance of both utility companies is an affront to the hard work of the Hicaquenos who have endeavored to carve out a niche in the overall Belizean tourism product; and continue to strive to improve it with significant investments in their facilities.

Because the utility companies in Belize all operate in a business climate that is essentially a protected monopoly, the customers don't have a choice. That makes the PUC's job of diligent oversight and monitoring of utmost importance. A primary function of the PUC is to ensure that the performance of the utility companies guarantees the customers an acceptable level of service that is consistent with and supports the current and growing levels of economic activities in the various communities. It is the consensus opinion of the Caye Caulker residents that both utility companies are failing to live up to that mandate.

Of further concern to the Caye Caulker community is the poor communications from the utility companies and the belligerent attitude that is frequently encountered when answers are sought by the paying customers. Because of the critical nature of the services that they provide, the utility companies absolutely have an obligation to maintain a proactive communication policy to keep their customers well informed.

The Caye Caulker Business Association, by way of this letter, is demanding that the PUC immediately conduct a thorough investigation into the Caye Caulker situation. The people of Caye Caulker need assurances from the PUC and the utility companies that the current situation will be immediately and effectively addressed, Further. the CCBA would like to see plans put in place from both companies that expand their infrastructure to adequately cope with the realities of the growing population and economic activities on the island.

The Board of Directors of the CCBA will make themselves available to work with all parties to effect long term solutions that will ensure the continued prosperity and viability of Caye Caulker.

Board of Directors Caye Caulker Business Association

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539842
01/01/20 05:35 AM
01/01/20 05:35 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The water from B&B has arrived on the island and ready for distribution. Be reminded to pick up your tickets from the Chairlady or Councilor Lilia Marin Wednesday morning. Remember to take your gallons or buckets. Each ticket value 5-5 gallons. Distribution starts at 8am.


Speaking with Standard Bearer of the People's United Party on the water and power situation.

Caye Caulker slowly recovering from electricity and water outages

Both utility companies, Belize Water Services (BWS) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) have tried to address the issue as it is affecting the tourism sector on Caye Caulker. By Tuesday, December 31st, a slight improvement had taken place, with a low pressure of water restored, and fluctuations in power supply. Reports are that tourists are cancelling hotel reservations, while others are leaving Caye Caulker. This issue was emphasized during a press conference involving the Caye Caulker Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and the Caye Caulker Village Council. They pointed out that this is one of the most lucrative times of the year and with the failure of these two important services, the livelihood of many is in jeopardy. Caye Caulker Chairlady Seleny Villanueva-Pott called on the government to take the issue seriously.

The island’s 150,000-gallon water storage was depleted by Monday, December 30th, and BWS dispatched 12,000 gallons of water via water trucks on barges from its headquarters in Belize City. A total of 4,500 gallons were distributed to hoteliers and 12,000 for the rest of the community. Meanwhile, a team of technicians installed a customized shaft and restored the flow of water with limitations. Many residents are still reporting low pressure, and, in some areas, there is still no water at all. In a press release on Tuesday, December 31st, BWS stated that they will continue barging water to Caye Caulker to help supply customers. While electricity has been restored, island residents continue to report several outages throughout the day. A BEL team is on the island repairing generation units to provide power to Caye Caulker. The company expects to fix all units by the end of Tuesday, December 31st, and provide an uninterrupted supply of electricity through the New Year’s festivities. BEL added that they are proceeding with plans to install a submarine cable to connect Caye Caulker with the national electricity grid by 2021.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

Cancellations on Caye Caulker Caused By Utility Failures

Last night, we told you about the water emergency that residents of Caye Caulker had yesterday when the BWS water plant broke down - leaving the island without water for over a day! And, this at the hight of the tourism peak season!

And that's after customers all across the island were experiencing intermittent water outages since Christmas Eve.

And if the water outage wasn't enough, residents and visitors also had to cope with power outages. Belize Electricity Limited supplies the island with electricity through diesel generation, and since Boxing Day, 2 of their diesel generating units have gone down. Since then, the power company has had to ration power through load shedding.

Indeed, it's a perfect storm of failures for Caye Caulker, problems coming in by the pound, and seeming to go away only by the ounce.

This has caused frustration for visitors who are reporting mass cancellations because the utility failure has ruined their vacation.

The collective frustration of the community as a result of this loss in business has caused them to speak out publicly. They called a press conference today, and our news team traveled to the island to find out how bad the damage to their earnings is projected to be. Daniel Ortiz reports:

Like the other iconic tourism destinations in-country, the community of Caye Caulker depends heavily on the tourism high season, which is taking place right now.

Maria Vega - Chair, BTIA Caye Caulker
"This is our peak time, and all of our investments, planning, and efforts have been to have a good economy at this time of the year. This is the time that is a make-or-break time for this industry and this island."

Hotel owners and tour guides were prepared to receive a massive influx of visitors for the holidays. But instead, what they've been getting is a huge volume of complaints from their guests. For several days now, Caye Caulker has been suffering from intermittent power and water outages. Both BWS and BEL have been unable to meet the water and electricity needs of the community during this high season.

Carlos Macu - Representative, Chinatown Hotel
"When they come here, they expect to have their hot water - you know, the guests especially the Americans. They like hot water, and that's the first thing that they ask [for]. They said, 'I went to this hotel. We don't have water to flush, brush our teeth, and bathe. Bathing is the main thing for them. It's humid. We're in the tropics, and so, they always want to shower."

The residents of the island are particularly unhappy that the utility companies haven't been able to deliver continuous and uninterrupted water and electricity. They say that this is a chronic problem that both BEL and BWS are aware of.

Maria Vega - Chair, BTIA Caye Caulker
"It is more than this season. We have been experiencing shortages in the water. That means no water, low pressure, sometimes dirty water, for more than a year. And we've been patient as a community, working with the agency responsible. And every time that it's a very important, critical time for our economy, the failures are too great in terms of not enough water. This is also compounded with the matter of electricity supply. We have had problems over repeated Christmas [holidays], Easters, Lobster Fests have been total disasters. So, that's a big economic blow for the island. However, it is a worse aggravation for the visitors that come and expect that they've earned the right to relaxation."

Deon Green - Businessman/Resident, Caye Caulker
"WASA knew about it. Mr. Heredia knew about it. They all knew about it, and they didn't do anything about it during the slow season. Now that the tourist season is starting to pick up, the issue has resurfaced. Now we have a big problem."

"Okay, so you're saying that the persons in charge have ample time to prepare."

Deon Greene
"[They] sure did."

The perspective of islanders is like that famous quote. They insist that utility companies failed to prepare, and now, the tourism stakeholders must prepare to lose revenue for a problem that they had no fault in creating.

Maria Vega - Chair, BTIA Caye Caulker
"One of our own members of the Board of Directors of the BTIA, they have had like immediately, 20 cancellations. And we're monitoring the online queries, and people are saying well, I had a trip planned for February. Is it going to be the same then? Then, I will change my mind. Even Belizeans who were planning to come and visit family here over this Christmas and New Year are saying, well, we were gonna bring in the New Year here, but it's best we go somewhere else."

Deon Greene
"I know one hotel that had lost 25 clients in one day."

Seleny Villanueva-Pott - Chairperson, Caye Caulker Village Council
"The hardest part is having to deal with the face-to-face tourists when you're trying to explain to them that the water will come back on, but they don't want to hear that."

Carlos Macu - Representative, Chinatown Hotel
"We have had guests canceled already, and it affects us because we have bad reviews now due to that."

BEL and BWS have since reported that they've been able to restore electricity and water supply to Caye Caulker - in the case of water - at low pressure. The residents say that the damage to the island's tourism industry cannot be undone by simply turning the light and water back on.

Seleny Villanueva-Pott - Chairperson, Caye Caulker Village Council
"I hope that is a reassurance of us having water throughout the weekend because we're heading - well it's New Year's Eve. But, the damage has been done. I think it's more damage control now. We've seen the cancellations. We' don't know what tonight will look like in terms of occupancy at the rooms and at the restaurants."

"We just won the Destination of the year. These stakeholders have so much money invested in infrastructure. We pay so many taxes. We pay hotel tax, GST, Social Security."

"With tourism, we fuel not only Caye Caulker, but we fuel the country of Belize, just like San Pedro and Placencia. And we expect that the infrastructure that we're given is able to upkeep our visitors. We call on GOB to come and put the monies where they belong. If we are not able to improve the infrastructure, we will feel the dent of it in the tourism industry."

"We demand that we are given what we deserve."

"Is it wrong to reason that maybe Caye Caulker has grown rapidly, and outpace the utility companies?"

Seleny Villanueva-Pott
"It sounds like a good excuse to me, but if it really is an answer, I would say no. We pay for all of our utility services like everywhere in the country. Why is it then that we're left to perish in our most lucrative time of the year. It's unfair."

A group of island enterprises under the name Caye Caulker Business Association has written to the Public Utilites Commission asking for intervention. A press release from the Association says, quote, "The poor performance of both utility companies is an affront to the hard work of the Hicacquenos who have endeavored to carve out a niche in the overall business tourism product The demanding that the PUC immediately conduct a thorough investigation into the Caye Caulker situation..." End quote.

BWS: A New Back-Up Water Plant Already On Island

So, you've heard the long list of complaints from the village chairlady and hotel owners, but what do the utilities have to say? Well, they've both gotten their systems back up and running - but in BWSL's case, that's not at a hundred percent. The company put out a release this afternoon saying that for the next few days water will be supplied, but at a slightly lower pressure. That's because the company's 150,000 gallon reservoir has been depleted. And, there are some works on the plant that have to continue - so the company will continue to transport water to the island on barges.

As we told you last night all this happened because a drive shaft in the plant broke after 8 years of service. The replacement only lasted a few days before it also broke.

Today, we asked the Operations manager if this could have been prevented with regular maintenance:

Dave Pascascio, Operations Manager - BWS
"What we did yesterday was to dispatch a team out there to retrofit a shaft, a drive shaft that was made on the ground and installed and we were up and running with the plant at 9:45 p.m. last night. We immediately started to distribute water even though there was no storage. We were just putting out into the distribution the same volume we were producing to ensure that people get water immediately."

"We understand the time of the year, we understand the number of people on the island, so we are cognizant of that fact and we will not, we will do what we have to do to ensure that we increase pressures in the system."

"This, however, has resulted in massive losses in the tourism sector. Coming from the island, once again, they are speaking of cancellations and that sort of stuff. It's not necessarily your fault as the company, but couldn't this have been averted at any point, at the point where the engineers or the guys on the ground were doing the installation and saw that it wasn't a proper fit?"

Dave Pascascio
"Like I said, they called me immediately. We didn't have another one in store because it's something that lasts eight years and we had the previous one in stores probably about five years, right. So we tried to order one, we couldn't because the place was closed. We ordered one already and that was fabricated last night and is being shipped but it won't reach Belize until Monday. But in the interim, the one that we, the M&E team, made on the ground yesterday is working as expected. The plant is fully functional now. The problem is to build storage based on demand. The plant can produce 150,000 gallons a day and the current daily average demand is 120,000 gallons per day. When you deplate storage completely, that is when it becomes very tricky to manage demand and to build back storage."

"We saw the release yesterday, it says that the previous shaft lasted 8 years and this one lasted 5 days or less and you also spoke about a misalignment that it wasn't properly aligned and that may have contributed to it. The question immediately arises: a) was it improperly installed and; b) again, does BWSL have sufficient redundancies in place?"

Dave Pascascio
"The redundancy in Caye Caulker is storage and back up electricity supple which we recently installed a generator and true you said normally a shaft would last us 8-10 years. We changed out that one on the 23rd December and immediately upon installation I got the report that there was something wrong with the shaft, not the installation because they drew it to my attention. They tried to stabilize all the vibration in it but it was just not properly aligned, the shaft itself."

"If the first shaft expired after 8 years of service, maybe you all should have taken the measure at a time of low demand to say you know what the shaft has been there for many years, it is showing wear, let us replace it now. You probably still would have had the failure, but you would not have had the effect on the community that you have had when this happens between Christmas and New Year at the height of their tourism peak."

Dave Pascascio
"True, but when you look at the age at our components at these plants we look at those very closely and we know the timing for all of them and so we time that, because I don't want to put a cost on things to say well we are justifying cost against the needs, but one of these shaft is not cheap, so we tend to maximize the use of it. We knew that we needed a second shaft. We know that we had to have one as spear and so that was on the ground for 5 years."

"Does BWS accept that it may have to have greater redundancies in place, because if you are saying and I'm must take your word for it that the shaft have some type of defect, it was not an error installation, it was a defect. Do you all have to have a redundancy for the back up? a backup for the back up knowing that water is not an option, it is essential for life."

Dave Pascascio
"We are cognizant of that fact. Right now in Caye Caulker we have a 40,000 gallons in a container ready tp be commissioned. It was just unfortunate that that was not commissioned for this event. SO we have 2 RO plants on Caye Caulker and that's the backup system that we have out there."

As you heard, a new backup Reverse Osmosis plant is on the island and is waiting to be commissioned.

Bowen & Bowen is also chipping in. The company deployed a loaded water barge on an emergency mission to the Island village today. It carries 3,720 5-Gallon bottles, and and 7,680 1.75 liter Bottles which arrived this evening. Again, this is a donation. Bowen & Bowen CEO, Michael Bowen is quoted as saying, "we wanted to do something to help our fellow Belizeans, especially during this Holiday Season when they are hosting so many of our tourists. We hope our donation of Crystal Water brings some relief to the Caye Caulker Village." End quote.

BEL Says Power Stable On “La Isla Carinosa”

So, what does the other utility company have to say about the power outages that have been plaguing Caye Caulker? This afternoon, we spoke with BEL's Corporate Communications Manager, and we asked her: Will there be a reliable power supply for the rest of the island's tourism high season? Here's what she had to say:

Vonetta Burrell - Manager, Corporate Communications, BEL
"Since the evening of December 26th, we had a failure to two of our generating units on Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker, as you know, is the only municipality that's not connected to the national grid, and they're supplied by diesel generation. Equipment fail, and we had our staff go out to resolve the issues and conduct the repairs. So, we had some intermittent outages over those few days. On Monday night, we had to conduct an emergency outage, that involved some load shedding, which affected a portion of the south of the island. Our team worked, and by 8:45 in the evening, we had restored power to most of the customers that were affected, and that generating unit is back up. Today, we have teams that are continuing work to repair and restore service to the fourth unit that needs to be connected to ensure that we can maintain reliable supply to the island."

"Once those works are completed, there should be no need for outages or for any load shedding on Caye Caulker."

"The tourism-related stakeholders are upset. They're saying that this is a recurrent issue."

"As far as they're concerned, visitors have already started canceling their vacation because they had no water or electricity. What's the company's perspective on the fact that you guys are being attributed as part of the problem?"

Vonetta Burrell
"Well, of course, any lack of supply to our customers is of great concern to us. Our job is to keep the lights on and to make sure that we maintain consistent, reliable, and quality supply to our customers. In particular, the tourism industry, we recognize their concerns. We are of course working tediously to make sure that we can provide some sense of normalcy on Caye Caulker."

"We know that this is the height of the tourism season. We want to cause any shortfall in that section of the economy, that revenue sector. therefore, we recognize and We're working to make sure that we can restore power to Caye Caulker. We would not want to negatively impact the tourism sector. We apologize to our customers on Caye Caulker. We ask for their continued patience in the event that there is any need to have any outages to make sure that we can continue to supply them."

"We know that Caye Caulker is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in terms of the tourism industry. They're experiencing rapid growth. We are aware of the situation. Our long-term plan is to interconnect the island to the national electricity grid by early 2021."

BEL is hoping to get its 4th diesel generating unit back on Caye Caulker up and running as soon as possible. That should resolve any further need for load shedding.

Channel 7

La Isla Carinosa Sin Agua on New Year’s Eve
Tonight, residents and visitors on Caye Caulker are doing their best to distribute a limited supply of potable water, amid a crisis situation where there is a severe shortage of [...]

Power Outage Exacerbates Situation in Caye Caulker
To make matters worse on La Isla Cariñosa, there have also been intermittent power outages on the island.  On Monday, sometime after five p.m., there was an emergency outage which [...]

Water Continues to be Ferried to Caye Caulker
While work is underway to refill a hundred fifty thousand gallon water reservoir in Caye Caulker, Belize Water Services Limited is still sending out water trucks via barges to the [...]

A New Shaft Ordered for Caye Caulker
The effect that the shortage is having on local tourism on the island cannot be understated.  While BWS is aware of that issue, Operations Manager Dave Pascascio explains the process [...]

The situation at the Belize Electricity Limited plant on Caye Caulker at around 4:00 am on January 1, 2020 was fraught with fright as one of the four generators caught on fire. Reports are that there were no fire extinguishers on the compound and assistance had to be sought from the neighbors.

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539851
01/02/20 05:33 AM
01/02/20 05:33 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

On New Years, parts of Caye Caulker remains without power amidst a water supply shortage that has been affecting the island since December 24th, 2019.

A demonstration is being planned for Thursday by the various stakeholders including the local chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA). The protest is planned for Thursday January 2nd at 1PM starting at Central Park.

The general public is herby invited to attend a peaceful demonstration tomorrow January 2nd 2020. Concerning the utility crisis on the island of caye caulker starting from the Central Park/Basketball Court at 1:00pm on Avenida Hicaco.

Thank you, let’s unite to voice our concerns.

Caye Caulker BTIA

Belize Electricity Limited continues to make excuses for their terrible service, the negligent maintenance of the power generators on Caye Caulker, and their shoddy management of the Caye Caulker power generating plant. Speaking with BEL representative Dawn Sampson on the crisis of the power outage.

Re: Caye Caulker Water & Power Interrupted [Re: Marty] #539853
01/02/20 06:00 AM
01/02/20 06:00 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
BEL: “Power should return to southern Caye Caulker by Thursday morning”

[Linked Image]We sincerely regret the hardship that residents and businesses are experiencing due to the power outages in Caye Caulker. Our teams are working persistently to rectify this unfortunate situation at the earliest possible time.

We are conscious of the hardship that residents and businesses are enduring due to the power outages affecting the island. Our teams are working persistently to rectify this unfortunate situation at the earliest possible time.

Currently, teams of employees and suppliers of our generation units are working around the clock to normalize service to customers and visitors to the island.

The current situation at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday is that a portion of the Southern end of the island has electricity, which is being supplied by one of the three generating units in operation. At 3:30 a.m. today, we lost one of the units due to a high demand for electricity on the system. Subsequently, this caused the third generation unit to trip due to overload. A fourth unit has been out of commission for the past four weeks due to a line fault that damaged the unit.

It is expected that repairs will be completed tonight and power will be restored in the early hours of tomorrow morning to the entire southern portion of Caye Caulker, which includes the area from the southern end to The Split. Power can only be restored to the area north of The Split when the demand for power can be maintained using two generation units, or when the third generation unit is functional.

We are in the process of sourcing replacement parts for the machines and expect to have the system back to normal by Friday, January 3.

We apologize for the difficulties that this situation has caused and assure customers that we are doing everything we can to restore normal service to Caye Caulker as soon as possible. We will provide updates as developments take place.


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