Placencia Peninsula to get water and sewer system

Posted By: Marty

Placencia Peninsula to get water and sewer system - 04/30/13 12:09 PM

For some time now, the residents of the Placencia Peninsula have been haggling with Government over an IDB-funded integrated water and sewer system to be built in the community. Among their many concerns are two supposed “deal breakers” – how to replace the “financial vacuum” that will ensue from losing a profitable and successfully run water board that contributed to the community’s development, and how to avoid costly payments for the service for the community’s residents large and small. This past Saturday PLUS News was invited down south for a first-ever meeting between villagers and representatives of BWS and the Government, who wants to take advantage of the 20 million Belize dollars available in grant and loan funding for the project before they expire within a year’s time. Addressing the issue of future payments, BWS Chairman Alvan Haynes told PLUS News that while it is the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that will make the determination, they should not expect to pay much more than they do now.

Alvan Haynes – BWS Chairman:
vlcsnap-2013-04-29-20h44m48s2The rates can’t be set until the project has progressed to the extent at least that we know the cost, and then at the end before rates are implemented they’ve got to be processed by the PUC.  But the guarantee is that the rates would be kept affordable  and in line with what’s elsewhere in the country, based on the type of system.

According to Minister responsible for Rural Development, Senator Godwin Hulse, the details of how to replace the lost revenue can be efficiently dealt with without risking the project.

Senator Godwin Hulse – Minister responsible for Rural Development:
vlcsnap-2013-04-29-20h25m13s89Those issues of how funds flow back into the village we have discussed over, and over, and over, and made some suggestions and some provisions of how we can continue to facilitate that, ’cause it’s your money.  But that is a separate issue from the fact that you need your sewer system, and you need to get on with this, and I wanted to lay that on the table.  Many residents have met me and said, “Minister, please we no want anything pushed down our throats.”  I’m here to tell you there’s nothing to be pushed down anybody’s throat.  That is why I started out by asking you, “Do you really believe you need a sewer system?”  And I heard a fairly good reasonable “Aye.” And that is really where we’re going.  The other issues are small issues that can be worked out, and Government is prepared and will work those out.

It is a turn of events that village chairman Charles Leslie Jr., who supports the project, says he is mostly satisfied with.

Charles Leslie Jr – Placencia Village Chairman:
vlcsnap-2013-04-29-20h49m40s199He gave his assurance personally that we will deal with all the issues and concerns that people have. I have great respect for Minister Godwin Hulse and I believe that he has his reputation on the line and I know that he’s a man that values his reputation highly. I know that he will move forward and push forward to make sure that the people of Placencia are secured, and the mechanisms are set into place that will protect the people of Placencia, such as dealing with social, economic, financial vacuum, and also assure the people before this project gets implemented, that they will not see a severe, significant increase in the cost of living by paying for this system.

The project is expected to continue with the formal design of the project. Actual execution will take about three years.


Posted By: Marty

Re: Placencia Peninsula to get water and sewer system - 05/05/13 11:00 AM

GOB’s Carrot on a stick for Placencia residents

Letter to the Editor, The Belize Times

Dear Editor,

This is a letter to the people of the Placencia Peninsula. On Saturday 27th April, the Ministry of Local Government, and high ranking officials from the Ministry of Finance and BWSL descended in mass to the Placencia Basketball Court. The entourage easily numbered (including Security) 25-40 persons.

The “reason” behind the meeting, was to “Consult” the inhabitants of the Peninsula as to the implementation of the Peninsula Sewage System. This was a necessary step in the process of securing a US $5 million grant from the IDB.

The “goal” of the meeting was two-fold.

1) Complete this procedure and get back to the IDB before a June deadline, thus avoiding the very real possibility of “losing the grant money”

2) Get a “YES” vote from the Peninsula as to whether we want “a” sewage system or not.

Right off the bat, Minister Godwin Hulse asked the crowd if they want a sewer system, and he got a very weak, half-hearted “yes” from a few individuals. So, “Mission Accomplished” and within a few minutes, they were ready to call it a night and go home.

The reality of this is I believe that “YES” the people of the peninsula do in fact want a sewage system, but NOT THIS ONE with its crippling “Social Costs” attached. No alternative sewage plan has ever been presented, even though on numerous occasions, including last night, there has been requests for less costly, and less intrusive, more modern scenarios to be put on the table for review.

This has not happened, and will never happen, because the Government and BWSL don’t really give a damn about our welfare. They are after what the peninsula generates from the water system. The sewer system is only the “carrot on a stick” to get what they really want– The MONEY!!! OUR MONEY!!! The MONEY that has traditionally been put back to uplift our communities and the lives of its inhabitants.

Conspicuously absent from this process was a representative from the IDB, and, any form of official minutes or record of the contents of this meeting being taken. Both were very wise moves on the part of the Ministry and BWSL, because now they can go back to the IDB, and claim to have succeeded. The IDB needs to hear our voice!


Behold people! Our 21st century “DESPOTS” have become the present day “INVADERS OF THIS HERITAGE HOLD”. In the name of progress, and promise of a new sewer system, and better life, we will now have to bow down to a new version of what Minister Hulse referred to in decades past as the “Bucket Bembe’s”.


Placencia Resident
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