New Water System for Biscayne Village
The village of Biscayne stretches for five miles on the Philip Goldson Highway. Anyone travelling on the highway will detect the hustle and bustle among the population of over seven hundred. But the villagers have had one major setback…for decades they haven’t had potable water. This morning, a water system was finally inaugurated which brings significant relief to the residents. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.
Duane Moody, Reporting
For decades, one hundred and seventy families, over seven hundred residents, have been living in Biscayne without running water. They would resort to wells and vats or simply purchase a barrel of water to carry out their everyday routines – to wash and even shower. But since October of last year, residents have been gradually added to the water system courtesy of Belize Water Services Limited.
Kathlyn Tillett, Chairlady, Biscayne Village
“People who have never lived without running water, could never appreciate how important this is to us in this community. We can actually shower. One young girl told her mother, “Ma, I can’t believe we are taking a shower in Biscyane.” And now when we wash, we don’t have to be saving water so we could use it for the next load and then again to save it so we could water the plants. This is a big deal for us; this is like a dream come true.”
This morning, the symbolic inauguration of the Biscayne Water Supply took place in the village. It started exactly four years ago in March 2013 and is a regional program between the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana and the German Government.
Dr. Horst Michael Vogel, Head of Program, Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions
“Initially, it was all supposed to be about coastal development, marine protection and adaptation to climate change with small farmers. As I arrived in St. Lucia where I am based since March 2013, we were told by our government that we are supposed to spend half of the money of a five-year program within the first nine months. And initially we thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t a joke. We finally met with BWS in Belize City and in May 2013 we returned very happily to St. Lucia because amongst the eight countries, there were only two—one was St. Lucia itself and the other one was Belize and the Belize Water Services and a couple of other projects further down in PG.”
The sub-project is phase two of the Water Network Expansion project, which covers Biscayne Village from mile twenty-four and a half and mile twenty-nine of the Phillip Goldson Highway. The project was valued at one point three million dollars—four hundred and sixty-five thousand through a grant from the German Government to Belize and the balance, eight hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars through contributions from BWS. In the end, some one hundred and twenty-households were connected, providing potable water to over six hundred and fifty residents of Biscayne.
Edmund Castro, Area Rep., Belize Rural North
“In 2008, only five villages had running water out of twenty-seven. So now with the rapid development, we are now able to boast that we only have about three or four villages left. Those are Boston, who we are working towards connecting BWS for the water system in Boston. Bomba and May Pen. Rhaburn Ridge is not too far off, but once we continue with the running the pipes from mile twenty-nine or so, we should be able to eventually also reach Rhaburn Ridge.”
Alberto August, Chairman, Belize Water Services Limited
“This is the third project that the Belize Water Services Limited is bringing it to the Belize Rural North constituency. We started off with the connection of the nine villages in the River Valley community. Then we moved down with the connection to Gardenia and now we are connecting Biscayne Village. It is these kinds of undertakings that make life at BWS even more interesting as we continue expanding our network across the country. Can you imagine how boring if we are only engaged in the maintenance of existing infrastructure?”
Duane Moody for News Five.