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Jan 22, 2013

Mahogany Heights without potable water

In our newscast on Mondays night, you heard the cries of the villagers of Santa Martha on the Old Northern Highway, about life without water. Today we re-visit Mahogany Heights, a community on the George Price Highway which has also been without tap water since last year. The problems with the supply of water, echoed everywhere by residents are mismanagement of funds by water boards. Duane Moody reports from Mahogany heights where the problem goes back to November.  Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

There has been no tap water at Mahogany Heights for months. Since November, the residents have been complaining that they have no potable water to cook, wash or bathe. As a temporary solution, a diesel generator has been installed to pump water, but that comes with its own restrictions.

 

Ena Willoughby, Resident

Ena Willoughby

“Especially how you have kids, kids have to go to school. You don’t want to send your pickney dah school any kinda way. So ih really di affect the community and dah noh only me one ih di affect; it di affect everybody up ya.  Ina my house, you have to take a bucket of water and share it because I have two weh di goh dah high school and one weh di goh dah primary school up yah. And yo can’t send dehn dah school any kinda way. So wah bucket ah water share between three persons in my home.”

 

Duane Moody

“How about when it comes to hygiene? You have to bathe; wash, etc. are you guys able to do that?”

 

Ena Willoughby

“Like I said, you have to get up soon and try get yo water have to full up everything weh yo could full up and dah the whole residents so dah who reach the pump first.”

 

The water, it appears, is funneled only to water pumps located in specific areas in the village and the water is restricted to certain hours of the day.

 

Ena Willoughby

“Some days we noh have no water. When the water do come on, you woulda have to get up from four ina the morning to try catch the water and then it wah come on from like four till about six. Sometimes it woulda come on like ina di evening from six to about eight ina the night. But it is not an everyday basic thing. So you woulda have to deh up and be alert fi make yo catch the water.  No water noh di come into the homes. Flooks if you woulda see it come to the faucet so you woulda have to come out to the pump. And I live way dah the last section of the Q-section and I have to come way around on the other street the strain with a bucket of water.”

 

Dwayne Pollard, Resident

“If we noh reach out deh so dah the pump, we noh get no water. So we have to use fi we bicycle and thing, bucket and thing fi goh full water and dehn thing deh. It really di affect we.”

 

For Dwayne Pollard, the unstable supply of water to the village has affected his family tremendously especially since he has a toddler among the household. He says that while they sometimes get water from a creek some half a mile into the bushes, the drought has dried up the creek.

 

Dwayne Pollard

Dwayne Pollard

“Sometimes we noh even got water to bathe. We have to use the creek to the back—we back water from the creek. And when we do get water, it dirty.  We noh even got water fi drink. We have to spend money dah shop fi goh buy water fi drink.”

 

Fallet Thurton, Resident

“You can’t drink the water because the water dirty, dirty. When yo settle with the water, about nearly two inches of mud ina di bucket. So you can’t drink that; yo can’t bathe with that. When yo bathe with that, it itch yo skin. Weh yo fi do now. I can’t take this. I got mi drum weh I try full up but when that done, three four days before water come again.”

 

The issue started after Belize Electricity Limited disconnected the power to the pumps. The village had a bill of some seventy-two thousand dollars owed to the utility company. Residents say that if the quality service is provided they would willingly pay the monthly fee.

 

Fallet Thurton

“Dehn say fi make—dehn got wah seventy-two thousand dollars weh when owe. So for we pay that now, they wah charge we twenty more dollars pan it again. How the hell. We can’t pay ten dollars because we noh di get water. So if you Mister Moody mi noh di get water fi ten dollars, you woulda pay twenty dollars and noh di get water?”

 

Fallet Thurton

Duane Moody

“Are you guys willing to pay the price to get the service?”

 

Fallet Thurton

“Yes if I getting the good service I noh mind pay the price. But then if I noh di get service, you noh wah have to pay fi wah service weh yon oh di get.”

 

Duane Moody

“Even if it has to be increased from ten dollars?”

 

Fallet Thurton

“Well if it increase and yo di get good service then yo pay your twenty dollars. But if yon oh di get no good service, you noh wah pay twenty dollars.”

 

The chairlady, Ally Patt Skeet, says that the council has been in dialogue with the Ministry of Rural Development and B.E.L. on reaching a permanent solution to the problem that the village has been experiencing for some months now. Until then, the residents remain without out tap water.  Duane Moody for News Five.

 

There are also reports of no water in the villages of Santa Rosa and San Roman on the Southern Highway. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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8 Responses for “Mahogany Heights without potable water”

  1. Storm says:

    If money was misused, people need to go to jail, in Mahogany Heights and everywhere else incompetence, fraud, or outright theft occurs.

  2. Al says:

    I don’t understand how people can expect to use the water and not pay for the service. Any place in the world where you live you have to pay for the utility services. The sad thing is that those who pay are being punished with the one who don’t pay. My peple need to stop thinking that every thing should be handed to them.

  3. GrigaMan says:

    Why isn’t the GOB doing something about this? The GOB has money to pay gangsters and murderers, but not to provide water to decent law abiding folks. What a shame! Barrow and the GOB suck!

  4. kika says:

    I am sad to hear the frustration of these people. where is the government putting his ears. these are people like them. These government are happy in their home while other families are dying. this is where the money burn up in flames should be put to work to help this community to pay for the 72,ooo owed to pay the company. no!!!!!! we had money to waste. like this incompetent lady alamilla not making a wise decision to save the money. its such a waste of our precious woods and a waste of tie for her. why she don’t burn herself in the midst. Hope the government do something about this and these ill action of ministries.

  5. Al says:

    If the villagers were paying their water bills and the money was not being turned in, then someoe needs to answer for that. If they were paying then they need to get their receipts and take them in and show that they have paid, and make a lot of noise to expose the corruption.
    It is hard when people cn barey feed their families and have to pay utilities that keep going up and you never know when there will be no power or water.

    The government is giving these people no hope. It is time for the people to revolt and get the interntional press to come down an shed light on the corruption. Now is the time peopl.

  6. Bear says:

    Dirty water kills, so it is an urgent health issue. People must drink more often than they eat.

    Everyone wants to be hailed as a leader, but nobody wants to lead!

  7. Disown mi country says:

    I agree with Al. It’s time to go outside and get the international media involved. The Tourism board portrays Belize as this wonderful place while it’s citizens suffer. You are now in the 21 st century. Use the social media to expose GOB for what it is. Stop being so passive.

  8. bzgial says:

    This water thing has really gone on too long. Imagine having your family visit from abroad over the holidays and they know nothing about water in a pail to flush or take a bath? while these ministers are living high off the hog or better yet off the back of our people . We are one (p) not udp or pup but People. It looks like the government can only focus on one thing at a time,superbond,and why because the see $ sign. More money for them to figure how they can get the majority of it before they leave office. They were elected by the people for the people but they forgot about the people.

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