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Apr 15, 2005

Record low rain creates drought

Story PictureIf you live along the river or rely on wells for water, you have probably noticed extremely low water levels. What you probably do not realize is how serious the situation is, or that Belize is actually experiencing a drought. Authorities are concerned enough at this point to convene a special meeting in Belmopan with representatives from the Met Office, Belize Water Services, Mayors Association, and the National Emergency Management Organization. According to Meteorologist Ramon Frutos, while this problem is not unique to Belize, our country is much drier at this time of year than it has been in decades.

Ramon Frutos, Meteorologist
?We have been receiving reports from Cuba that they have been experiencing a recurrent drought since 2000. So it?s almost five years that Cuba has been having a drought, and apparently it?s spreading into other areas of Central America because our records are indicating that from 2003 we have been experiencing water deficit over most places of the country. And this year, 2004, it has become even more significant because some of the rainfall that we should have accumulated already, up to date from January of this year have not been attained. We are very well below even lower rank of historical rainfall.?

Haydon Brown, P.R. Officer, B.W.S.L.
?I don?t think a lot of people are aware, the awareness is not there, so Belize Water Services, along with this group, is trying to bring to the forefront this concern that there is a concern for us at this time where water is concerned and we need to look at conserving it as best as possible.?

Brown says the water levels are not only a problem for B.W.S. as a private provider, but also the village councils because they also supply from the aquifers and wells and those are depleted at this stage. B.W.S. and the other agencies which attended today’s session at the George Price Centre in Belmopan are circulating water conservation tips and urging all consumers in Belize to become more conscious of their water use. NEMO says that it will not take any drastic measures like rationing at this point, but indicated that they will monitor the situation over the next few weeks and take action if conditions worsen.

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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