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May 22, 2019

BWS Kicks Off Water Improvement Initiative in San Pedro

Consolidated Water Belize Limited, the sole utility in San Pedro that provided potable water to thousands of homes and businesses on the island of Ambergris Caye, was acquired by Belize Water Services Limited in February.  Following the acquisition, BWS has been working hard to improve services offered to residents of La Isla Bonita, investing millions of dollars in infrastructure to be able to meet the demands of a growing population.  This morning, BWS held an inauguration at its plant and pump station in San Pedro.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Improving the water and sewage systems in San Pedro has been a priority for Belize Water Services Limited since acquiring the only water utility company on Ambergris Caye in mid-February.  BWSL has been working diligently to enhance its capacity in terms of treatment, storage and distribution of potable water on the island.  Having purchased Consolidated Water Belize Limited for seven million U.S. dollars, through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank, BWSL has begun investing significantly in several areas of its operations in San Pedro.


Alberto August

Alberto August, Chairman, BWSL

“At over thirty-five million dollars, the project stands out as one of the company’s biggest singular investment in any of its service areas across the country, in its eighteen years of existence.  Historic for the residents of Ambergris Caye because it ushers in that era when the challenges with water supply is becoming and will very soon become a thing of the past.  In this particular project we must acknowledge our partners in development, principal among which are our majority shareholder, the Government of Belize and indeed our steadfast partner in development, the Caribbean Development Bank.”


With financing from government and CDB, via loan and grant funds, several initiatives have been undertaken, including improvement of water works in San Mateo.


Alberto August

“We’re also factoring in an $8.25M for the expansion of water and wastewater services and normal progression works within the town, as well as in the areas of San Mateo and Boca del Rio.  The company is also investing seventeen million dollars for the purchase of a new reverse osmosis plant which is on order and which is currently being constructed and is slated to arrive on the island in late July or early August of this year.  We’re also investing six million dollars for the construction, and if you look towards my right, six million dollars for a new one million gallon storage tank which is nearing completion and which upon completion will bring the company’s storage capacity on the island to two point three million gallons of water.”


The introduction of works by BWSL in San Pedro is of particular importance to the local tourism industry since the island town is considered the hub of the country’s travel and leisure sector.  Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr., is also the area representative for Belize Rural South.


Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative, Belize Rural South

“I am ecstatic that BWSL, over the past few months, has had us in mind, especially with the recent challenges we face with our potable water capacities and also with the ever-growing demands for sewage and water systems in southern and northern Amergris.  However, even with all our works we still have a growing demand to ensure that each and every single business, every single hotel and every single restaurant that we continue on this path to have the requisite basic infrastructure accessible to every single San Pedrano on our island.”


It is a point that is also reiterated by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who says that the exponential growth of the island’s population, as well the infrastructure boom over the past two decades, has made great demands on utility resources.


Daniel Guerrero

Daniel Guerrero, Mayor, San Pedro Town

“Over the past twenty years, we have seen an extraordinary growth rate on Ambergris Caye, from a nine percent growth rate per annum in the 1990s and in the early part of the 2000s, to seventeen percent growth rate per annum over the past ten years.  This is no easy job to manage, especially when the growth rate exceeds the capacity of the infrastructure that is in place.  Coupled with that is the clear fact that the tourism rate is showing a constant increase and with overnight arrivals increasing so is the construction industry, all combined cause strenuous efforts to keep up with the demands on the island.  This is the challenge we face, not only with our water systems but many a times even on our electrical grid.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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