Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places, Social Issues » Unitedville Water Woes Continue: Chairman Shaw Explains Why No Wata No Dey
Oct 11, 2021

Unitedville Water Woes Continue: Chairman Shaw Explains Why No Wata No Dey

You may recall that about four weeks ago we spoke to two Unitedville residents who complained about the inconsistency of the potable water flow in their area. They told us that for the past three years residents in their part of the community have been going without running water for days on end because there is no water coming through their pipes. Today News Five’s Paul Lopez revisited the village to unearth the problem and look at possible solutions.  But as you will find out, the problem is complicated.


Paul Lopez , Reporting

This concrete structure houses the controls of the village’s water pump. The pumps deliver water from an underground water source to a reservoir that holds up to twenty two thousand gallons of potable water. The reservoir then supplies the community with a consistent flow. In concept, that is how the system is designed to work. But, there is a problem.


Thomas Shaw

Thomas Shaw, Chairman, United Ville Water Board

“What has been taking place we have a twenty two thousand gallon tank and water is not even going into the reservoir. So, we are pumping directly into the lines. I took you guys over there a while ago, and the main source, we are hardly getting twenty-two gallons a minute. So, what is happening right now is that the village has actually outgrown the source.  The village is actually utilizing more water than what is actually going in the reservoir.”

Water either goes to the village or it goes to the reservoir. The low volumes of water coming from the source does not allow for both to take place at the same time.


Thomas Shaw

“I install two four inch valves on either side of the road. That is the line that takes the water to the village. I locked those off, that way I see if I can get water to the reservoir. I did that, I get water to go up there, but as soon as I cut it off villagers start to complain we nuh have water. And, that was why I did that, to see how we can curtail on the electricity.  If I don’t do that, we have to keep the pump running twenty-four seven.”


Shaw says the community’s water board has racked up a huge electricity bill as a result.


Thomas Shaw

“Every month, our electricity bill is over two thousand dollars because the pump has to be on twenty four seven. I am serious. If that pump goes off right now, half an hour people start calling there is no water.”


Power outages also present a problem. With no water in the reservoir, whenever the power goes, the water goes.


Thomas Shaw

“I think it is beyond every bodies control right now. Unless you get a good source, and I must say the Ministry came in and dug like five wells. What they did for the areas without water, they put down a two thousand three hundred seventy three gallon tanks. The truck comes in twice a week and fills these tanks. And, I showed you a while ago that people who are complaining and say they don’t have water, water is in these tanks.”


But, let’s say a more adequate source of water is found. A second challenge presents itself to certain parts of the community.


Thomas Shaw

“We had Mister Lucien Chen, a consultant; he came in under the previous government. He said Mr. Shaw there is no way you will get water where those people live, because you have a gravity system, and at the higher elevation, he said you are like this, so water won’t go over the hill. And, when you are doing gravity feed system, if this is your reservoir then the village should be here. It cannot be like that. So what we need, we need a good source and we need a higher, because if we even get to the source and we pump the water we will still have a problem.”


Villagers, whom the water board supplies with water, have a meter in front their homes that measures water usage which determines their monthly bill. When we spoke to two villagers a month ago they asserted that the water dilemma stems from financial mismanagement by the board.


Thomas Shaw

“At the end of the day, finance has nothing to do with a source. Because, the people that are in the position to put the well, they came in and it is still beyond their control. I said if it continues like this and they don’t give us a source, the only other option is to turn it over to BWS. I cannot manage a system if we are not making money. When the Ministry installed the tanks, the people who are metered and getting water, they go to the tank and fetch water. Then they don’t come in and pay their bills. So, I’m pleading to the public, come in and pay your arrears. If you want to know, over fifty three thousand dollars owes out to this water board in arrears, over fifty three thousand dollars. We were told not to cut them out. So, how can I manage a system if you are not? What goes up has to go down. If there is nothing coming in, nothing from nothing, leaves nothing.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed