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Sep 8, 2023

Agreement Signed for Rehabilitation of Sarteneja Water System

Today, a signing ceremony was held in the village of Sarteneja for a rural development project. Over five hundred households stand to benefit from the rehabilitation of the water system in the village that is quickly becoming a tourist destination. The price tag is six hundred and thirty-nine thousand dollars. The project is being executed through an investment from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

High-level government officials from various ministries converged on Sarteneja earlier today for the launch of a water system rehabilitation project.

Oscar Requeña

Oscar Requeña, Minister of Rural Transformation

“It certainly includes a new reverse osmosis system, certainly the expansion of the lines, rehabilitation of the pump house among other works to completely rehabilitate the water system here in Sarteneja. We are very happy to be here – our Ministry of Rural Transformation partnering with PACT. I must say that this entire works is going to cost six hundred and thirty-nine thousand dollars.”


The project will be executed with majority funding from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust – six hundred and four thousand dollars to be exact. But the investment is to safeguard the livelihood and well-being of the buffer community of Sarteneja for the protection of the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Executive Director Nayari Perez says that while it is a sizeable investment, PACT is diversifying its portfolio.

Nayari Perez

Nayari Perez, Executive Director, PACT

“As part of the expanded portfolio of PACT, we have now, while we still maintain the core program of work which is direct investments in the protected areas systems of the country, we also support community development and projects that help to build resiliency. In recent years, we established a climate finance portfolio that has the purpose of unlocking funding windows from both national and international sources. And so within this expanded portfolio of work, we have been looking at initiatives and projects that help to build climate resilience of communities; in this particular case, a community that buffers the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. And then if you look at the broader picture of what PACT does, we are a national development agent. And so going beyond just natural resources, conservation initiatives, we’re also supporting the achievement of the sustainable development goals. And so a project such as this one directly contributes to at least three of those goals.”

It is the bigger picture within which the investment is being made. Minister of Sustainable Development Orlando Habet says that water security is a priority area for the government.

Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development

“Ninety-five percent of water in rural communities comes from underground water, from wells. So that indicates that we have to address because especially in the north and Belize district, the wells are not being replenished during the rainy season and so the water level is going down and in many of them there is already salination of the water so we have to certainly address that.”


Upon the completion of the project, over three thousand residents from approximately five hundred households will have secured access to potable water.


Florencio Marin Jr.

Florencio Marin Jr., Area Representative, Corozal South East

“We are truly grateful to the full collaboration of everyone who bring this project together. This system has been left for deterioration for too long. We tried to repair many times; we couldn’t get it done. Finally, with the minister, they realise we have to put in a new system. With the support of the government, PACT and with all the other partners thankfully now we have this signing to kick off this project.”


The socio-economic benefits are far-reaching. This project, coupled with the construction of the Corozal Sarteneja Road Upgrade, is expected to improve tourism opportunities in the area.


Nicole Solano, C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

“You have destination in Belize that are the more popular destinations that draw tourism and have that pull already, but you have emerging destinations such as Sarteneja that has that potential. Look around, look how absolutely beautiful and gorgeous this place is – of course it is a tourism destination. And the community, so it is not just the natural attractions, but it is the cultural attractions, the history of a place like Sarteneja. It is a village that has so much to offer and that’s what visitors want now. They want to be able to come and experience and learn and connect with the people.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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