Standard bearer denies involvement in St. Vincent block water crisis
Sunday, July 19th, 2015. Chrisbert Garcia Reporting: Former area representative, Minister, and current UDP standard bearer for Toledo East Peter ‘Eden” Martinez has denied having anything to do with the cutting off of the single source of water for the residents of the St. Vincent Block outside Punta Gorda Town – the community stand pipe owned by Belize Water Services (BWS).
According to Martinez, contrary to the claims of the St. Vincent Block community and its leaders, it was not in either his or town Mayor Fern Gutierrez’s power to stop the water from being cut off and neither of them made orders to have it deliberately cut off so as to avoid paying the bill which had amounted to almost $1,000.
Martinez said he was notified by BWS that the people in St. Vincent, also known as Cerro, were misusing the pipe they were given, by running pipes into their homes off the single main pipe, which BWS says is not allowed. BWS officials told Martinez that as a result, it was mandatory that the water be cut off and that they would send an agent to do so immediately.
Martinez says he nor Mayor Gutierrez had no control over the situation and simply had to let BWS carry out their procedures.
A few weeks ago, the people of the St. Vincent Block/Cerro surrounded the water meter in their community, when a Belize Water Services (BWS) agent came to cut off the supply.
According to the leaders of Cerro, they agreed with Martinez and Gutierrez to put in place a single pipe so that the community could finally have a reliable source of water.
That agreement was allegedly made before the recent municipal elections, with Martinez also agreeing to pay the water bill for the community. The leaders now accuse Martinez of performing political stunts to help secure a UDP Town Council in Punta Gorda.
Martinez says that the claims made by the Cerro leaders are false and claims the news network in PG has been producing biased reports on the issue.
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