By BBN Staff: The Government of Belize is ensuring that the men, women and children of Pueblo Viejo and Conejo Creek in southern Belize have access to the supply of safe water to meet their daily needs such as cooking, drinking, bathing and washing.
The new solar energy water systems will be officially inaugurated by Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, Erwin Contreras; and Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Hugo Patt at 10:00 amat the pump-house in Pueblo Viejo and 2:00 pm at the pump-house in Conejo Creek on Thursday, July 20, 2017.
Equally important, the solar energy water systems will also contribute significantly in the reduction in the vulnerability of men, women and children to incidences of water-borne, food borne, vector borne and communicable diseases, improving the quality of life of villagers in over 150 households.
Government says that completion of the water systems also demonstrates government’s unwavering commitment to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise known as the Global Goals, building on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as it relates to water; which is to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
The scope of works for Pueblo Viejo Solar Energy Water System included the rehabilitation of an existing 13,500 gallon capacity tank structure that became inoperable four years after it was built in 2004; construction of a new pump house, fence and installation of a solar power system and a diesel powered generator, which will serve as a backup to provide electricity to the pump house and controls.
For Conejo Creek Solar Energy Water System, the scope of works included the construction of an elevated steel frame structure to support four 2,640 gallons rotoplas water tanks with all required piping and accessories, a 10’ x 20’ pump house with a fence encompassing the area, a submersible solar water pump and chlorinator, and a solar panel array to provide electricity to the pump house and controls. The water tank was constructed at the highest point in the village, thus water will be gravity fed to villagers.
The water projects were implemented by Belize Social Investment Fund, an implementing agency of the Government of Belize that addresses the basic needs of Belizeans as enshrined in Government’s policy to alleviate poverty. SIF in recognition of effective maintenance and sustainability of the water systems for present and future generations, trained members of both Pueblo Viejo and Conejo Water Boards and Village Councils on how to manage and operate the solar energy water systems, water chlorination, and meters repairs coupled with basic accounting facilitated by the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development.
Other officials at the respective inaugurations will include Chairman of Pueblo Viejo, Pedro Tush, Chairman of Conejo Creek, Estevan Coy, and Executive Director of Belize Social Investment Fund, William Lamb Jr, and his technical team as well as representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development among others.
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