Residents of Biscayne and Gardenia villages in the Belize District have been struggling each day due to a shortage in water supply. It is a situation that has made daily living challenging particularly since the new school year has started. Lloyd Jones is the PUP’s Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North and he spoke to Love News this morning on the situation being faced by the villagers.
“Every year around this time people run into difficulty in terms of access to clean water and I think this year it’s more pronounced because of an unofficial drought and so we are looking to see how we can help people to meet the basic needs for water. I received a number of calls from residents in Biscayne asking if I could assist in getting them some clean water and I visited over the weekend to see that the wells are basically dry and what you’re finding now is that because the wells are almost dry, there is a layer of algae on top of the water and people have to take that water, remove the algae and then chlorinate it themselves to try and meet their basic needs.”
With the problem being noted and the residents’ concerns voiced, Jones says that he spent the weekend trying to come up with a solution for the villagers.
“Well the solution we have right now is a temporary one. We are trying to satisfy the urgent need and so we are going to be taking up tomorrow 4,500 gallons of water and then we are going to see, and this is for Biscayne, we still haven’t looked at Gardenia and we are going to see how we can find the resources to also be able to provide some water to Gardenia but clearly this is only a temporary measure and a more permanent solution has to be found by the Government of Belize. I think that sad part in all of this is that the water is only two miles away so some trenching and some pipes would allow people at least in Gardenia to come on grid and avoid this kind of a challenge every single year. I think for those of us who have access to clean drinking water, who have access to the grid, who have pipes running into our homes, we don’t quite understand the challenges people face on a daily basis particularly in rural areas. Sometimes even when you do have a water system as in the case with Maskall it is inadequate, so there is not sufficient pressure to reach every single household but even when it does reach the water is not of the quality that you would expect from an established system so it really is a challenge for us in the rural areas and so we are trying to do our little part in all of that.”
Of course, such a good act could not go without some criticism of Government’s priorities or spending and as it pertains to that, here is what Jones had to say.
“We’ll look to see how we can find the resources to be able to provide clean drinking water. As you may know the World Health Organization recommends at the very least five gallons of water per day per person and if we, in 2015, are unable to meet that basic need then it really makes you wonder how it is that we are spending national resources when such a large population of our people cannot access clean drinking water and in fact in many quarters people will tell you that access to clean drinking water is considered to be a basic human right.”
The provision of the four thousand five hundred gallons of water will be conducted tomorrow in Biscayne Village with plans to assist the villagers in Gardenia down the road.