The Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government received a truck and water bowser on Monday. The gift comes part of the UNDP’s Engender Project, which focuses on gender-responsive disaster recovery. According to Minister Oscar Requena, the truck and water bowser will support the ministry’s efforts to provide continuous water supply services to affected communities in times of drought and when rudimentary water systems fail.
Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labor: “This is significant because as you are aware Belize like many other countries in the Caribbean are certainly facing challenges in relation to climate change. We are seeing this everyday as we work with the communities. We’re seeing wells that were producing water are now running dry. We have to be responding and actually taking in water to several communities, rural communities, across this country. And I want to say that this wonderful piece of equipment is certainly a welcomed addition because it is going to allow us to deliver clean, safe, potable water to our communities whenever any crisis arises in their communities.”
Ian King, Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP, added that this is one way his organization can partner with government to improve the lives of Belizeans.
Ian King, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Belize: “This initiative is facilitated through a project called ENGENDER* which is addressing issues of climate change and disaster risk reduction but also within the context of gender. You would have heard today I think in the Minister’s remarks that when you look at those who are most vulnerable, those directly affected in terms of addressing issues of water quite often it’s women and children. This is part of a regional project involving eight Caribbean countries so Belize, Jamaica, Guyana and a number of Caribbean countries in the eastern Caribbean and this is one component of that project within Belize and the idea here clearly is that when we’re speaking about climate change a few years ago we all thought about – people thought of climate change as something happening in the future, our children and grandchildren will have to face. Well our children and grandchildren do have to face it but we also have to face it right now. And the issue therefore is what does that translate to and we’re seeing that translate into issues of climate risk and meteorological events and so on. Recall the droughts of last year, maybe early this year as well, heavy rainfall and so on disruption whether it’s hurricanes or tropical storm events but also other risks that can evolve so actions like this speak to specific measures that can be taken to support the country in addressing the needs and those events that are happening.”
The International double-axel truck and 35,000-litre bowser were supplied by Belize Diesel and Equipment Limited at a cost of one hundred seventy-eight thousand dollars.