Placencia Residents Report Major Water Shortage in the Village
Residents and Business owners in the southern region of Placencia in Stann Creek are concerned about the water shortage they have been experiencing. This shortage is the result of an ongoing water expansion project that is being carried out by The Belize Water Services Limited (BWS). The project aims to improve the village’s water infrastructure, but it has inadvertently resulted in a deficit of about one hundred thousand gallons of water. President of the Placencia Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Stewart Krohn, says that since this is one of the peaks in the tourism season, many hoteliers and restaurateurs well as residents have opted to purchase water from a private supplier; however, this has resulted to be very costly, with the amount he pays to supply water to his medium-sized being ten times more than normal.
Stewart Krohn, President, BTIA Placencia: “Well I’m coping no differently than all of my brother and sister hotels and that because we cannot get an adequate supply of water from the water provider which is BWS we are forced to try to find water trucks that we hire and pay an exorbitant amount of money to have water trucked in to our various businesses. Honestly I will tell you the cost is not my great concern right now but I can tell you that the difference is water from BWS costs one cent per gallon, water trucked in costs ten cents per gallon so we’re paying ten times the amount that we would normally pay for water. That goes for me, that goes for anybody who has to truck in water. We had a meeting yesterday involving BWS executives, Ministry of Tourism, BTB, Belize Hotel Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association it was very frank discussion but at the end of it really the best solution we’ve come up with is for BWS to increase it’s capacity for trucking water into their main tanks in other words we’ve got this call it a 100,000 gallon shortfall to make up everyday so what they have done they have one big 6,000 gallon truck, they have a second one of 3,500 gallons that they’re borrowing from Ministry of Rural Development and those trucks are currently going back and forth to the nearest potable water supply which unfortunately is Dangriga. So you could imagine if you’re driving a full water truck back and forth between Dangriga and Placencia it can’t go very fast, it’s a long distance and so maybe each truck can make three round trips for the day. So that’s maybe 30,000 gallons if we’re lucky.”
However, that amount of water is not enough to supply the southern portion of the village as his hotel alone uses about twenty thousand gallons per day. But, Krohn says that they have identified a privately owned well in Riversdale, not too far from the village, from which they can more efficiently source water.
Stewart Krohn, President, BTIA Placencia: “So steps are now being taken with the private owners of that well to receive permission for BWS to extract water from that well. Technically BWS is on it, they’re ready to implement that within a few days once permission is granted. So by shortening the travel time the amount of water that can be trucked in probably triples. We’re all urging people on the southern half of the peninsula to conserve water. How do we do that ? You start off with things like don’t take long showers, don’t water your plants, don’t flush toilets more than you have to. There’s an old saying way back in the day when everyone just had their vats you say if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down. We’re riving that same thing. You know it’s just kind of common sense.”