Today residents of Maskal village witnessed the ground breaking for a Rehabilitated Rudimentary Water System Upgrade. The village has about two thousand residents that will be able to have easy access to quality potable water. The water system is to address the basic needs of residents, in the areas of water, sanitation and health. The water project is being financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. Edmond Castro, Minister of State at Ministry of Works, and Area Representative, spoke about the necessity of the water supply.
“For a long time we have been working on this project, not because of any political mileage but basically our people here have been suffering from a lack of water. The first time we received a water system here in Maskall was back in 1985 some 31 years ago under the then area rep Samuel Rhaburn. It’s a pleasure for us to now bring a new water system for the community since then the village has grown at least twice the size so that system is no longer good so we are here and we are happy to be here delivering the goods and services to the people.”
There are twenty seven villages in Belize Rural North. Castro says that there are only three more villages that need to be supplied with water.
“Basically, especially in the dry season we used to have to walk to the nearest pond, sometimes a mile away to fetch a bucket or two of water. Could you imagine kids aged 10,11,12 trying to carry a bucket of water. Up to date out of 27 villages only about three or so don’t have water up to this point. We are working on water from Maypen, Boston and Bomba so basically three out of the 20 plus villages. Before I got elected only five villages had water out of 27. Only five had water before I got elected in 2008 and up to 2016 only three villages are left.”
Executive Director of Social Investment Funds, William Lamb Jr. spoke of the water system being implemented.
“It’s about three different contracts that we have for this specific subproject. One is also to provide those materials that are there and those materials would then be installed along the road and up into people’s yards which is a separate contract. We usually get the community to do the trenching and then a supervising contractor who lays the pipe and makes sure all the connections are in place and connecting the meters to the persons homes. It’s a 20,000 gallon tank and that has been calculated to ensure that we manage the size of the community that is here so even the pump that is there was designed to refill the tank with the calculated use of current users and potential growth of the community.”
The project will cost the government close to one million dollars.