The situation in Caye Caulker has spurred several organizations in sending out releases calling of a long-term solution. Releases came from the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) that spoke of the monies lost in the last two days and the tourists not being accommodated. Another release came from the Caye Caulker Business Association, demanding a thorough investigation into the situation as it is ongoing and urgently needs to be remedied. The opposition party, the People’s United Party (PUP) also issued a statement calling on the Government to take swift action in resolving the issue. Love News caught up with the PUP Standard Bearer for Belize Rural South, Andre Perez. Pérez said that it’s time to look at the big problem of unsustainable growth that is impacting the island.
Andre Perez, P.U.P Standard Bearer, Belize Rural South:“I think that we have to look at the bigger picture right now. Complaints basically beyond electricity and water and there is another problem coming up that is about to rear its ugly head in 2020 and it’s the problem of sewer systems. So what the people are complaining about- we have to start looking at a long term solution, enough of this patch patch work that we keep on seeing and having. You know electrical problems that we had – even water problems there were shortages during the Lobster Fest earlier in 2019 so we knew that this problem was coming and nobody did anything about it. So we wait again until the end of the year expecting and hoping that things will pass through and it did not and the worse thing has happened In fact every dollar that the government collects in revenues for taxes, the taxes that they collect .38 cents comes from Caye Caulker and San Pedro. So when you are aware of that we are empowered to demand from the present government and actually another promise by the party leader as well that more attention needs to be done. We are doing our part to contribute to the economy so with that we are empowered to say that we cannot remain like this. We must be given back the services and these are not luxuries, these are necessities. We are back in the caveman days talking about electricity and water on Caye Caulker – that should not be, that should be a thing of the past. So understanding something that we do a lot, we contribute a lot to this economy so knowing that the People’s United Party is aware about it so whenever we get elected we have our work cut out to make sure that sustainable growth comes in and we go in a way that – everything is planning, planning for the years ahead.”
Pérez has been supplying the islanders with 5-gallon water during the crises. In addition, he has deployed larger tanks filled with water ranging in capacity from 500 to 2600 gallons. In the release from the PUP, it noted that the lack of power and water was over the past five days. They added, quote, “The Minister of Tourism and Area Representative for Caye Caulker Manuel Heredia was at a loss for words, as usual, as he has no clue and clearly was not focused on solving this serious problem.” End of quote. They too called on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to conduct an inquiry to determine the root cause of the crisis.