Rural Communities Nationwide Struggle with Water Supply Amid Drought
The Ministry of Rural Development says several villages nationwide are struggling with water supply after a drought dried up many wells. Minister of Rural Development, Oscar Requena, says numerous rural communities have outdated water systems crippled by extremely dry weather and lack of rain. Love News understands that over five northern communities have been battling with the issues for days and are for a solution. Minister Requena explained that his ministry is aware of the situation and is doing its best to assist the residents.
Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour: “This has been a very hard dry weather and we have several systems across the country that have been experiencing a very low water production, the wells. But we have been very proactive as a ministry in fact if you see the work that we are doing out there we are responding to communities across this country from Toledo to the north to the West. We have been going in, we have been airlifting wells where we need to do that flushing them out, where wells are running low sometimes we have to go in and we have to extend the pipe deeper into the well you know where there is no water we have actually taken in water via the water bowser that we have. We are across this country serving our people.”
Reporter: Has there been any discussions with the Ministry of Logistics and Utilities to see how some of these villages that don’t have the necessary infrastructure to have BWS go in, to get them that necessary infrastructure?
Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour: “Well I will tell you as a government we continue to meet and to discuss and certainly you know for some of the communities where it’s more problematic to find a good water source yes there have been discussions to look at the possibility BWS going in to be able to deal with the situation but it is an ongoing discussion and process. I believe there is a drought everywhere it has been extremely dry and the truth of the matter is that as a country, as Belizeans we have to be more conscious of how we use water, how we conserve water. The truth of the matter is that the effects of climate change are upon us. We are seeing that more and more the wells are drying up and we certainly have to be more strategic in terms of how we preserve, conserve water as a country.”
According to Requena, the government has been working with rural farmers to assist them in bolstering their ability to fight against the detrimental effects of climate change.
Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour: “What we have to look at and certainly as a government we are looking at that very closely in terms of the land use policy. We have seen where particularly in the North and I think some parts of the West where there has been clear cut all the forest removed and I am certain that we are beginning to see the effects of that. Yes the Ministry of Agriculture and other entities, other organizations you know we have NGO’s who support farmers they are out there working with the farmers, educating the farmers certainly for them to understand the importance of conserving you know whether it is water, find ways to be able to reduce the use of burning for example, the use of herbicides and pesticides, practices that are more eco-friendly that are going to certainly see us preventing some of these negative issues that affecting our country in terms of agriculture. It’s not something that is achieved in one day it’s an ongoing process and I must say that eventually I believe with a very good system of education and support we are going to see our country moving forward towards that.”