Santa Familia Residents Protest Water Meter System Implementation

Santa Familia Residents Protest Water Meter System Implementation

Residents from Santa Familia Village, Cayo District, are furious at their leaders, claiming that the village council is implementing a water meter system without proper consultation. Concerned resident, David Carrillo has told Love News that the villagers are preparing to hold a meeting to discuss the matter and are prepared to protest the lack of inclusion prior to installing the meters.  

Daniel Carillo, Concerned Resident: “The people are not agreed with the meter in Santa Familia because the village council, they wan’t put meter to us in this village and would do not agree with that because before they try put the meter in Santa Familia they have to inform the people of Santa Familia if the people of Santa Familia agreed with the meter. And we get the news that they say that they went house to house and tell the people what they want and the people say that they want meter, but it’s a lie. People don’t want meters in this community and we are going to have a meeting this Sunday, this Sunday right here, a public meeting with all the people of Santa Familia to come out and then everybody has to have one chance to say something for us to know what happened in Santa Familia because we need to take signs from the people that the people did not agree with this meter. And we do not agree with this meter that’s why we are coming out and we are strong with this meeting. And after the meeting, we are planning to have one like a demostracion in all the road that we do not agree.” 

Village Chair, Joyce Tun, also spoke with Love News on the situation explaining that the Villages Water Board is implementing the meters as part of several projects to increase water access and reliability in the village. Tun explained that the Water Board conducted a random sample survey of villagers for one of its project proposals but did not gather any signatures. She stressed that implementing water meters in the village will be a vital tool to ensure villagers are not wasting water.

Joyce Tun, Chairperson Santa Familia Village: “A metered system will contribute towards a better managed system. It will improve the management in a way that we will be able to self sustain. Currently actually just to give you a bit of history, when we inherited that water board we had a 50% compliance rate. People paying was just 50% out of 540 users. Now at this point in time the current water board has it. at a 93% compliance rate. And we are pumping water 17 hours a day. And we are pumping 120 to 130,000 gallons of water a day in Santa Familia, which means that we are wasting a lot of water. So we have to put a system in place that we could monitor leakages, that we could monitor consumption, that we are able to conserve water. Water is a global problem. It’s not a problem only in Santa Familia. The whole world is fighting for water right now. So we have to learn to conserve water and we’re wasting water. We have evidence of people wasting water. Besides that, we have the same people that are complaining using that same water to feed their animals, to give water to their animals, to do agriculture and all that. And so it’s not fair across the board. We need for it to be fair. On an average, Santa Familia residents are paying $11 per month for water, right? And now we’re saying we have to monitor you, we have to meter you. Now with the projects that we have gotten funding for we’ve upgraded the system, like I said to a 17 hours a day we are pumping water to our villagers so that our villagers could have water at least 17 hours a day. Yet we see that the wastage continues. So it is important that we also bring awareness to our people that they are wasting too much water. We need to conserve water. Climate change is real. Climate change is not a playing with us. Look at the weather right now. Right? The weather is really hot which means that we know to get rain. So what is water will come from? Where will we be getting water ?”

The water meters for Santa Familia Village are being financed by the European Union through the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

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