Wednesday, July 17, 2024

BWS holds presentation on a water expansion project for south San Pedro


Belize Water Services (BWS) continues working hard on several infrastructural projects across San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, to upgrade potable water delivery. The company’s next project includes expanding water networks in prioritized service areas south of town. This includes Eiley/Marina Drive, DFC, and San Marcos subdivisions. To introduce the proposed project, on Friday, December 16th, BWS personnel were in the Marina Drive neighborhood conducting a consultation with residents of that area.
The informational session saw a handful of residents attending and started shortly after 6PM, when BWS’ Public Relations Officer Lisa McFadzean Belisle began the event. Following San Pedro Town Council Councilor Ernesto Bardalez’s invocation and the national anthem, McFadzean introduced Resident Consultant Engineer for BWS Ervin Flores. He immediately started the presentation on the water expansion project BWS wants to execute next year.
According to Flores, BWS is securing a US$1.5 million loan through the Inter-American Development Bank to fund the project. “The primary goal is to enhance the quality of life for the local population and visitors to the island,” said Flores. “We also aim to support the tourism package south of San Pedro and increase access to safe potable water.” It was revealed that there are several families around these areas south of San Pedro Town still without running water. As a result, this water expansion project aims to establish 17,000 feet of water distribution, make 90 immediate service connections and benefit over 150 homes. “
Flores anticipates the loan to be finalized by February 2023, followed by bidding to select a contractor. Afterward, the project is expected to start in June 2023 and be completed in approximately nine months. Some of the residents attending appreciated the attention and said they had been waiting for a very long time without potable water in their homes. In some areas, they use well water, which is not entirely safe if not correctly treated. The residents without access to the vital liquid hope that in 2023 they can enjoy this much-anticipated service.
Environmental and Social impacts
In his presentation, Flores identified a few negative factors of the project. One of them is the construction and the use of heavy equipment. There is also the issue of construction waste, planned and unplanned water service interruptions, trenches opening, and street closure. To address these issues, the contractor will have to follow a waste management program to avoid the piling up of construction material, limit vehicular speed by implementing proper traffic management, and use well-maintained machinery to minimize emissions.
Flores noted that besides these possible inconveniences after the project is complete, public health will improve by reducing unsafe water consumption. Not to mention that more people, particularly those without running water, will have access to potable water.
The project is considered urgent in this, and other areas of San Pedro as the municipality continues to expand. Deputy Mayor Jose Castellanos attended the meeting and thanked BWS for their continued commitment to the island. He stated that such upgrades in access to potable water are vital, such as these subdivisions on the outskirts of San Pedro. Castellanos commended BWS and committed their support on behalf of the town council.
Anyone with questions regarding the proposed water expansion can contact Flores at BWS by calling 222-4757 ext. 1106 or emailing [email protected]

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