Bella Vista Village gets water system Print E-mail
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Thursday, 12 May 2011 00:00

The first phase of a major project that will boost the supply, quality and quantity of potable water to residents of Bella Vista Village, Toledo District  was officially launched on Wednesday May 11that the tank site in Bella Vista Village.

The project will be financed under the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 6 ) of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)  at a total cost of $635,000.  It will be implemented by the Social Investment Fund, a statutory body in the Ministry of Economic Development.  The Government of Belize will contribute some $120,000 towards the project.

The existing water system in Bella Vista Village is ten years old and is catering effectively for only 30% of the population. Residents in other areas are experiencing low pressure and poor water supply.  Due to the rapid population growth, the current system can no longer suffice the community and is in dire need of expansion and rehabilitation in order to meet the needs of the entire community.  Residents in areas which are not connected to the system have to rely on wells and catchment tanks as the main source of water supply. There are also numerous water leakages in the distribution lines.

The first phase of the project aims to upgrade the existing system in the old Bella Vista area with the installation of a network of 6 inch, 3 inch and 2 inch pipes along with control valves, fittings, inspection boxes and washouts running through the village at certain points for expansion to boost up the water supply in the eastern and western parts of the village, including the Catacamas Area. A new well with pump house and fence located at a high point outside the village perimeter will be installed for the provision of adequate quantity and quality of water since the present well sometimes runs low in capacity.  

As part of the project, SIF will provide training to the Water Board and Village Council members in the proper operation and maintenance of the new system; the Ministry of Health will provide training in water chlorination and sanitation issues; the Ministry of Rural Development will provide training in basic accounting procedures and the community will provide the trenching and backfilling and searching for leaks presently being experienced.

The second phase will include the construction of a 20,000 Ferro-concrete elevated water tank and fence at a new site at the highest point of the village and will complement the current 13,000 gallon water tank. These facilities will then be able to supply the entire population in Bella Vista Village.

The community of Bella Vista is a relatively new village founded in the 1990s located in the Toledo District approximately 45 miles from Punta Gorda Town.  Bella Vista has a population of approximately 5,000 in 1,218 households and is rapidly expanding.   The village population is comprised of Belizeans from the southern part of the country, who came in search for work and naturalized Central American Immigrants, who left their home countries as a result of civil strife or in search of a better life in Belize. The majority of the residents work in the different banana plantations, orange groves, shrimp farms, and construction industry in the area.

The guest speaker at this afternoon’s official opening ceremony was Hon. Peter Eden Martinez, Minister of Human Development and Social Transformation and Area Representative for Toledo East.  Other speakers included officials of the Social Investment Fund and the Bella Vista Village Council and Water Board.