Consolidated Waters donates to Rotary for San Mateo residents
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
One community on Ambergris Caye that does not have proper access to safe drinking water is San Mateo, situated just north of the heart of Belize’s largest tourism town of San Pedro. Water samples extracted along various sections of the waterlines conducted by Engineers without Borders, as recently as January, 2013, showed that the waters were contaminated with coliform (fecal bacteria), making it unsafe to drink. In an effort to continue addressing the lack of proper drinking water, Consolidated Water Belize Limited has made a donation to the Rotary Club of Belize. The donation was held on Friday May 10th, where members of the Belize Rotary Club were presented with a check.
The donation brings to light the need to ensure safe drinking water to all. The alarming statistics worldwide also bring the need of the San Mateo community into glaring reality. At least 75% of the earth is comprised of water but only about .007 of all water on earth is available for human use. More than five million people die from water- related diseases every year of which about 98% of these deaths occur in the developing world. In addition, 84% of these water-related deaths are in children under the age of 14.Thirty percent of these deaths are from diarrhea, making water-related diseases a leading cause of death for children under the age of five in the world. Worldwide it is estimated that one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.
One of the organizations in Belize that has been helping in addressing the water issue in San Mateo is the Rotary Club of Belize. The club has been providing water-filter buckets to the people of San Mateo in order for them to treat their own water – making it safe for drinking. After carefully following the work that The Belize Rotary Club has been doing with San Mateo residents, Consolidated Waters – Belize Limited decided to help by ways of a donation of $2,500BZ. President of the Belize Rotary Club Maria Coye said that the donation will go a long way in their efforts in San Mateo. “This donation will be used to purchase more water-filter buckets. What will happen is that we will have Rotary International match the donation so that we can get more from it. The essential thing is that the people of San Mateo will be benefiting from filter buckets so that they can have safe drinking water. This is part of a countrywide effort in different rural communities to address the lack of proper, clean and safe drinking water,” said Coye.
While the donation will not permanently address the lack of safe drinking water in San Mateo, for the Director/Chairman of Consolidated Waters Belize Limited Raymond Whittaker, the help is a ‘temporary bandage’ to an immediate problem, one the company is happy to contribute to, “We provide a for-profit service to the community and so we wanted to put back some of the money into the community and we decided that we wanted to assist the community. We wanted to find a project that we can personally be involved with, and something that was dear to us – what better than to ensure clean drinking water for all. We found out that Rotary was doing some work in trying to address the water issue in San Mateo and so we decided to channel the donation through them,” said Whittaker.
The donation to Rotary will ensure that the less fortunate are the ones to benefit. “We want to ensure that they all have clean drinking water, especially the less fortunate who may not be able to afford it as others within the town do. The San Mateo community is not the most comfortable but we want to ensure that we can assist in ensuring the good health of their children, and what better way than through clean drinking water,” added Whittaker.
The donation will be used to purchase buckets fitted with Sawyer Water Filter Systems. Sawyer-filter fitted buckets are perfect for the needs of San Mateo; it removes 99.99% of the bacteria from the water. The buckets can last from 5-10 years and they are easy to use and clean. Each bucket is estimated to cost about $120BZ. Consolidated Waters Belize Limited is also looking at other projects that they will be donating to. Their contribution is noted and appreciated by the San Mateo community.
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