Thursday, April 18, 2024

Belize to Expand Access to Drinking Water and Optimize Water Providers, with IDB Support


The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved two complementary programs to enhance the quality of water services in rural and peri-urban areas of Belize. The two operations, totaling $10.64 million, will bring safe drinking water to over 20,000 households in 44 rural communities in the country’s six districts and nearly 400 households in peri-urban areas. Program beneficiaries include vulnerable populations such as migrants and Indigenous people.

In addition to expanding and improving water services, the programs include energy efficiency, smart micro-metering, and renovation initiatives, as well as the installation of disinfection equipment, especially in rural areas.

The two operations help strengthen Belize’s water and sanitation sector. Among other objectives, they aim to improve the operational and financial performance of service providers in both urban and rural areas.

To ensure high-quality services and drinkable water for 44 rural communities throughout Belize, the project will fund innovative disinfection technologies, as well as capacity building for village water boards on how to operate and maintain water services and manage their finances. It will also finance minor system renovations to replace pipes, electromechanical equipment, and storage tanks, in addition to a pilot project to test how micro-metering effects water consumption and water bill payments.

Importantly, the program will work to increase the share of women on water boards. It will also launch a campaign to change household behaviors around conserving water, using and consuming tap water, and paying water bills, so water resources can be used more efficiently. The program will also finance policy proposals to change how the rural water sector is managed and incorporate gender and diversity considerations into service delivery.

The program will help increase access in peri-urban areas through the beneficiary Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL), the national water utility. The operation is also designed to enhance BWSL’s operational and financial performance by installing new disinfection equipment, implementing an energy efficiency program, and installing smart micro-meters in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, and Placencia. Additionally, the program will finance an informational campaign to support implementation of the new disinfection technologies and installation of meters.

The loans will have a 4-year disbursement period, a 25-year repayment term, a 5.5-year grace period, and an interest rate based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). The IDB will also provide a $1.64 million grant component to finance these programs from the IDB’s migration facility.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region.

Read more


Please help support Local Journalism in Belize

For the first time in the history of the island's community newspaper, The San Pedro Sun is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support the paper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1991 we have tirelessly provided vital local and national news. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy reporting, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the news you rely on each and every day. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.

Local News