By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
A technical note released by the Inter-American Development Bank last month revealed that in Belize only 11 per cent of Belize’s population, in Belize, Belmopan and San Pedro, have access to sanitary sewerage services.
The report examined the conditions of wastewater collection and treatment as well as solid waste management in the country. The assessment also came with recommendations on how Belize could benefit by improving sanitation and water services.
While the report acknowledged Belize’s improvements in solid waste management due to the construction of transfer stations in Belize City, San Ignacio and Santa Elena as well as the new sanitary landfill at mile 24 on the George Price Highway, it noted that Belize needs to expand and improve wastewater treatment and collection in rural areas.
“In 2014, BWS plans to start construction on a wastewater treatment plant on the Placencia Peninsula, which is funded by the IDB and the Global Environment Facility. This project will provide wastewater service to the second largest area of tourism growth, which includes 3,000 inhabitants and 7,000 tourists,” the IDB report said.
The report indicated the need for the development of a Master Plan for expanding sewerage coverage. According to the report, “This will allow BWS to prioritize its investments and allow the GoB to better understand the costs and benefits of increasing coverage and consider potential sources of funding to cover those costs.”
The report also recommended that government’s objectives should be to increase coverage of water and sanitation services, improve solid waste collection and disposal, particularly in the Southern and Northern Corridors; increase the percentage of wastewater that is collected and treated; and achieve financial sustainability for water and sanitation service providers.
The technical note was prepared to facilitate for dialogue on policies and projects between the IDB and Belize.