The present GOB is full of just one thing…excuses! This last week, ironically due to heavy rainfall, flash floods were prevalent in the South and West of the country which led to a shortage of potable water. The problem for BWS it seems was contamination of water sources and reservoirs. The truth is that BWS is plagued with many shortfalls that stem specifically from a lack of planning and financial management which has crippled its capacity to access international funding to improve and expand waste water collection and treatment facilities. Corruption and incompetence springs at the very top and trickles down like the turbid water BWS is urging Belize City residents to drink. Contrary to and in complete disagreement with the claims of Deputy Prime Minister these characteristics, of the administration he is part and parcel of, do not defy the laws of gravity and do not originate at the very bottom and magically make their way to the top.
In May 2013 a Technical Note on Water and Sanitation in Belize was presented to the IDB by Javier Grau and Alfredo Rihm. Therein lie some eye opening statistics. For instance, while BWS boasts one hundred percent of its customers are metered it provides only twenty one percent of its customers with waste water services. Belize City and San Pedro have secondary treatment and Belmopan only primary treatment, the rest of the country has no waste water management. Even though the current party in power boasted that they would lower the cost of living there was an increase in average tariffs, per one thousand US gallons, by twenty four percent between 2012 and 2014 when the IDB published these findings. Of importance to note is that only thirty eight percent of Village Water Boards are chlorinating water. The BWS has still been unable to make their planned capital expenditures in their Business Plan from 2010-2015.
The Chairman and his board at BWS, who are mostly over privileged and under qualified, spend on average half a million dollars on meeting costs per year to formulate business plans they already know they cannot afford to implement. That does not include the traveling expenses that run almost four hundred thousand dollars or the allowances that cost in excess of eight hundred thousand dollars annually. BWS while it provides water services has completely disregarded its mandate to provide sewage and waste water treatment for Belizeans. There is a sewage infrastructure fee which is included in the bills of customers and has not been used for the expansion of those services.
Belize’s number one foreign exchange earner is now tourism and specifically eco-tourism. The preservation and conservation of the unspoiled quality of our environment, tourist attractions and coastal areas is our selling point as a tourist destination. The red circus, with all its clowns and puppets are not fit, any of them, to be stewards of The Jewel. The environmental tax we pay on every commodity and service imported should be directed to the protection of the environment. One of the worst causes of pollution is the untreated raw sewage that filters into our waterways and water sources. It is no wonder that BWS has not been able to rise to the task of expanding their sewage lines. Their Chairman, also Chairman of the UDP, is known to have a potty mouth, especially when expressing himself in matters concerning women and families of victims of heinous crimes. Perhaps it is because he so loves to wallow in this filth and corruption that he is unwilling to step aside to allow the work that must be done. Belizeans are tired of this lame duck government and their circus that wastes time looking for excuses instead of solutions. #UDPJAMAS!