A new water system was inaugurated on Jan 28, 2009 in Patchakan Village in the Corozal District. The system was implemented by the Social Investment Fund, a statutory body under the auspices of the Ministry of Economic Development.
Over 1,600 residents will now have access to potable water. Patchakan is a Village of about 248 families and was in dire need of adequate water supply. The Village had endured yearly water problems and in the dry season most of the wells would run dry. Cases of hepatitis, diarrhea and other water related diseases have been reported in the village.
The new water system includes a 20,000 gallon water tank with piping and fittings, a chlorination unit, a pump house and a distribution network connected to 248 household.
The estimated cost of this project is BZ$520,242.15. Of this amount, $448,539.65 was a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank, $61,164.50 from the Government of Belize and the community contributed $10,538.00 in labor and materials.
The Social Investment Fund was established in 1996 to respond to the basic needs of the poor in Belize in an efficient and transparent manner utilizing an approach that is participatory, collaborative and demand driven. Since its inception, SIF has implemented about 415 projects worth approximately BZ$50 million. Of these projects, 44 are new water systems, which have been built throughout the country.
Guest speakers during the inauguration ceremony were the Hon. Gasper Vega, Deputy Prime Minister; Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health; Hon. Gabriel Martinez, Minister of Rural Development; Hon. Nemencio Acosta, Area Representative for Corozal North and Mr. Ian McMillan, Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund.