New well should aleviate water problems in Armenia

The Village of Pueblo Viejo is not the only community that’s faced with a water problem though. The Village of Armenia is located about 15 minutes outside the City of Belmopan and since the dry season has begun, accessibility to water has become a daily challenge of resident from within the Village. Village Chairman Orestes Sho tells us more.

Orestes Sho – Armenia Village Chairman:
vlcsnap-2013-04-25-22h02m21s205Right now we are in the dry season crisis.  The major problem at this present time is water.  We don’t have water, none at all.  Government has been investing in drillings, but they are unsuccessful up to this date.  I personally approached SIF.  SIF said it is very difficult for us  to get help again, because we did get a project already.  So now this is what has been keeping us back.  So now I sit down with my Village Council, with my Water Board.  I said to them, “Let us seek other financial organization. I know we can be successful.”  But since they’re too deep in politics, they said “No, Government has to do it. Government has to look good.”  But who is [getting] punished?  The people. 

Being that water is important for daily household used the Chairman says that despite warnings from the Health Department people continue the go to the caves branch river to get water.  Ernest Banner, who is the Coordinator of Rural Development, says that his Department is aware of all these things however he explains  Government have dug about five wells in that area however none of them has proved fruitful. He explains why.

Ernest Banner – Coordinator of Rural Development:
vlcsnap-2013-04-30-20h21m54s125Armenia has a serious challenge.  it’s true.  They are receiving water from a cave system.  Armenia village itself is on a cave system.  So the pump is placed in a creek in the cave.  However when it goes dry, the well in the cave gets dry as well. We dug.  At least five times we drill wells in Armenia and couldn’t find sufficient water.  we find water, it’s five to ten gallons, but that’s not good for a village. Our plan is to do one more drilling, however it’s on a private property, and we’re negotiating with the owner of that property, to go on the property to drill.  We can’t just go on the property to drill.  So we are negotiating a contract, an agreement, for him to allow us to go on the land and to drill.  Whenever that is cleared up we’ll try one more time.  If we don’t find water there, then we’ll have to look at another source.  We already looked in the Cave Branch area, the creek by Cave Branch.  It will cost more, but we are looking at all angles.

Mr Banner says that the owner of the property is requesting that if water is found; then he is to get a gallon of water free for every gallon that the community gets. Those negotiations started about two week ago and is expected to conclude soon but in the mean time Banner says that they have been servicing the three hand pumps within Armenia routinely. He tells us how the hand pump system works.

Ernest Banner – Coordinator of Rural Development:
The water source is from an aquifer in the ground.  However a hand-pump requires far less water, than a water system.  You’ll need about 5 to 10 gallons per minute for a hand-pump. For a water system, the least you’ll use is about 75 gallons per minute. So it’s a quantity.  We find water, yes, but about five to ten gallons.  That’s for hand-pumps.  You can’t pump that and fill a reservoir of 20,000 gallons.
There are three hand-pumps in Armenia.  We keep on servicing those so that they could get water. The next thing, we’re working with the City Council and the Ministry of Works at trucking water for them. The first part is the school where we would fill the vat, so the school could at least have water.   

After negotiations have been completed the Department will proceed with the drilling of a 400ft well, which is expected take about 5 days.

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