Water system in Pueblo Viejo needs rehabilitation

In a previous newscast we told you about water problems which the Village of Pueblo Viejo has been dealing with since they lost mechanical water supply some seven years ago. There was previously a water board that controlled a small pump in the community but the pump eventually burnt out, leaving them without running water.  Plus news sat down today and spoke with Ernest Banner who is the Coordinator of Rural Development. He told us Governments side of the story.

Ernest Banner – Coordinator of Rural Development:
vlcsnap-2013-04-30-20h21m54s125Maybe what the people should have done, they should have shown you the well we dug for them, we drill for them.  About eight years ago we drilled a well for them, about 400 feet deep. It took us long to find water,and it cost a lot to drill the well.  A well like that would have cost 15 to 20 thousand dollars.
We drilled the well, found water, they got the water system.  Within a short time, over a year, the system wend down. There was a problem with the pump.  We purchased a pump for them.  It didn’t happen immediately. When we purchased the pump, and we went to put down the pump, the well was filled with garbage.   

According to Banner he was made aware of the situation some three years ago and since then, the village delegate has been trying to get the water system up and running.  In that interview we spoke with Stephen Cho, the former Alcalde.

Stephen Cho – Member, Village Delegate:
vlcsnap-2013-04-30-20h35m40s191As we speak we don’t have piped water, potable water, but people use hand pumps. We have had the opportunity to have a water system, but what happened is, I believe, the well went dry.  Then we had a burnout in terms of our pump.  Up to now we haven’t had running water, or piped water, to our homes.
That well, that you have heard from the Alcalde, is nonoperational for about seven years.  We have been going from different organizations, to Ministry, to Area Reps, then not much has been done.  There has been a lot of wish-lists put up, a lot of promisses been done to us, which is not fair for our community, not fair for our people in Pueblo Viejo.

The piping from the previous water system runs throughout the village however Banner says that majority of the system will need to be replace and it’s not one of their top priorities at the moment as the community had a working system in place.

Ernest Banner – Coordinator of Rural Development:
The main lines were damaged.  Huge sections of the mainline were damaged. So we decided, listen, we are trying to help these people, and this is what they are doing to their system.  So we said, all right, were going to fix the hand pumps in the meanwhile, because what is required is a total repair of the system, and we don’t do that. We don’t have that money. That goes through the Social Investment Fund.  They have applied, and i think they are in the pipeline to rehabilitate the system.  So when we start to rehabilitate, then we’ll put in the well.  It’s on our list of priorities, not the top because they had a system already.

The Village of Pueblo Viejo have seven hand pump of which 5 are operational

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