Holy Cross Anglican School, and the Rotary Clubs of San Ignacio and Belize City and are very excited to report an exciting first step for safe drinking water in San Mateo. This is a huge step forward for the local residents, many of whom have running water that is at risk of contamination from the dirty groundwater that surrounds the water pipes entering the community.
The filters chosen are the incredible Sawyer Water Filters – these act a little like human kidneys, filtering all bacteria and solids from the water and making it safe to drink. They cost around $50 each, but last for 8 – 10 years. They are simple to teach people to use and require just simple maintenance – no wonder Sheree Fukai from the Rotary Club in San Ignacio was excited when she found out about these! Sheree wrote a grant that saw 750 of these filters distributed to schools around the country – including Holy Cross – while the Rotary Club of Belize City are working to distribute filters directly into communities affected by poor drinking water.
So far 7 units have been given to the San Mateo community, with the hope of more to follow. Like many good achievements, this has come as a result of many, many individuals working together for the common good.These include:
- The Rotary Clubs of San Ignacio and Belize, for all their hard work securing these filters for the families and children of Belize
Kim Shackelford from the San Mateo Community Empowerment Project, for connecting us to the community.
- Lisa Tillett, from the Ministry of Health, for all your input and experience and wonderful co-operation.
- Ann Kuffner, for all your work coordinating between the different groups, leading training and being the person on the ground doing all this hard work.
- Heather Zwicker, from Belize Community Conservation, for introducing the school to Ann, so that we could be a small part of this wonderful project
- The many other;s whose names I don’t know but your work was important in seeing this happen.
Following this first training, we hope in time to receive more of the filters from the Rotary Club of Belize and Ann will continue training and distribution. A huge effort, but well worth doing. Fresh, affordable water in the community has been an important need for a long time and this looks like a wonderful solution until a permanent piped water solution can be found. Well keep you all updated of progress.
A huge thank you for everyone involved in this project. Your dedication to the families of San Mateo is truly appreciated.