Consultation for Community Participation on Water, Toledo

09 Aug 2011

imageConsultation in Toledo District on Water Board Act

National Consultation for Community Participation and Feedback on Proposed Water Board Act Legislation begins in Toledo on August 12, 2011.

In September 2000 the world’s Heads of States met at the United Nations Millennium Summit and adopted eight development objectives, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to be achieved by 2015. The MDGs identified key actions and concrete targets for human development. Under Millennium Development Goal 7 ‘Ensuring Environmental Sustainability’, Target 7C aims to halve the population that does not have access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Belize has set its own target of 100% access to water and sanitation by 2015, making it an ‘MDG plus’ country.

Belize has made remarkable progress towards this ambitious target, however several bottlenecks related to institutional capacity, good governance practices, policy development, sound planning and community empowerment threaten the achievement of MDG 7C. In 2010, Belize was one of 10 pilot countries that participated in the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) which looks at impediments to progress in achieving the MDG 7C, through an evidence-based approach.

As part of the MAF, a Country Action Plan was developed which identified the Water Board Legislation as needing revision and strengthening. In response to the identified challenges, the The Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development (MLLGRD) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Belize and the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO) have developed a draft of the proposed amendments to the Water Board Act legislation which is now open for public comment, through national level consultations. These consultations will be held to provide feedback before presenting the proposed legislation to the National Assembly for consideration.

The proposed legislation aims to produce a Water Board Act that can accommodate the needs of small rural and large urban communities. It seeks to give better guidance and direction to the systems and practices of local government in Belize towards greater equity, efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency in the delivery of local services. It will also promote greater participation and inclusion of women.

The MLLGRD with support from the UNDP will host a series of consultations with village councils, water boards and interested community members with the purpose of obtaining community participation and feedback on the proposed amendments to the Water Board Act legislation. The first consultation will be held at the Father Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District on Friday August 12, 2011 at 7 AM.