Five hundred households and 13 banana farms in 27 communities in Southern Belize now have access to safe and reliable electricity. The homes and farms were connected to the national power grid under the Banana Accompanying Measures (EU-BAM) Electrification Project funded by the European Union.
The three-year electrification project was initiated on May 28, 2014, with the signing of a BZ$4.5 million grant contract involving the European Union (EU), Government of Belize (GOB), and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).
Under the EU-financed project, the national electricity grid was extended in rural areas with the aim of improving the quality of life for residents and to support the local productive sector.
“Receiving electricity through the EU-BAM Project is more beneficial and cheaper for the farm,” says Geronimo Teul, Manager of Farm 21 located in the Toledo District. “Being connected to the electricity grid eliminates the farm’s need to purchase expensive fuel and maintenance associated with the upkeep of a generator.”
Benefitting communities and banana farms include:
*St. Margaret’s Village
Stann Creek District
*Farms 1, 2 and 3
*Villages of Bella Vista, San Juan, Red Bank, Georgetown, Maya Mopan, Santa Rosa, San Roman, Silk Grass, Riversdale, Maya Center, Santa Cruz, Sittee River, Second New Site, Pomona Valley, Hummingbird Community, Middlesex, Valley Community, Steadfast, Sarawee and Mullins River
*Extensions of Independence Village: Trench Town Area, Noralez Extension, Survival Lane Extension and New Site Independence
*Banana Farms 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 20, 9 and 10, and Farm 21 housing area
*Villages of Trio and Esperanza
“Further grid expansion is necessary to meet the needs of other growing communities in the country,” says Mr. Antoine Devonshire, BEL’s Project Coordinator. “BEL will continue to pursue projects such as these that are aligned with our Mission to stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.”