Ground breaking for the Cayo North Resource and Resilience Center Print E-mail
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Friday, 30 November 2018 00:00

Ground was broken on Wednesday morning at the Victor Galvez Stadium in San Ignacio Town for the Cayo North Resource and Resilience Center. The multipurpose community center is being implemented by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (5 C’s)based in Belmopan with funding from the Government of Italy, through the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea in partnership with the Government of Belize.

“Belize is like so many small island developing states are disproportionately affected by the devastating impacts of climate change, today with this collaborative project… our community moves one step close to adapt to what can be these devastating consequences of climate change…,” said the Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development, in a brief ceremony Wednesday morning.

The Cayo North Resource and Resilience Center will provide the residents of five rural communities and the town of San Ignacio with a central self-contained Centre that can be used both as a shelter in the event of a weather-related and other emergencies, and for other community and social purposes and events. The five rural communities to be served by the Centre are Trenchtown, Kontiki, Boiton Area, Mosquitoville and Shawville.

The completed building by design will incorporate the use of photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy to provide power to a multi-purpose community centre. This will be part of a wider programme being developed to reduce the vulnerability of the rural villages in Belize to the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.

To ensure its continued operation during the event of a major weather event or other disaster event, the Centre will be equipped with an independently powered hybrid grid-connected PV renewable energy system, a rainwater storage system and an emergency communication system. A note from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center makes clear that Belize, like its fellow Small Island Developing and Low-lying Coastal States (SIDS) in the Caribbean have considerable concerns about the severe threats posed by a changing climate to development prospects.  As a consequence, both mitigation and adaptation options will require a significant and sustained investment of resources such as the Cayo North Resource and Resilience Center. Climate change and climate variability has led to increased intensity of extreme meteorological events in the form of hurricanes, floods, and droughts; and these events have had profound negative impacts on national economies, which threaten the survival of the most vulnerable populations and communities. Climate change and climate variability are also compromising the ecological services provided by some of these fragile ecosystems, such as corals reefs and wetlands that are vital for sustaining lives, livelihoods and improved human development in the country.

The contractor for the Cayo North Resource and Resilience Center is Joehann Construction and Engineering Limited, who will be working in partnership with Cayo Steel Works Limited. In addition to be a place of refuge in times of emergency, the planned building will also be the Headquarters of the National Emergency Management Organization and will also have a sport facility.

Construction of the weather resistant center will begin this month and is planned to be completed in May 2019 with an estimated cost of BZ$1.6 million. Already teams are being set up to begin with the construction for the benefit of Belize; towards a lower carbon footprint.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 November 2018 11:00