Pilot Project Title:
Testing a Prototype Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management GEF
The objective of the Belize Pilot Project is to establish an innovative revolving fund for cost-effective and sustainable financing of wastewater management in Belize. Specifically, the project aims to provide subsidized; below market interest rate loans for eligible wastewater treatment projects.
The Belize Wastewater Revolving Fund is valued at US $5 million. The pilot has developed a pipeline of projects to benefit from this fund. Eligible projects would include local wastewater projects that advance the obligations of the Cartagena Convention and are located in a watershed area that drains into Caribbean coastal waters.
- Establishment of the Operational Framework for a Wastewater Revolving Fund in Belize
- Development of a Community Participation and Communication Plan
- Administration of a Customer Satisfaction survey
Status of Pilot Project:
In February 2012, the Government of Belize became eligible to receive the funding for establishment of the Pilot Financing Mechanism (PFM). There were many challenges faced in establishing the PFM which is called the Belize Wastewater Revolving Fund (BWRF). These included: putting together a mechanism to ensure proper cost recovery and replenishment of the fund; finalizing the Financial Agreement (interest rate, repayment period etc.) and structure of the Revolving Fund. The Cash Flow Model was believed to be the most suitable structure for the BWRF.
Due to its high rate of development and associated sanitation issues, the Placencia Peninsula was originally selected as the first development area to benefit from the BWRF through the implementation of the Integrated Water and Sanitation Program for the Placencia Peninsula (IWSPPP). This project is being co-financed with a US$5,000,000.00 loan from the IDB. Its main objective is to construct a sewage collection and treatment system for the Placencia Peninsula.
However, there was need for more time to resolve stakeholder issues in Placencia and to identify the location of the wastewater treatment plant. It was therefore decided that the retroactive financing of the Belmopan Sewer Lagoon and the Belmopan Sewer System Expansion would be the Pilot’s First Generation Project. The BWRF had developed a pipeline of projects, foremost of which were the retroactive financing for Belmopan’s Sewer Lagoons (US $739,000) expansion of the Belmopan Sewer System (US $1,500,000) and the Placencia Wastewater Management System (US $5,000,000).
The retroactive financing of the Belmopan Sewer Lagoon involves the construction of three facultative lagoons. The financial agreement was signed, and disbursement was made in December 2013 with repayment scheduled to begin in April 2015. Belmopan’s Sewer System expansion involves the construction of a sewage transportation system, construction of a tertiary treatment system and retrofitting of the primary treatment. The financial agreement has been drafted and disbursement was scheduled for June 2014 with repayment due to begin in June 2015.