Wednesday, 07 September 2016 00:00

Peer-learning to improve urban water and sanitation practices in Belize

Progress in human resources, safety and data acquisition through WOP for Belize Water Services


 WOP overview
 Total budget:US$100,000
 WOP duration: 5 years (2010-2015)
 Salient results:
  • 119 employees (+50% of staff) completed 215 water operators certificates
  • Safety Committee created
  • US$ 350,000 investment in safety equipment
  • SCADA system introduced
  • Tariff system modernized

 Full WOP profile

GWOPA/UN-Habitat, through the regional WOP-LAC secretariat, provided instrumental and financial support for the creation and implementation of a Water Operators' Partnership between Belize Water Services (BWS), the national water and sanitation provider, and Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), a California-based water utility. Financial support was provided by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility. Staff time and other expenses were covered by the mentor and recipient partner.


The WOP aimed at strengthening the human, organizational and institutional capacity of the recipient utility by adopting good practices, implementing new technology, reducing NRW and improving maintenance techniques. 

The activities of the WOP started with a joint diagnosis to select the training areas based on pre-identified key priorities of the mentee and expertise areas of the mentor. Partners decided to work on different strategic areas, such as safety, operations, engineering, finance, customer services, information and technology, and public outreach.


Several visits of manager and technical staff happened in both countries over the years. Activities consisted in exchange visits between the staff of both water operators, during which they realized classroom training, job-shadowing, documentation and information sharing, on-the job operational guidance or review of existing practices and appropriate recommendations for improvements.

BWS is now in the process of becoming a WOP mentor to support other Caribbean water utilities, and pass on the knowledge and knowhow gained thanks to the partnership with CCWD.



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