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NADB issues $1.9 million (USD) grant to the Commission of Public Services (CESPT) for wastewater collection projects in Tijuana and Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico

Posted on August 21, 2011

NADB issues $1.9 million (USD) grant to the Commission of Public Services (CESPT) for wastewater collection projects in Tijuana and Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico

To reduce the existing wastewater collection backlog in Tijuana and Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, MX, the North American Development Bank (NADB) approved the issuance of a $1.9 million (USD) grant (approx. $21.8 million pesos) from the Border Environmental Infrastructure Fund (BEIF)* to the State Commission of Public Services in Tijuana (CESPT, for its Spanish acronym), to provide this much needed service for the first time to subdivisions located in these two municipalities. This project was certified by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) on May 20, 2011.

The cost of the proposed projects is $4.8 million (USD). This project will introduce 43.6 kilometers of 20 to 30 cm (8” – 12”) PVC pipes, benefitting 17,450 residents.

BECC provided $71,736 worth of technical assistance to this project through the Project Development Assistance Program funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Hernando Duran, Director of CESPTCurrently, wastewater collection rates is 93% in Tijuana and 86% in Playas de Rosarito. CESTP General Director Hernando Durán Cabrera stated, “we have a high level coverage rates, we have made significant progress as far as wastewater lines, particularly in Rosarito, and much of this has been financed by NADB through BEIF schemes approved by the BECC.” “New water service is a night-and-day difference, from not having any water to having running water, and wastewater collection is gladly welcomed, because septic tanks will no longer be used, the environment will be improved, there won’t be health issues, and the quality of life will radically change; additionally, we will have the ability to pave these subdivisions,” Durán remarked.

Trench and pipeline for Plan LibertadorEjido Plan Libertador

Wastewater collection is currently being introduced in Ejido Plan Libertador, one of the oldest subdivisions in the municipality of Playas de Rosarito, in order to address the community’s demand and provide efficient service consistent with the city’s growth rate.

$10.7 million pesos (nearly $946,000) are currently being invested in the installation of more than 10 kilometers of wastewater collection pipes and 500 discharges that will benefit 2.266 residents of Ejido Plan Libertador.

Trench at RosaritoEnrique Carrillo Cárdenas, chairman of the Plan Libertador neighborhood committee, said, “This subdivision is the stretch between Tijuana and Rosarito, and it had no services, so we established a neighborhood committee. First we started with paving projects in Boulevard Emiliano Zapata, followed by the introduction of electricity, and then water; we wanted to have wastewater collection to continue with paving tasks.”

The chairman of the neighborhood committee has lived in Plan Libertador for 15 years. For him and his family, wastewater collection “is a highly essential service; additionally, it will increase the value of our properties.”

María Concepción Guerrero (Connie) has lived in the subdivision for 22 years. She remembers she used to obtain her water supply from tank trucks. She said, “(Wastewater collection) is sorely needed, I have a septic tank, but it’s annoying to have to drain it every 4 months. My family and neighbors are very happy with this project.”

Connie said the cost of draining a septic tank is $300 pesos (approx. U.S. $26), “It’s difficult for us to be paying, and it’s an inconvenience for us and our neighbors. Health is important to us,” she explained.

Enrique Carrillo said, “Most people are happy that the project will be implemented, but most of them don’t have resources, so we set up a customer service module where CESPT will arrange for easy payment terms.”

Alcatraces

The Alcatraces subdivision is located in the town of La Gloria, adjacent to Ejido Lázaro Cárdenas. The first families that settled here arrived in 2001.

During the 2008 rainy season, Virginia Martínez  and her family were relocated from the Alamar Arroyo by the Land Titling and Management Commission (CORETTE, for its Spanish acronym), and took on the leadership of the Water Committee. By January of this year, she was able to have running water at home.

José María Galván said, “We had been suffering from the lack of water for  four years, the drum was sold to us at $25 pesos ($2.2 USD), and then at $30 pesos ($2.6 USD). Half of our salary was only to buy water.”

Now he’s the chairman of the Wastewater Collection Committee in Colonia Alcatraces, and he explained that “a self-managed project would have been very expensive, and with BECC’s and NADB’s support, it became more affordable; we need the assistance of international organizations to move forward.”

The Director of CESPT stated, “With the grants issued the cost is lower, projects are more affordable, it’s faster for customers to contract, and recovery is also faster. That money can be used to develop more projects. This is a system that CESPT has been using in the last 10 or 15 years to achieve the coverage rates we now enjoy.”

Teresa Balderas and her family came in 2003. Their house did not have any services. Electricity was later introduced, and now that she has water available; she’s very happy because [water] is now clean and less expensive.

Residents are looking forward to the implementation of the wastewater collection project, which is currently in the bidding process, and they are willing to pay because they want to improve their quality of life.

*Grant funding is issued by the Border Environmental Infrastructure Fund (BEIF) funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and managed by the NADB.




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