Heavy rains caused the flooding of the River Valley
On Tuesday we reported on the loss of crops in the Belize River Valley caused by flooding from recent torrential rains. Closer to the old capital, it is just beginning to get back to normal in the Ladyville area where a primary school had to close for two days due to flooding. Further up, in Lord’s Bank, residents are wading through the water to get to school or work. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
For two days this week, the students of Our Lady of the Way R.C. did not have classes. That’s because the entire school compound was flooded after the weekend of heavy rains. Principal Carol Young says that luckily, only a few teaching materials were destroyed.
Carol Young, Principal, Our Lady of the Way R.C. School
“The first day, the waters were all the way in the classrooms and the second day, which was Tuesday, yesterday we had to come and clean out the mess that the water left behind. Some teachers went home and probably there was some stuff on the floor because we didn’t expect the water to come that bad and some of it got wet but nothing that would really affect the teaching. But it wasn’t a nice situation to have the kids come in and sit over those waters so we had to call off classes yesterday after we cleaned up the area.”
Today, there is not as much water on the compound and classes resumed, but Young says some students still stayed at home.
“Even today we don’t have—I would say not even ninety-five percent are here because they thought probably the water is still here, but the water is gone. Even though some classrooms are still wet because you know at the back of the school, we have water still settled and so it seeps in through the walls and some classrooms still have a little bit of water. So I think most parents or the majority who didn’t come kept them at home because they thought that we’re still flooded.”
But it is not only the school that has been affected; Area Rep, Dolores Balderamos Garcia has found that residents throughout the Ladyville/Lords Bank area have had to deal with rising waters in their yards and on the roads.
Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Area Representative, Belize Rural Central
“What the camera is capturing is just an example of the severe way in which the roads and the drains have been affected with the incessant rains. We really wanted to call some attention to it. Basically, like I said this is only an example, if we go more to the back of Lords Bank, you will see people still under water, roads washed out. As you can see, the London bridge situation is not only confined to Belize City. I have been in discussions with some of the officials at the Ministry of Works and they say that we are on a list, but of course we have to draw attention. I mean I’m not saying only Ladyville and Lords Bank are being affected, but we have over on the Western Highway the Western Paradise area, Hattieville and even going into Gracie Rock, for example. So it’s very severe.”
Both Garcia and Young, who is also the Lords Bank Chairlady, agree that the problem is a lack of proper drainage. And according to Garcia, she will keep pressuring the Ministry of Works for assistance.
“I am sure that they need to do something about the drainage because over the years, people have built up all around the school and you know some of them fill their property and so that throws the water into our yard. And if the village had proper drainage, then I think it would take off the water much faster.”
Dolores Balderamos Garcia
Dolores Balderamos Garcia
“You can see the severe washing away of the road because of the lack of drainage. And basically, as people have been saying to me, Ms. Dolores we noh want no grader because grader wah come and scrape away more of the material and it gets even lower for the next time around. So what we’re asking for now is that we need some material. Now, I know that the quarries are all drenched and it’s difficult to bring out material but I think the first need and I would look for the responsiveness of the Ministry of Works, is for the drainage to be attended to both in the Mirage Road area and also by the Ladyville RC School where you were, but also here in Lords Bank in particular. So we will keep up the pressure. So far I get a good feeling of cooperation but that doesn’t mean to say we can let up at all.”
In the meantime, Young says school supplies will be stored in high areas and they will be prepared for more rains. This is a crucial time for students to be in class since exams begin next Monday. Delahnie Bain for News Five.
Since the area is prone to flooding, Our Lady of the Way R.C. is considering raising the classroom floors to mitigate flooding.