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#8509 - 10/07/00 04:11 PM HURRICANE KEITH RELIEF UPDATE OCT 7TH, 9:30 A.M.
Marty Offline
Correction of food needs.


Some confusion on food supplies. The two island towns that got destroyed by hurricane winds and floods, have short term food supplies right now, coming in from Government. We are talking feeding about 10,000 people in total. This is basic stuff. It is not a balanced diet thing.


For long term, there is a sizable contingent of people who are now homeless and destitute. This is off season for tourism and fishing is dead with loss of boat motors. The islands economy is temporarily ruined. But not for long, about two months.


For food needs for the longer term, food donations are probably needed for three months. This should get everybody over the HUMP, so to speak.


The population of the two island towns damaged are around 10,000 people. These are called Caye Caulker and San Pedro.


INLAND


Inland the situation is different. It is not wind damage from Hurricane force winds, but from floods coming down from the sponge, that is the huge jungle of Peten, to the West of Belize. The river drainage is flooding widely in northern Belize. Whole villages are currently underwater, as is also all the subsistance food crops. The length of time the area stays flooded will dictate if anything can be recovered. But indications are that crops covered by the floods will be covered by water too long too survive. In the tropics things grow fast, but they are also seasonal. New re-growth of food crops for villagers and isolated communities will take until next April before there is anything to eat. Or sell for money as income. So the longer term picture is food supplies needed for a dozen communities and a larger area of isolated places for about six months, or until April next year. Whatever these isolated flooded places are surviving on right now, is what they can!
stick on shelves above the flooding waters. In the short term, they are now running out of food. Nor, can they get to unflooded areas to buy any. If they have the money, that is?
Short term, things are getting dicey for the food supply. Long term, they are probably going to need food relief until April. The rest they can handle themselves. I don't know what we are talking about in population numbers needing food relief, but it would be in excess of 10,000 people and might reach 18,000 people. At the moment food relief for either short term, or longer term is a moot point inland in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Nobody can get in, or out of the flooded area. But this will pass in a few weeks. If they ration themselves and share with neighbors, they probably will be able to last until the flood waters subside.


I understand the MORMONS in Utah are collecting hundreds of boxes of food to ship down. Probably by overland truck through Mexico. But whatever they ship, will not cover more than a few days of the need.


RELIEF SUPPLIES SENT DOWN TO BELIZE, if directed to the mainland rural communities and villages in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts and even Cayo Districts need to be addressed to:


NEMO Government Food Relief Supplies, c/o NEMO Belmopan, Belize, Central America


For the two island towns of Caye Caulker and San Pedro, You need to address the supplies to:


CAYE CAULKER KEITH FOOD SUPPLIES FOR Village Council Emergency Committee c/o Mr. Fermin and Honourable Patty Arceo.


SAN PEDRO KEITH FOOD SUPPLIES for San Pedro, Town Board Emergency Committe c/o Patty Arceo.


If you are sending any other supplies, like batteries, kerosene lamps, zinc corrugated roofing, or pine lumber 2 x 4's and 2 x 6's and 1 inch of the same sizes in lengths of 12' to 16 ft, they should be properly addressed as to either island and destination to avoid complications with customs duties and red tape of the bureaucratic world.


Long term, we are looking at two or three months for San Pedro and Caye Caulker towns. They will be operational for tourism in the case of San Pedro within a month in some format and from then progressively get better. For Caye Caulker, it is more like two months, but they too will be operational before Dec.1st in some kind of way. The best thing is then to come as tourists and start the economy rolling, with the flow of big holiday spenders. This will oil the recovery aspects much faster than any kind of relief supplies. The money would circulate and allow local people to purchase their own priorities.
The diving and sea has already recovered. The barrier reef itself and scuba diving sites are ready right now! The services within a couple of weeks should open a half of all the tourist operations on both island towns. Nothing would expedite recovery more than a bumper tourist crop starting Mid November 15th, from then on into the New Year. Nothing makes recovery work faster than the economic engine of tourist flow with cash money, to the little people and Mom and Pop restaurants and businesses.

by Ray Auxillou, Trustee/Belize Development Trust

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#8510 - 10/07/00 05:16 PM Re: HURRICANE KEITH RELIEF UPDATE OCT 7TH, 9:30 A.M.
Marty Offline
We are looking at the problem of feeding a total estimated 30,000 to
35,000 people for three months. After that, half, or about 15,000 people
need food relief for another three months, until April and crops come in.


The Belizean diet is rice, beans - usually black beans and red kidney
beans- potatos, onions, they need lard for frying and making bread, plus
yeast to make buns and bread at home on wood fire hearts as they call
them, some concentrated bottle of lime juice would not go amiss. To
flavor water.


On the subject of communications, maybe Patty Arceo can take some of
those FUNDS we are sending down and buy some cellular phones, the good
kind with long range from the Cayes to the mainland for international
calling and set up a table in 3 or 4 different spots with a young girl
with cellular phone, egg timer or watch and charge users double whatever
BTL rates are per minute for the emergency, to cover expenses.


That would essentially close down our message board. I have been on
Marty's case to cut back on traffic now, but still communications is a
problem. But a few stations set up by Patty Arceo would alleviate that
problem. Even charge a $1.00 for in coming calls and have a messenger go
deliver messages to people? I'm fairly sure our contribution from the
Belize Development Trust volunteers is winding down. Through Tuesday is
the rough date to pull the plug on this project. If Patty Arceo would
set up those cellular phones with some of this relief money, that would
do it.


The American Army engineers are in town. The Ambassador took one of
those helicopters out to the islands for a look see herself. All the
relief organizations are getting into gear. The first FLASH EMERGENCY is
basically over and the long re-construction haul is in gear. The GOB and
the PUP proved themselves to be people of action. Belizeans should
really be proud of NEMO, the politicians and BDF. By golly we did it.
All it took was each person, in each insignificant little spot to make
decisions and be a person of initiative and action. This actually
happened in Belize. When they get the post mortem from overseas, it is
going to be a model of how an Emergency Hurricane Disaster should be
handled by local Central American and Caribbean governments should handle
such a disaster.


I'm surprised myself that it has all gone so well. But it has been a
supurb performance by all concerned in the local governments. I still am
shaking my head in wonder at the prompt effective ACTION ORIENTATED
response mechanisms.


Foreign rescuers are now arriving, but the worst critical stuff is all
over before they arrive. Only the long slug now to get through.

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