By NEMO Press Officer
Mar 17, 2006, 02:20 pm

The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) inaugurated a newly constructed warehouse in Belmopan on March 16, 2006. The 5,000 sq. ft. facility was completed at a cost of over Four Hundred Thousand US dollars ($400,000 US) that was provided through a combined effort of the United States Government and the Government of Belize.

The completion of this warehouse facility is a step towards NEMO’s goal of constructing regional warehouses to serve the Northern, Central and Southern areas of the country. Once completed, it is envisioned that these regional warehouses will play a pivotal role in providing rapid emergency relief supplies to Belizeans following a natural disaster such as a hurricane.

Speaking on behalf of the NEMO Secretariat, Belize’s National Emergency Coordinator, Lt. Col (Ret’d) George Lovell, thanked the United States Government and the US Southern Command Representatives for their funding of the facility that will strengthen the nation’s capacity to manage emergencies. He stated, “The Secretariat’s vision is to have relief supplies stored at strategic locations countrywide in order to provide timely and uninterrupted services to the country in time of need.”

The keynote speaker at the event was Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tourism and National Emergency Management, (Hon.) Mario Castellenos, who emphasized the good cooperation shared between the Government of Belize and the United States to improve disaster management. His comments were echoed by US Ambassador Robert Dieter who also reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing humanitarian assistance to Belize wherever possible.

The new NEMO warehouse is located in Belmopan in the vicinity of the Hector Silva Airstrip. It was constructed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and is equipped with shelving, office space, a reception area, computer equipment, and several pieces of heavy duty lifting machines that will be used for the movement of supplies.

The construction of a similar warehouse sponsored by the US Army’s Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program is expected to commence later this year in the Independence area of Southern Belize.