6 days ago, 7News told you about the NEMO assistance to Crooked Tree Village which remains cut off by flood waters. The earliest that the waters are expected to recede is in 2 months. Until then, residents are being profoundly affected, especially the cattle farmers.
To assist with that problem, their area representative, Edmund Castro, is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture to provide relief in the form of feed for the livestock so that they can survive until the village returns to normal.
This afternoon, the villagers held a meeting with Castro and the Agriculture Representative where they discussed how the relief will work. We spoke with Castro afterwards:
Hon. Edmund "Clear the Land" Castro - Area Representative, Belize Rural North
"Since last week, trying to help the people in Crooked Tree with some rations, and so on, and right now, the mission today is to follow on the assessment for the livestock producers. We have 19 livestock producers in Crooked Tree, primarily in the "Black Bun" area. So, we brought in the Ministry of Agriculture to meet with them, and see how we can help them temorarily with some feed, for the time being to ease their cattle out of the different stress that they are going through, and also, to bring in seeds for them to plant so that they could have feed banks. If they had feed banks in the higher part of the land in the "Black Bun" area, they would be no need for them to go outside to get feed to feed their cattle. So, we are encouraging them to plant an acre or 2 of cane and other types of grass that they would be able to feed their animals right here in the "Black Bun" area."
Darrell Tillett - Chairman, Crooked Tree Village
"Well, from what we're hearing, it sounds really good, and the farmers really need assistance because we have farmers who are losing cattle, and most of all, they need feed for their cattle."
Clifford Martinez - Belize District Agricultural Coordinator, Ministry of Agriculture
"For now, we're trying to source some feeding material immediately, to deal with the issues at hand, and we know that limited resources that we have, we may be able to tap into some of the needs that they have."
"Well, some of the farmers here are trying really hard. They have to get up and work even harder to provide for their families, regardless of the flooding in here."
The Ministry of Agriculture is working on a long-term plan with the village so that the livestock farmers are more resilient to sudden changes in weather. We also received complaints that the meeting was no adequately announced beforehand, so some farmers were unable to attend because of short notice.