[Linked Image]
People line up at Lowe’s Supermarket in Ladyville

The Bowen & Bowen compound on Slaughterhouse Road was packed on Tuesday, but the people who had wanted to buy their 5-gallon container of Crystal water left disappointed. Some of the customers decided to buy the small plastic bags of Crystal water, which was the only kind of water that Bowen & Bowen had in stock.

Many customers were seen riding bicycles with their empty 5-gallon Crystal water bottles; some were walking. All of them had one thing in common: they were searching for the 5-gallon Crystal water, but there was none around Belize City on Tuesday.

Apparently, this highlighted the fact that there is a large market for water.

Therefore, many customers headed to those spots which sell “filtered water.” But by the early hours in the afternoon, almost all of the filtered water sellers had run out, and many of them had to tell their customers to come back tomorrow.

From early Tuesday morning until well into the afternoon, it would have been hard to know that Belize was under a national State of Emergency. Why? Because there were long lines everywhere.

At the popular 88 Store on Central American Boulevard, there were two long lines. One line was to enter the store to buy groceries, and the other line was for people who had received monies via Western Union money transfer from the United States.

The Western Union lines at three different locations in the city were all dauntingly long. At Dooney’s Store on Albert Street, the Western Union line stretched from in front of the store all the way to the corner of King Street.

At the Western Union outlet at the corner of Douglas Jones and North Front Streets, it was the same thing—long lines of people waiting to get their money.

In Ladyville, the line remained long from early morning when Lowe’s Supermarket opened, until well into the afternoon, just before it was time to shut down their Western Union operations.

One lady who said she made two trips before she was finally able to get the money her relatives from the United States had sent, remarked this morning, Thursday, “If it were not for families in the States, a lot of people in Belize would be going hungry.”

“The line this morning is much shorter than the line I could not stay in yesterday”, the woman said, as she left the store.

Amandala