Here in the city, the rains have been drenching the Old Capital for days. Families in flood prone areas are feeling the brunt of the inclement weather as their homes beginning to flood with the gushing waters. In other sections of the south side—areas such as Jerusalem that are connected by London bridges—there is concern that the rising waters can make the walkways impassable. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
Across Belize City, properties in low-lying areas are taking in water. Inclement weather over the past few days has seen flooding in some communities, including Port Loyola, where a number of streets are inundated. For those already living in abject conditions, excess rains have only made matters worse.
Irvin Gentle, Resident, Gentle Lane
“Dis long barracks di ya fi many years, so much years, like from lee bwai days, from I small yo dig. I woulda really just wahn help cohn fi long barracks fi wata weh wi deh eena right now because da real flood, flood out. Di barracks, di whole roof, everything tear down, you know. We just need wahn lee hands from anybody weh could give wahn lee hands out fi di barracks, fi try help we fi get outta di wata.”
The situation at this apartment building on Gentle Lane is dire. There are three adjoined units and water has taken them all.
“If yoh go een deh right now, lotta wata. Yoh di walk up eena wata right now, get up eena wata, sleep eena wata yoh dig. But dis da di paat a life yoh noh fi go through because we know help deh out deh weh could help we same way too, you know, that’s why we di beg fi di lee help. Any lee feedback wahn help.”
On the other side of the city, residents of Antelope Street Extension, in an area known as Jerusalem, are braving the weather. Their homes, all elevated above the Krooman Lagoon, are interconnected by a network of London Bridges. For the most part, they are not directly affected by the intermittent rains, despite being completely surrounded by water.
Edwin Tobar, Resident, Antelope Street Extension
“Right now we don’t feel affected in no way because we have this new bridge now. If we didn’t have this bridge, we had an old one. You could see that that’s the old one, but the old one was really lower than this one. So we’re not that affected right now, well us then. They have more people da back weh have low bridge and they get affected by that.”
With a recent donation of lumber, the men went to work building a meandering footpath that is raised above the water and debris that have accumulated beneath. Fortunately, construction of the platform was completed well before the rains.
“We build it in like three days; we built it all the way to back. I don’t know if you went to the back, yes, and that’s how we got down to do the bridge.”
For Irvin Gentle, a sanitation worker by profession, falling asleep and waking up in water has exposed him to all kinds of illnesses. His hope is that those in authority would at least see this coverage, enough for assistance to be rendered to the residents of the tenement.
“Ih really rough mein, ih really rough because at di end ah di day di wata come from underneath. As you get affa your bed da straight eena wata your foot drop. When you jump off da straight eena wata so ih mek yoh ketch draft, ih mek yoh ketch flu, ih mek you ketch tuberculosis, you know. Then di COVID-19 di go round now so di place look slacky, all thing wet up, everything wet up, clothes wet up, mattress wet up, yo dig. Ih real sleck mein, yo dig. We wahn lee betta fu we and betta fi everybody same way too mein.”
Flood Water Expected to Move Down River to Belize River Valley Area
Central Regional Coordinator Al Westby told News Five that the Belize River Valley area is already on guard for what is to come in the next few days. The water from the Mopan and Macal Rivers are expected to flow down to the Belize District and into the city. The water levels along the Belize River are already increasing, but slowly; so is the lagoon in Crooked Tree. Westby says that it is being monitored by personnel on the ground and that residents are being informed to prepare.
Al Westby, Central Regional Coordinator, NEMO
“We have been constantly reminding the people in the Belize River Valley area. Our coordinator from within that area, Mister Gillett and his assistant have been doing their groundwork, advising these people, warning them that within a couple days time this impact will be in the Belize River Valley area where you will probably meet me again doing the same thing.”
Situation in an area along Antelope Street Extension in Belize City.