San Pedro donates to Arthur victims

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 18, No. 24            June 12, 2008

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The wrath of Arthur impacted 40 communities countrywide.

Supplies were delivered by boat, and volunteers personally went to distribute the items to those who needed it most desperately.

Families joined hands and helped those less fortunate

The Government of Belize (GOB) announced that over 10 thousand people were affected in one way or the other by Tropical Storm Arthur last week. In a preliminary assessment done by a group of government agencies, GOB stated that the wrath of Arthur's floods impacted 40 communities countrywide including 7,000 households, 155 of which were directly impacted by the storm. 17 houses in the south were completely destroyed and nine in the north of Belize were totally destroyed.

    According to the GOB report, damages to household items amounted to $4.5 million. $10 million is needed to repair and replace damaged homes. The report continues to state that 364 persons were forced into shelters in the Stann Creek District, 100 in Orange Walk, 73 in the Corozal District and 80 in the Belize District of which 73% of persons directly affected were women and children. The total losses to the housing sector are estimated at $10.2 million.

    In infrastructure GOB claims that the damage to culverts on the Hummingbird Highway alone will cost $150,000 to repair. The Mullins River Bridge will cost GOB $5 million and the Kendall Bridge will cost $10 million to put up.

    In agriculture, total loss to agriculture was estimated at $14.2 million while the aquaculture, Paradise Shrimp Farm in Mullins River, had damages of $2.4 million. All told, the preliminary assessment of damages is for $77.6 million. And while Government made their case to the Belizean in announcing the total lost, the San Pedro community through various organizations mobilized a fundraiser last week to assist the affected victims.

    On Saturday, June 7th, 2008, a delegation of 12 from San Pedro Town voyaged to the affected area in the South of Belize where they met with various members of the Red Cross Organization. Donations were garnered for the flood victims by the San Pedro Lions Club, San Pedro Business Association and The Reef Radio. Over 135 bags of food items were delivered along 150 bags of clothes were handed to the Red Cross temporary operations centre at Hope Creek Village in the Stann Creek Valley. Lion Eiden Salazar traveled to the villages of Sittee River, Monkey River, Sarajwee, Gales Point Manatee and Moulins River as well as a stop at Friends of Nature where he made cash donations to the different representatives of the Village Councils and Friends of Nature. A total of $22,000 was donated in all the villages, which were monies collected from the Reef Radio Radioton.

    Lions Salazar told the village leaders that, "the people and residents of San Pedro were shaken by the occurrence and we believe that it was our duty as Belizeans to contribute in bringing some kind of relief to our brothers and sisters of the affected areas." The village leaders in accepting the donation all welcomed the donation and expressed their gratitude to people of San Pedro for assisting them in their times of need.

    The delegation included members from the San Pedro Lions Club, Members of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, Reef Radio Staff and volunteers from San Pedro Town.
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