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Aug 5, 2016

Was the City Council Prompt in Efforts to Restore Normalcy?

Darrell Bradley

Was the City Council prompt in addressing the issue of debris and sludge when NEMO announced an all-clear on Thursday morning?  Some would argue that the response wasn’t fast enough.  According to Mayor Bradley, his team sprung into action immediately after they were given the nod to commence remedial works.  He says that while work is in progress, it should be business as usual come Monday morning.


Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“It cannot be said that there was not mobilization immediately as the all clear. Nobody could expect that we would be working, in terms of having non-essential staff, when the all clear has not been given. So that all protocols call for waiting until the all clear; prior to that, there will only be emergency personnel on the street and out about freely doing initial assessments. I know Phillip Willoughby and other members of the City Council were on the ground as early as five a.m. doing preliminary assessments, feeding that back into the EOC. But as the all clear was given at nine o’clock, we had personnel going out throughout Belize City doing their assessment and starting the cleanup work and that has continued. Clearly if we need additional resources because we noticed early that the impact was more severe that anyone anticipated, we would need a little time to mobilize additional assets on the ground, to be able to give out initial reports and assessment to NEMO to be able to access additional equipment including technical personnel. We have people now from the Forestry Department; these are people that cut logwood and mahogany in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Those people are on the ground in Belize City as we speak helping the efforts. There was little delay in terms of mobilizing the B.D.F., but Phillip Willoughby indicated that tomorrow we will have them fully on stream. But as nine o’clock, when the all clear was given, we prioritized certain key areas. He indicated that we were cooperating with the utility companies in terms of assisting them to ensure that we are clearing debris around power lines so that electricity can get up as soon as possible. We prioritized tourism areas because we know that Tuesday is a call day so that we prioritized those areas. And then in terms of the major road network, ensuring that immediately those were clear for emergency personnel and today, there has been many businesses that are opened up as a result of those works that we did as the all clear was given. So that it cannot be said that we delayed even a little bit in relation to getting the sanitation and cleanup on the way. And this is why we can forecast that at least by Sunday evening, you will be able to see a huge difference in relation to Belize City going back to a normal state of business can open as usual at eight o’clock Monday morning.”

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