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Jul 14, 2017

Toddler girl drowns in pit at Maya Mopan home

Six months ago in January, we reported on the death of an eighteen-month-old child, Edwin Lorenzo Duarte. He drowned after falling into an uncovered well while playing behind his house in the Maya Mopan section of Belmopan. It happened again on Thursday afternoon on the other side of the community and this time the victim is a nineteen-month-old girl, Teresa Coy. She had been playing with family members outside while visiting with her mother, also named Teresa, when she drifted out of sight. She was found at the bottom of an open pit latrine at the back of the yard and died at the Western Regional Hospital despite having her stomach pumped. Aaron Humes spoke with her dazed and devastated mother in the following report.

 

Reporter

“You’re going to miss your daughter?”

 

Teresa Teul, Mother of Deceased

“I am going to miss her. I done miss her already.”

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

There are no words to truly describe the anguish of a mother who has lost her child, never mind one who knows it could have been prevented. That anguish is what twenty-six year old Teresa Teul, a mother of four, struggled with today as she spoke to us about what happened on Thursday evening to her youngest, nineteen-month-old Teresa Coy.

 

 

Reporter

“The baby was playing with her…”

 

Teresa Teul

Teresa Teul

“With the rest, she was playing with the rest, and after that I didn’t know what happened to her.”

 

Reporter

“You said you’re not sure at what time you realized…”

 

Teresa Teul

“I never know what time, but between four and five.”

 

Reporter

“So when you noticed that she was missing, what did you do?”

 

Teresa Teul

I get up; I try look for her but I no find her nowhere. They tell me she mi deh with her next aunty so I was going there; but her sister come run; she see the baby mi done in .the water already.”

The latrine is of unknown age and was not covered; the wooden structures lying on top of it now were placed there by police. Baby Teresa was quickly retrieved and taken to Western Regional Hospital, but it was a losing fight.

 

Teresa Teul

“She took in water, a lot of water.”

 

Reporter

“She swallowed a lot of water?”

 

Teresa Teul

“A lot of water.”

 

Reporter

“And you took her to hospital? What happened?”

 

Teresa Teul

“I took her to the hospital and doctors started taking out the water in her belly again; still, she noh get good again.”

 

But the key question tonight is why the hole was unattended. There are no good answers and police moved proactively to get it closed, albeit too late for baby Teresa. Her mother hopes that other residents with similar latrines, wells and open enclosures learn from this painful tragedy.

 

Teresa Teul

“Police tell me that they have to close it, because if not, a lot of children are here; the next one will drop right in. That’s what police told me.”

 

Reporter

“I don’t know how many of these do you see here in the village – latrines, wells, things like that because we’ve covered cases of children that have fallen into these things before; are there a lot of these here?”

 

Teresa Teul

“No. No.”

 

Reporter

“But it would be a good idea, since all the kids are out of school, to keep them covered so they that don’t…”

 

Teresa Teul

“They don’t  drop inside like that.”

 

From Belmopan, Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Toddler girl drowns in pit at Maya Mopan home”

  1. Hatari says:

    Sad to say, but it is not only “foreigners” who abuse children.

  2. Annie says:

    You can’t teach common sense! Seems like many adults need parenting classes. Children are curious and cannot understand danger – adults should protect them but the adults don’t have the skill themselves or they wound know the dangers of having an open well.
    Unfortunately another innocent victim of stupidity!

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