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Sep 4, 2012

No water in the Jungle; free water service turned off in Pickstock

A small piece of PVC pipe in what is known as the Jungle in Pickstock is causing an uproar. For twenty-eight struggling families, mostly unemployed, it makes a huge difference in their daily lives. The pipe has been disconnected and it is taking a toll on families who have been left without potable water. It means they can’t cook, bathe, or wash. News Five’s Jose Sanchez heard their plea today.


Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Water is the source of life. It’s taken for granted every day, but inside the Pickstock community known as “jungle”, water had been free for twenty-eight families who live from hand to mouth. It wasn’t socialism but a free service offered from the mouth of one pipe which no longer flows.


Durrita Perteau, Resident of Pickstock Jungle

“Because they call yah jungle, they got we di live like we ina jungle fi real. And that is the situation dah back yah and we get enough of it because when elections or anything, you see all kinda them find dehn way and come through this place yah fi ask fi vote and thing.”


Celia Nicholas, Resident of Pickstock Jungle

“Like twenty-eight different families live through yah. You could count the amount of people weh have water. Like six house out of twenty-eight have water.”


Jose Sanchez

“When you say twenty-eight, that dah twenty-eight individuals—you are talking each person have a husband wife kids…”


Celia Nicholas

Celia Nicholas

“And so much children and then deh so. Me, I got me, my bredda, my son, my boyfriend, fi he two bredda and fi he gial—that dah done six ah we in my house alone. My auntie dehn got about ten; my neighbor got she and mussi about seven pickney; upstairs dah back, dehn got fi dehn own amount of pickney. And just imagine the rest of people weh di come from outside come get water from right yah.”


Jose Sanchez

“Some people might say it is only one pipe, but life is hard right?”


Celia Nicholas

“Life is hard and dah like this: the government say dehn cut out the water because sometimes the pipe bruk and so. Me as a mother, I done tell di people dehn, we have to talk to fi we pickney; we have to deal with fi we pickney dehn. And we have to beg, we di appeal to the Prime Minister, please put back the water because we need it. We could talk to the pickney dehn. If anything go wrong after this, we could fix it back. if we have to go door to door to get dollar or two dollars to put it back, we wah put it back.”


Jose Sanchez

“The simple truth is, correct me if I’m wrong, if the people here could have afforded to put the water in their house, they would have done that?”


Celia Nicholas

“We would have; we would have done that so many years ago, but the piping, the plumbing system ina dehn house yah noh good.”


Durrita Perteau

Durrita Perteau

“We noh have nobody in our family di work. Majority teenagers live ina our family with kids and we noh have nobody ina fi we family di work. And the situation weh we live in through yah, we can’t afford to pay water. We dah single mothers; majority of we dah single mothers through yah—fi we kids noh have no fathers and thing. And they come and take out this public pipe. Majority of the time when this pipe bruk, dah noh we weh live through yah bruk this pipe, dah people from all over come through yah fi water—all over the bridge; all over. dah noh only we have the use fi this pipe. So who took out the pipe; I don’t know, but who took it out heartless. To tell you the truth, watch how we live through yah. The grass dehn grow until it di grow inside wi door; all kidna situation; the sewage system noh di work. When we flush the bathroom, the waste come through the back di mess up the place, we have to inhale all dehn stinking-ness and nobody noh come through yah and do nothing, nothing, nothing.”


And though the houses in the Jungle were written-off, one senior member of the Jungle says the residents have changed but poverty is still the same.


Alina Bowman

Alina Bowman, Resident of Pickstock Jungle

“Sixty-six years; I sixty-six and I deh yah from I twelve and dah the same thing—nothing change—but it di get worse. They cut out the water just Friday when the children have to go dah school. They have to go beg water; some of them noh even bathe. I have to drink my pills so often, I have to go ask everybody fi wah glass ah water; them things wrong. I can’t even wash. I have wah whole thing a clothes fi two weeks weh I neva feel good I neva wash. Say I mi wah wash and the people dehn cut out the water. You can’t do nothing, nothing. We have to di beg water. And people noh wah give yo water fi wash, deh wah give yo wah lee gallon of water fi yo drink or something like that.”


The dirty dishes are piling up and the kids are on their way home from school. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.


News Five attempted to contact the P.R. department for BWSL but no one would take the calls. We were informed that the Operations Manager was unavailable and the person who would be able to assist us was out in the field.

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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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23 Responses for “No water in the Jungle; free water service turned off in Pickstock”

  1. Baby k says:

    Why are u guys testing your own like this.dont u the gov.have a heart especially for those kids come on man.

  2. Cynic says:

    Looks like Black Santa turned Scrooge after the general elections!

  3. A tale of two Cities says:

    ” who said this was a haad times budjet’ , “we are flushed with cash, BTL is doing great.” Dean Barrow.
    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
    Charles Dickens.

  4. Reality says:

    water is not a free commodity. people in Belize have to wake up. they are acting like its mandatory for the government to give things away. pay for your water. fight for what you want. i know i pay for mine. do you? Always want gimmie-thank-u.

  5. Storm says:

    There’s more to this story than the water being shut off.

    It should be a lesson to young people about what happens to your life when you make choices you know are wrong. The big theme here is that, in their own words, nobody works. One house has 7 makes, according to the story, and none of them work. Two women have 17 children between them, and nobody works. Why get pregnant when you cannot support yourself?

    Whose responsibility is it to WORK to support these lives?

    These adults seem entirely helpless; how can they raise so many children and expect any of them to get education and a work ethic to break their cycle of poverty? These people need to look in the mirror to see the source of their problems.

  6. Storm says:

    “males,” not “makes” in my comment above.

  7. deedee says:

    This is very terrible, especially when children are involved. But I have to wonder, with all the males that are living in Ms. Nicholas’s home….none of them are working???? Another resident said that “Majority teenagers live ina our family with kids and we noh have nobody ina fi we family di work.” Kids having kids when they should be in school getting an education, I hate to say it but I think some people create their own problems. Its not last week, last month or last year this housing project has been in a very deplorable condition, but I bet every time their area rep comes around looking for votes these people are promise the world & they fall for it. I know times are hard for everybody, jobs are even harder to find out here, but these women with grown men in their house must can find something to do to bring in a little income. You can’t be depending on the government all the time to do things for you…

  8. Joe says:

    The job of the government is not to maintain you, the job of the government is to make it easier for you to maintain yourself. The quicker we understand that the quicker we will start making progress in our lives.

  9. Uncle Benji says:

    @Storm and to all the so called Belizean Americans with their noses smelling their @$$. It is so so sad to see you guys lose your Belizean identity. You are such Uncle Toms. Gawd, what a crying shame.

    Where do you get off Storm lecturing people about morality? What a Blastooge (Blastooge = black man that adores the white man and his way of life) you are.

    Water is a basic necessity of life. Forget morality. The water needs to be turned on. Whoever deprieved these people of water has a cold, Blastooge heart.

  10. I have questions says:

    Is this what Mr. barrow means by pro-poor policies? Isn’t BWSL owned by the Government?Can’t they help, especially since they have done such a rotten job in improving economic conditions and creating employment for the poorest of the poor?

  11. Bear says:

    Uncle Benji, why do you see everything through racial lenses and with such hate for skins colored differently than your own? I prefer to live believing we are all God’s children equally, and what matters is our character, not our skin color or any other superficial thing. Belize prides itself on being a melting pot of all races, and I like it that way.

    Anyway, I agree with those who have the nerve to suggest that maybe the men of Belize should get out of bed, sober up, and try to support themselves and their families with some kind of constructive effort. Whose hand do you expect to feed you otherwise, the blastooge that you hate?

  12. Davie says:

    how bout they pay to get the pipes installed and pay for water like every other Belizean?? I have to pay for my water. Why do Belizeans expect only hand outs? This problem gotta stop! Its not GOB responsibility to give free water to these people! What next? they want free light, groceries?!! Get off your @$$#$, get a job, work, and get your own damn water!

  13. Uncle Benji says:

    @Bear. Please don’t start getting mushy on me. You are too old to be sensitive. This is not about black and white.

    Absolute poverty is a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.

    Water man. People need water. This is not a time to preach morality crap. It is a time of survival for these people. But yes, the Belizean that goes to America and turns his back on Belize is nothing but a black stooge (Blastooge). Sice it how you may. A Blastooge is a Blastooge. By the way, all Belizeans are black (just a little history lesson there.) So coming down on a black stooge, I am coming down on my own.

  14. jay says:

    So of all these people without jobs, and all day sitting at home, not even one of them could find the time to cut the grass that is so high, or clean up the filth right in front of their house.To hell with the lot of you,help your selves before you ask someone else to help you

  15. Fia says:

    I can’t believe this. Sounds like the people from the jungle just lazy. Water is a necessity but it’s not suppose to given out for free. I am sure that this is not the only stand pipe in the city and whenever you drive around in these areas, you would notice that the same people that need this service don’t give a damn about it. They would leave their kids to play at the stand pipe where they break it and the water waste. I say remove all the free stand pipes in the city as water will soon become as expensive as oil.

  16. Panya says:

    maybe insted a di beg fu money fu carnival, that will bring more bashment and sex and unwanted children, they take that money and fix the pipe. i sure all de pikney pa drink guiness and these same women have iphone.

  17. Gapi says:

    I am not a normal person,, Jules

  18. Phillybelizean says:

    @uncle benji,u are just an old fart,hater old fool always talking s#@t y must be very very black

  19. TalkShow says:

    Water people need ,but why should one not have to pay for service, and di other must. We need to stop this cycle of hands out period.

  20. Creole says:

    water is a necessity and not right to leave humans without water and also not sanitary. However, with so many unemployed people living there, you would think they could at least cut the grass and maybe make a deal with the powers that be. if they keep the water on, the residents will keep the block clean. i think thats fair. The government, no matter which one, prefers keeping people down so they can keep taking advantage of them. Its a vicious cycle, also. kids having kids there and not getting an education.

  21. Al says:

    What is happening in this country, every fiber of society is falling apart. These people made choices, and they made the wrong choices. If you have one child and the father leave, why would you continue to lay with men who come and leave babies with no means of support, and then the mothers expect the government to take care of the off springs of the bad choices they made. The sad part is that this is a cycle that will be repeated by the children in this family, the girls will have babies and the boys will go out and make babies. Stop expecting the governent to take care of all of your needs get off your behinds and wash somebody’s clothes, clean somebody’s house and earn a little money doing something.

  22. TalkShow says:

    Water is the most sort after commodity in this world. So why must one group pay while others don’t. This cycle that some people ride must end.

  23. RedBwai says:

    See this is the thing that i dont get from these people living in these poverty strickened areas of belize city…they expect government to give them everything on a platter…they expect GOB to maintain them when they arent even trying to maintain themselves…everyone knows life if hard and times are even harder nowadays…but if everyone jus sat on their a$$es with their type of mentality..where would we be as a people today’s day??…these people cant blame government or anyone else for the situation they find themselves in…they only have themselves to blame…and if they really wanted to get out of that situation and have a better life…the power to affect change they seek is only within themselves…its about time they got a rude wakeup call about life…not everything in life if free…you have to work hard for what you want in life…everyone else does…why cant they??

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