Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Disasters, Featured » NEMO finds flood victims in Jordan Village
Jun 25, 2013

NEMO finds flood victims in Jordan Village

On Monday we showed you the villagers farthest south of the country that have been affected by the deposit left in the wake of Tropical Depression Two. Flood waters that washed over Jordan Village and for the first few days, people were asking where was the National Emergency Management Organization. While residents say that finding NEMO was an impossible proposition during the flood, NEMO eventually found them.   Minister Godwin Hulse arrived in Jordan at midday on Monday.  Hulse visited the village to have a firsthand account of the experience from the villagers and to personally assess the damage.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

There was one clear theme coming from the residents who were affected by the flood in Jordan. They were not happy with NEMO. They felt ignored, neglected and insulted by the organization and when NEMO Minister Godwin Hulse arrived on the outskirts of the community, they were not afraid to make their displeasure known. At the flood shelter, which appeared hopefully inadequate, Hulse took notes on necessary changes including a new roof and promised that it would be constructed.

 

Godwin Hulse, NEMO Minister

Godwin Hulse

“The good thing about the shelter is that it is on high enough ground. I understand it was built in 2009, the thatch is obviously beaten up; it needs to be redone. It was done as a community effort I understand together with the Red Cross and NEMO; there is some improvement there for sure, the bathroom is outside. Those things can be fixed. But having seen it ourselves, we have a pretty good team and we will be able to perhaps again with the villagers see how we could improve it…but we will do it.”

 

And while Hulse is on the ground for the first time, he is already prepared to say there was a critical communication gap which may be why the residents feel they did not get the assistance they needed.

 

Godwin Hulse

“There was a lack of communication. The NEMO team, the EEO was activated; the people were on the ground. I visited the office first, I looked at the chronology of correspondence somewhere up to Friday midday, correspondence was good and somehow after that it failed and consequently the coordinator was awaiting to hear from the villagers and chairman. And he didn’t hear anything so that little event there, communication event seemed to have broken down. Subsequently I think the chairman got in contact with the area representative; he had to swim across some deep water, boat was brought and the people were moved from that shelter you saw. Apparently people were getting frightened that the water was coming up. Clearly the water didn’t reach the shelter, but it was human nature. They got to the shelter there in Blue Creek. Saturday morning, I heard the honorable Requeña calling on the radio saying that the people need some food. When I heard that I contacted our NCE, who we contacted Major Jones from the B.D.F. with whom we have good relationship—of course it is one government—to bring some food. I understand the people got food that day, lunch and evening, and also packages to tie them over. I am here now, I’ve met with the people in the shelter, the people are beautiful, they are smiling and we met with most of the villagers. The men are here come to see where we are and what time they can move back into their homes. Today, we will also be bringing them additional food.”

 

But the residents need more than just a day’s food…they are asking for continued assistance until they get back on their feet.

 

Godwin Hulse

“The Ministry of Health is in here, the Ministry of Works is in here, the Ministry of Agriculture is in here. Those ministries will put together their quick report and once that comes in through the various committees, we will see how we can help them. But they will be helped; that is not only NEMO’s responsibility. Remember NEMO is the coordinating body and is the body who does the national disaster response. So that okay there is a disaster, we move people to shelters etc….that had worked really well. As soon as we were advised that the flood was coming up, people were moved to the shelter…that worked. The coordinator was waiting to hear what was the next step and that is communication between the village chairman and all other persons concerned.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Minister, just to close off because I know you have work to do. What kind of gaps have you seen so far because I for one have visited the shelter and just looking at it, it is not adequate to serve the population—the bathroom facilities, the stove. Have you seen already gaps that could be closed maybe for next year or later this season?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Yes man, the good thing about the shelter is that it is on high enough ground. I understand it was built in 2009, the thatch is obviously beaten up; it needs to be redone. It was done as a community effort I understand together with the Red Cross and NEMO; there is some improvement there for sure, the bathroom is outside. Those things can be fixed. But having seen it ourselves, we have a pretty good team and we will be able to perhaps again with the villagers see how we could improve it…but we will do it.”

 

NEMO’s National Emergency Coordinator Noreen Fairweather has openly criticized those who assisted in the evacuation, including area representatives Oscar Requeña and Mike Espat, but the NEMO Minister did just the opposite.

 

Godwin Hulse

“This is a team effort. It is not about NEMO or the area representative or the Red Cross; everybody has to work together because the beautiful thing is that we are trying to help our people, to preserve lives, to make sure people are comfortable, nobody get sick and everybody is okay as best as we can in any emergency. And that is what we are about. So we want to thank the area representative, thank Mister Espat, thank everybody who put a hand into it. Thank the Red Cross, thank the Rotary people and our NEMO people; it is a coordinated effort. But fundamentally, I think it is the communication that we need to get in between. The people from the village clearly have to step up to the plate and help themselves and that is what they did.”

 

So while criticism of NEMO was unanimous, with NEMO’s Minister on the ground, the needs of the residents are being heard by the man who has the authority to make things happen in this small, devastated community.

 

Toledo Community activist Aurelio Sho of Ak’Kutan Radio is organizing a drive to collect relief supplies and to assist in cleaning the flood debris and homes in Jordan. If you would like to assist you can call Sho at telephones 607-7457, 651-0051 or email at utzil sho ninety-nine at yahoo dot com. utzil sho99@yahoo.com.

Be Sociable, Share!


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.

Advertise Here

2 Responses for “NEMO finds flood victims in Jordan Village”

  1. Sambula says:

    At least Godwin had some sense to try and correct the wrong that was already done by Noreen and Kenton.

  2. Sambula says:

    At least Godwin Hulse had sense to try and correct the negative remarks made by Noreen and her stupidity. It says that people who are educated are the worst fools if they don’t have common sense and common sense is not common among many like Noreen. She needs to go!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*