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Nov 23, 2020

In Belize Rural: Livestock Extraction Underway in Maypen

The incessant rains from Hurricane Iota continue to drench from northern to western Belize.  It has caused flooding in many parts affecting many industries, from livestock to vegetables. Many highways and bridges are impassable tonight and more rains are expected later in the week which means that further flooding is forecasted.  News Five’s Duane Moody was in the rural communities where access is only by boat.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The torrential rains over the past week did not let up until Sunday, but by then, the country had been drenched and several districts are reporting severe flooding. In the village of Maypen located several miles off the Philip Goldson Highway, access to the area can only be made by boat as the entire land that encompasses the village is under water.  While its residents have not evacuated, their bread and butter – some three hundred and fifty heads of cattle – were under threat.  Since Friday, several heads of cattle have been rescued as livestock extraction continues with assistance from the government and Mennonite farmers.


Justin Moody

Justin Moody, Chairman, Maypen Village

“It’s over the land now completely, taking over so there is no land for our animal in the area. So with that said, we had get some assistance from Mister Mai, the Prime Minister, our area rep Mister Leal along with the Mennonites who are giving us big, big assistance in that area at this moment.  The government has assigned two places for us; one is Yo Creek and Central Farm. Right now we are starting off in Yo Creek; we already took a hundred and now we are here again doing it so it is probably Central Farm we will start this week with. Going over everything, it is a lot of work to take out fifty cow per day. We have to use boat three miles and then the Mennonites bring in a spider with a trailer and take it about a mile to the trailer that’s hooked up to the vehicle and then move out from there.”


Duane Moody

“So any access to the village itself is by boat.”


Justin Moody

“Completely by boat.”


Further east, in Maskall, the Orellana family have been farming the land in the village for three decades, providing vegetables to markets in Belize City and Orange Walk. The family has several plots of farm land that is used to cultivate tomatoes, sweet peppers, cabbages and more and all, tens of thousands of dollars in investment have been destroyed by the flood waters – not to mention the livestock that have been displaced.


Reynaldo Orellana

Reynaldo Orellana, Farmer

“Right now we have tomatoes, sweet peppers, watermelons, cabbage and everything is under water. And if some is not under water, the amount of water that the plant sucks, still affects the whole plant and it has to die because it is an excess of water.   More or less in my family, there are about nine to ten thousand plants of tomatoes, like four thousand plants of sweet pepper, an acre and a half of cabbage and that is apart from the cattle that have to find the higher land to be safe of the water.”


Belize Rural NEMO Coordinator Alpheus Gillett says that history would show this phenomenon occurs one every ten years; give or take a year or two.  Gillett says that the situation in Belize Rural is expected to get worse before it gets better.


Alpheus Gillett

Alpheus Gillett, Belize Rural Coordinator, NEMO

“It’s bad in Belize Rural and I suspect that it is going to be worse before it gets better. What is good news is that we see now that the rain has eased off a little, but we still see some water coming from the west and our water ways are to its capacity; it can’t take anymore. For example, we see now Crooked Tree lagoon, the water start backing up so we have water backing up from Crooked Tree lagoon and also coming from the west so it’s like a double impact. So let’s hope that we will see some improvement some later part of this week if the rain does not continue. But we should see some improvement, but I believe it is going to get a little worse before it gets better.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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