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Nov 24, 2020

Flooding Intensifies the Most Miserable and Humiliating Circumstances

Tonight we head to the south side of Belize City where far too many families have been living in abject poverty. The COVID pandemic has worsened their lives and now flooding has made a bad situation grimmer. Sixty-two year old Marlene King is a resident of Jones Street, she hardly knows where her next meal is coming from on a normal day. It is anything but normal these days, the heavy rains has caused flooding inside her small house. King has grown desperate and is crying out for help. Here is Isani Cayetano with a report.  


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Living in the worst conditions imaginable, for one Belize City family, has only been exacerbated by the torrential downpour these past few days.  Already faced with the hardship of finding food to eat, clean water to drink and a warm, dry place to sleep, stepping out, for sixty-two-year-old Marlene King, means negotiating the murky water that constantly threatens to enter her house.  Along with her ailing husband, daughter and granddaughter, she has been living in abject poverty.  The heavy rains only serve to make life all the more miserable.


Marlene King

Marlene King, Resident, Jones Street

“Every time when ih rain I flood out and I haffu di put up my things dehn wet up [and I haffu] throw weh wahn few ah dehn eena di dirt drum.  My mattress wet up weh my lee gial di sleep pan di floor.  All under my bed full up with water and my room full up with water [and] we haffu di pack up everything eena one corner and when time ih rain I lone cry because I noh like di situation ah how I deh.”


It is a deplorable state of affairs.  Since losing two sons to gun violence a few years ago and her husband taking ill with cancer, King has become the sole provider and joblessness at her age has backed her into a corner.


Marlene King

“My common-law, Mr. Michael Augustine, he cyan sih, he cyan do nothing fi ihself and everything, me da di man and di woman eena my house because he cyan help me do nothing more again because ih noh di sih, ih blind.”


Isani Cayetano

“Tell me how difficult it is for you to try to make ends meet, fi try get stuff fi eat, fi try get stuff fi keep di house going.”


Marlene King

“Well me, Marlene King, I go to my friend dehn and dehn assist me, only dehn I could get wahn little help from.  My friend dehn help me lot.  Dehn come to my house, bring grocery fu mi and bring wahn little money fi mi mek I could buy few things weh I need.”


…but that kind of assistance is far and few.  What King needs is a new home in order to improve her living conditions.  This morning, she was visited by several persons from the Pickstock Constituency Office.  She lives in Lake Independence but has sought the assistance of Minister of Tourism Anthony Mahler.


Carlos Galvez

Carlos Galvez, Pickstock Constituency Office

“It aches my heart to come across people living in these deplorable conditions.  You know, it’s very sad.  This is unbelievable and unacceptable.  We shouldn’t have people living in these conditions.  Here you have somebody living in such a state, a condition [that’s] so horrible, you know, water, flooding.  This whole house needs to be renovated.  This is not livable and certainly since she reached out to Mr. Mahler, we came, we make sure that we drop off some food items, a food basket and definitely, today we are going to come back and we are going to do as much as we can to help Ms. Marlene King.”


Isani Cayetano

“You have to walk through mud and water to get inside of your house which is also under water.  How do you feel as a mother, as a parent, as someone who has to face this situation every day?”


Marlene King

“Mr. Isani, I feel bad and I cry every time because I noh believe seh I mih wahn di live eena dis kinda situation ya.  Even when ih rain, I sihdown and I cry, I seh God help me mek things work out good fi me because I noh like how I deh and like how my old man sick and he cyan help ihself, everything da me one.  Everything da me one for ahn.”


Isani Cayetano

“What do you need the most right now?”


Marlene King

“I just need food and help mek ah could get wahn house and mek I could get some food and mek I could happy, so I could get wahn nice place fi rest my head when ih rain.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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