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Aug 25, 2021

Residents of Collapsed House Asking for Help

A Belize City family of six is in dire straits after the plycem and wooden structure they call home collapsed with them inside. Sixty-year-old Margaret McDougall told News Five that she, her daughter and three grandchildren were inside the house through Belisle Alley off King Street when suddenly everything went crashing to the ground on Saturday night. Luckily, no one got hurt. McDougall shared with reporter Marion Ali how inconvenient life has been since the incident.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Sixty-year old Margaret McDougall says trying to live in the two-bedroom house since it collapsed on Saturday night has been like playing a game of hopscotch.


Margaret McDougall, House Collapsed

“I try goh da the front cause the front part high and the kitchen part low, soh I try sleep da the front part.”


Margaret McDougall

Marion Ali

“And then when you have to use the kitchen – explain to me how it is you have to…”


Margaret McDougall

“Well I nuh use the kitchen none at all. When I goh buy food, I pass through this door ya soh weh bruk up and I try lift up mi lee weight and I goh inside.”


The house, now twenty years old, was a gift from former Albert Area Representative, Mark Espat. McDougall admits she has been lax in maintaining the structure over the years. And on Saturday night, under its own weight, the house went crashing to the ground.


Margaret McDougall

“I deh inside di sit down and after that my daughter deh inside di cook and afterwards we just yer BOOF! The house drop down inside and the ceiling, everything drop down.  But I never jump up because the front piece ih deh up right, but da when I come downstairs when I hear the snap, I come downstairs when I look I see this part ya deh down and this part ya deh up. But none ah wi never get hurt, yoh understand.”


But preventing the family from getting hurt is what McDougall is now trying to do, realizing that the structure is unsafe for them to continue to inhabit. But because they have nowhere else to go, they have no choice but to stay there. She hopes that good-hearted people will extend kindness and offer some assistance.


Margaret McDougall

“I need plywood, sill, upright and weh the thing name, if da even plywood floor again, yoh understand?”


The family has had to buy food because their kitchen suffered the most damage. Their bathroom is also now unusable and had to be transferred outside. They now shower inside a small makeshift area secluded only by sheets and curtains.  Marion Ali for News Five.


If you would like to help this family, you can contact Margaret McDougall at 630-1177.

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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