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Nov 1, 2022

The Indigent Population Has a Hard Time Preparing for Lisa

All eyes remain fixed on Tropical Storm Lisa as it is set to pass over Belize tomorrow evening.  Many who are in the projected path of the weather system have been preparing and getting themselves ready for the passage of the storm.  But what about the elderly and those who cannot afford to safeguard what little they have?  Earlier today, News Five’s Isani Cayetano visited several communities in Belize City where he met families trying their best to prepare using the very little resources that they have.  Here is that story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Tropical Storm Lisa is approximately twenty-four hours away from making landfall in Belize.  Across the central part of the country, residents and business owners are securing their properties in anticipation of a category one hurricane.  While the focus has been on persons who can afford to shutter their homes and seek higher ground, there is an indigent population that is unable to find money or resources necessary to safeguard their belongings.


Emar Martinez

Emar Martinez, Belize City Resident

“Right now I eena wahn bad state because I mih ketch stroke six months ago and I can’t walk good, and I also blind, yoh know.  Right now we deh ya and dis weather di come, I noh really got no preparation or so weh I gwein or nothing cause my condition, like ah seh, I noh trust fi go da wahn shelter cause ah noh wahn nobody try abstract me and do me fool too, like how ah cyant sih too, right, and then ah cyant move.”


Emar Martinez, his wife and his mother-in-law share a small, elevated, wooden structure just off the George Price Highway.  Their living condition is deplorable, but it’s the best that can be done given the existing circumstances.  Without materials to board up their windows and properly nail down the roof over their heads, they are bracing for a difficult time come Wednesday.


Emar Martinez

“My house top noh really nail down good cause when dehn mi di fix it, di young man neva finish.  Di young man mi get eena wahn lee problem and end up da prison, soh my house top noh finish.  But I noh really fraid thinking that di house top wahn blow off because me da wahn man, I trust in God.  I have faith in God, but at di same time I still worry.  Di main thing weh I worry bout da mi food een ya.”


Across town, just on the waterfront, an elderly couple lives a few feet away from the sea.  Lorna Nixon and her husband have been here for decades.  The small wooden structure they call home is all the worse for wear.


Lorna Nixon

Lorna Nixon, Belize City Resident

“I’ve been living here from I’m young, from I’m a young girl and I’ve been suffering mein, punishing, living in old houses and nobody comes out.  The other day, yes, they came out and gave me a little things.  But sir, I’ve been punishing without the water.  I do not have a pipe.  I do not have [much], you know, and my house is leaking.  [It’s] punishment and suffering.”


Ivan Suazo is making himself useful by securing the few windows around the house that can be fastened.  Along with his wife, he is seeking shelter tonight.


Ivan Suazo

Ivan Suazo, Belize City Resident

“Well I am trying to board up the little old house, we don’t know if we’re going to come back and meet it due to the weather that is coming.”


Isani Cayetano

“When you wake up tomorrow morning what are you going to do when the weather gets here, are you going to leave before then or are you going to try to weather the storm?”


Ivan Suazo

“Well we’re going to leave before then.  We’re going to leave this afternoon to go to a shelter.”


Isani Cayetano

“You’ve been living here for many years, has anyone made any attempts to try to alleviate your living conditions?”


Ivan Suazo

“No.  None at all, none at all.  We live in this little old house and we don’t have no, no one comes to say well build up a little house for us.”


There is no telling what the couple will return to after tomorrow.  Several blocks away Horace Lord is also making last-minute preparations to safeguard a family of six on Kraal Road Extension.


Horace Lord

Horace Lord, Belize City Resident

“Well, I’m trying to do my best because the house is low and my wife since di house bun down we get latta thing from human development no help and we haftu to put dem high because we lose ova eighteen thousand dollars da yabra dah dih barracks, and from then until now we dih pay rent and from then we nuh dih geh no help.”


Isani Cayetano for News Five.

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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