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Jul 29, 2009

Family of ten gets a new home

Story PictureIt seems that almost every week a house in Belize City falls off is pillars. A week ago, Arlene Banner left her nine children at home and when she returned the house was on the ground and the walls were also falling apart. She was desperate and neighbors also spoke of the need for swift action by the government. Help came swiftly, this morning Prime Minister and area representative for Queen Square, Dean Barrow, handed over the keys to a very happy and thankful Arlene Banner, who was inspecting not a repaired building, but an entirely new home.

Arlene Banner, New Home Owner
“I appreciate what I got. I am thankful to the government; the Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his minister, Mr. Boots, Mr. Finnegan who all were here. They took down the house on Monday and they start the new one on Monday. Within four days everything was completed. So I got a quick response and I am grateful and thankful for that.”

Jose Sanchez
“How many of you will be living in this home?”

Arlene Banner
“Total, my nine children and me ten. It was in a bad state because the post them that it was on, they were all in a bad state. I knew the house would have given way but how long it would take, I didn’t know. But it gave way too quick for me because I only lived in that house for five weeks.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“The fact that it is my constituent, and the fact that this is the delivery of this house by principally the Queen Square constituency, aided of course by the government of Belize. I was here on Sunday. I didn’t realize what had happened—I wasn’t told until Saturday. I came to see her on Sunday morning I agreed that we would do this as quickly as possible. I am happy that the Ministry of Works and Minister Martinez’s housing group, they were able to actually do the construction for me and to get it done so very quickly.”

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Works
“I had committed a sixteen by twenty-four house, two bedroom and also with the expectation that the people living here moving down the debris. It went further. The prime minister agreed to a three bedroom, twenty-four by thirty home, along with bathroom and our group, the contracting group which is the Port Loyola Housing for the Poor under the stewardship of Mr. Lincoln Broaster cart away the debris, dismantled the house and put up the house in four days time. By Friday this house was liveable.”

Jose Sanchez
“So how long do you see yourself in this one?”

Arlene Banner
“To be honest, at least the next ten or fifteen years because I promise myself that I will take very good care of this house so that it would not go to that extreme.”

Jose Sanchez
“The image still resounds of your kids picking up glass, picking up furniture just a short time ago and then here you are again.”

Arlene Banner
“To be honest, like some days I think about it, next day I don’t. Today I don’t even remember those days. I totally forgot about that day; that Friday that went. Now I feel different, it’s a different environment. I feel happy because to me this is much more comfortable where I am. It’s much more comfortable than what I was in before.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Well happy, so happy they’ve given me a certificate of appreciation of which I’m so proud. I want to make the point though this was an emergency, and therefore we had to respond in a particular way, generally under the two programs, the Venezuela Housing Program and the Poverty Alleviation Program, we are building a number of houses in this constituency. In fact, we’ve already completed just about forty and by the time we exhaust all the resources, we would have built about sixty houses in Queen Square. I think that’s a significant achievement and I know that the people of the constituency are extremely pleased that we’ve been able to do that for them.”

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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