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Oct 30, 2008

P.M. Barrow tours affected areas in the city

Story PicturePrime Minister Dean Barrow, accompanied by Minister of Works, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, this afternoon toured affected areas in the Belize District first by helicopter and then by land. We caught up with the delegation in the Belama area. Barrow told News Five that the Ministry of Works has been working on repairing the roads as well as doing everything possible to help flood waters run off from the Belama area of Belize City.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Work will begin this afternoon. A combination of effort on the part of both the Ministry of Works and private contractor to open up culverts, open up drains in the Belama area allow the water to run off as quickly as possible. So that’s the immediate plan and the work starts in a couple of hours.”

Cadet Henderson, C.E.O., Ministry of Works
“What we will be doing, we’ll have equipment be mobilized to the areas to open several ditches and large drains on street sides in the vicinity that we believe will accelerate the runoff to the see as well as to the Haulover Creek. Our surveyors have already checked levels and we see a one foot fall, basically in several areas and that is enough gradient to speed up the runoff. If it was to take two to three days, that would have cut it to less than half; we are about to do.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“The Western Highway is now open and traffic is flowing freely. So the Ministry of Works has already done its magic where those areas are concerned.”

Duane Moody
“But temporarily right?”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Yes, temporarily. In terms of a more permanent fix, they will do what needs to be done as soon as the conditions permit. So you know that in the immediate remedial effort that was necessary has taken place and after that comes the longer term solution. The C.E.O. has already made the point that with respect to more permanent fixes, next year he will be making budgetary requests to deal on a large scale with some of the infrastructure problems that the floods have underlined. There is no question that we’ll have to find a great deal of money, we’ll have to find a great deal of resources and we are going to attack, on a longer term basis, the infrastructure problems.”

And though Belama Phases Three and Four residents should see water levels return to normal in a few days, there are still many in the western and northern parts of the country who continue to suffer the effects of Tropical Depression sixteenth.

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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