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Oct 29, 2010

Hurricane victim ready to overcome loss in Gales Point, Manatee

When Hurricane Richard battered the central and southern districts on Sunday, thousands were affected in some form or the other. Gales Point Manatee in southern Belize District was immediately in the eye of the storm; the hurricane force winds and rains toppled houses and uprooted foliage. Many of the residents decided to brave the storm at home and as many lost everything. Very little remains standing in the village and water and electricity are still not available. But in face of adversity, we found one man whose family is set on beating the odds.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the remarkable story of Norman Andrewin.

Norman Andrewin, Resident, Gales Point Manatee

“I really can’t handle it out ya right but then things noh di work my way soh I noh know weh wah happen afta right.”

Isani Cayetani, Reporting

Forty-six year old Norman Andrewin is one of several displaced residents in Gales Point Manatee, a finger of land in the Belize District surrounded by the Southern Lagoon.  This community is among a number of villages within the area that was severely affected by Hurricane Richard.  Norman, who has lived here all his life lost everything he owned including a two-storey wooden structure he called home.  His family now does the cooking outdoors using relics of their home to fuel the fire.

norman andrewin

Norman Andrewin

“I was right in Gales Point at the community center while the hard breeze and thing start to hit in the village and we all tried to help one another noh.”

Isani Cayetano

isani cayetano

“As Hurricane Richard devastated the coast of central Belize, residents of Gales Point Village despite several attempts to have them evacuated chose to weather the storm.  What is left are the remnants of old wooden houses that decorated this quiet Creole community.”

Norman’s, like other residents here, is a tale of defiance in the face of the inevitable.  Prior to the hurricane’s approach he was asked to leave Gales Point along with his family and friends to seek higher ground.  Like James Gault he chose to stay and brave the storm.

james gault

James Gault, Resident, Gales Point Manatee

“I wait ‘til last minute and then I went right over to Gentle there to shelter and before it was over I came back home to see what, you know, like I said ‘bout round 7:30 [or] 8:00 so we had a calm where the breeze, cause the breeze was coming from the back right and we had a calm and ‘bout for an hour and after the breeze came from the front and that da di one.  The breeze from the front that did all the damage because then when the breeze finished from the back the trees neva gone down yet but when the breeze came from the front it tek dehn all down.”

The ninety mile an hour gust took quite a lot with it including Andrewin’s abode forcing him to survive out in the open.  All he has is a sheet of tarp which covers two mattresses and other personal items.

Norman Andrewin

“I plan that I will tek my house down and try to put things together right and maybe I ask the government to help me on with a little bit of stuff and thing.”

Norman, says village council chairperson Katherine Dawson, joins a growing list of residents who are reliant upon the government to assist with their everyday needs.  Gales Point, prior to Hurricane Richard, has been without running water despite the Social Investment Fund building a reservoir in the community.

katherine dawson

Katherine Dawson, Village Council Chairperson, Gales Point Manatee

“People pend pan di government too much.  Yoh have some a dem pend pan di government too much.  Everything dehn want di government do.  Dehn want to sit home well dih government have to pay this, the government have to pay that and da fu dehn responsibility.  So people in Gales Point might say, tell unu one part a did story and noh tell unu di other part what is really the problem.”

Adding to it is the fact that the shelter which housed many residents during the hurricane is already at its capacity leaving people like Norman homeless.  Amidst that quandary however, is humanitarian aide that comes all the way from Corozal Town.  The initiative shows one family’s determination to help rebuild the village one household at a time.

Arturo Rosado, Resident, Corozal Town

arturo rosado

“We are delivering stuff which was gathered yesterday by a radiothon which was being organized through Bay Radio.  This has been delivered through the village house to house and I don’t know if I missed somebody else but we going to try do the best so that everybody gets what we bring for them.”

It will take a while for the community of Gales Point to get back on its feet but with relief efforts similar to that of the Rosado family things can return to normal quicker than expected.  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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7 Responses for “Hurricane victim ready to overcome loss in Gales Point, Manatee”

  1. gilroy willoughby says:

    To the village council chairperson miss katherine dawson I want to no if you a real belizean what you saying is wrong the people in belize need the goverment that why people vote it does matter if they lazy or not you have a good job that why you talk like that the goverment is there to help the people you need to step down bcoz you don’t no what you talking about you is one of does people that have belizean people suffering you a goverment people help them that what the goverment there for to help the people just like when it voting time they need help so you need to give up your job bcoz you don’t care about the people of belize who the hell are you

  2. macal rivera says:

    re: gilroy, for your infroamtion you are wrong, the lady is right!! most people depend not only on this government but all the goverment prior to do things for them, comon mein, a lot of belizeans are hard working, and I can remember in the fifties when george price was premier they had this big hurricane hit northern belize and it was a cat 5, they next day the entire community started the cleaning, fire hearths was light up, we had food and shelter, because the peices of what was left we build up our shelter for the night, in this era we are living people are poor cause of laziness OK, they expect the leaders to spoon feed them, @#$% MEIN, this mentality have to change, let the government provide materials and I am sure the men can start to build up,
    light up fire hearth during the day, find good boards from the rummble and nail up a shade for the nite, see that all they have to do!!!

  3. Common Sense says:

    Ms. Dawson – Well said!!
    Get the community to gather and help clean up and rebuild, not only will the community spring back on it’s feet faster but will also strengthen ties. Set up a community kitchen and feed the families that need help and the men that work, food and construction supplies that arrive to be centrally located and distributed through the community groups to rebuild and feed all. Much better than sitting around complaining about lack of help, expecting someone to do the work for you – Get up and do it!
    Post-hurricane stress can be terrible, only way out is to keep busy and work….I know, Hurricane Keith taught me that lesson the hard way. I did not get any assistance from the then government, and was not expecting anything….work and slowly re-build, step by step.

  4. westernmermaid says:

    I totally agree with macal and common sense, the community need to come as one and star working, of course it a terrible expirience but they just sit around and lament it will only affect them, mentally and emotionally.
    I am sure that there is a lot of board around that can build up some shelther for night, it will take a while for things to go back to normal, but these people have to do their part too.

    Kind hearted people will come around, but please don’t take advantage of the situation OK
    Miss Dawson you are on the right track, encourage community unity OK, working togheter they will stand.

  5. concern person. says:

    what the hell this woman by the name of mrs. dawson is talking about. she is not ever from gales point manatee.she is talking this kind of bs cause she doesnot ever care for the ppls of that village.she sound well uneducated,she shouldnot be no damn chairperson there.have any of u ever been to that village? that village really needs help.that village needed help before the hurricane hit there.who feel it knows whenever u walk amile in their shoe then u can talk and criticize.get somebody that know,care and is from the village to be the chairperson.cause that woman is talking bs.that stupid @#$%^ needs to find where she is from and go back.go get some education and come back and say something with sense.

  6. indy says:

    ms. dawson u are talking out of your a**.u are not even qualitied for that job.u are not even from gales point.if u was born and grow there then u would know what u are talkin about. u da no live dai.u dai only come dai.

  7. madison says:

    you have nice stuff u just need a little more

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