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Feb 2, 2011

Hurricane victim, Frank Santos still waiting for help from NEMO

It has been a little over three and a half months since Hurricane Richard ravaged parts of central Belize leaving in its wake a number of displaced families and millions of dollars in losses.  While the National Emergency Management Organization in tandem with the Belize Red Cross have managed to address the immediate needs of those affected, the plight of one Pomona resident has gone below the radar.  That is until he stopped by our office earlier today to share his story of the futile attempts he has made to receive assistance from his area representative and NEMO Minister, Melvin Hulse.  Fifty-eight year old Frank Santos traveled to Belize City today after exhausting all avenues to get help from NEMO.

Frank Santos, Hurricane Victim

Frank Santos

“I have exhausted, you know, the system.  I’ve been through the entire system trying to get my rights, you know, my house was devastated in the hurricane and since the hurricane all I got was one portion of food from NEMO and despite three different assessment teams coming by I have not gotten any aide for my house.”

Isani Cayetano

“Have you taken the chance to visit your area representative to see if he can offer some assistance in terms of helping you get your life back together?”

Frank Santos

“Last week, not last week, seventeen days ago today I visited NEMO Headquarters this year which was my last stop before coming here and I was told by the secretary that I could not see him because he was too busy.”

Isani Cayetano

“What are the extent of damages to your property sir?”

Frank Santos

“Total. Total.  The roof is the only thing that is there, dropped down and split open.  I put some plastic over it to keep from getting wet [but] water still gets in but where I am sleeping I don’t get wet. It seems like in this country if you don’t come to the media you don’t get any results.  I’ve been to my village council chairperson; I have been to NEMO Headquarters like I said.  I don’t know where else to turn that’s why I’m here today because it’s over three months now and I’m living in a dangerous situation because where I’m at the snakes come in.  I mean the day after I left Belmopan about 1:30 that afternoon, it was hot so I decided to take a little rest [and] a snake came right up one me while I was resting [but] I didn’t kill it, it got away.”

According to Santos his efforts to seek relief from the relevant organizations have been thwarted by his former employer whom he believes is exacting a personal gripe against him.

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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6 Responses for “Hurricane victim, Frank Santos still waiting for help from NEMO”

  1. cg says:

    lets hope you get the help you need Mr. Santos, you guys should have gotten some contact info so those willing can assist him. Its sad to see stories like these…everybody deserves a safe place to sleep

  2. Bulba Martinez says:

    cg this is the type of stuff we usually endure here in the South via political victimization, bureaucracy, and abandonment my friend. Minister Hulse only care about himself (Arrogant J-c-a-s_ and the people that kiss his butt. Mr. Santos is only one of the very few that are suffering in Southern Belize. We always have to help ourselves or for some, stoop down low enough to conduct head-jobs. Luckily for me, I had fallen trees in my yard that I cut down to pieces that I have put in front of my property to be picked up by Town Council for the past three and a half months. Guess what, the bundles are still sitting there until I can afford to pay someone to haul it to the dump for me. I be damn if I cry or stoop down to their corrupted level. Our ancestors has paid the price my friend and this is a different era. Mr. Santos, dis da fi you, “God got you back”. Fu Melvin and di rest a dem, dis ya world round but ih got four corners, just rememba dat God noh like ugly.

  3. Belizean says:

    Some people are just lazy to start all over again…quit depending on the government for everything.

  4. CEO says:

    this man should not have to go to the minister for nothing! They like to behave like little gods and have people lined up at their office begging for help when in fact all they are doing is getting what is their’s to start with.

    Nothing should be more important that serving the people who voted you into office. First of all, this man should not have to come there to your office because if you were doing your job you would be out there and know he needs desaster releif; second, when he came to see you your schedule did not allow. This man does not need more than 5 minutes for you to help him, and another 2 minutes for you to make sure he actually gets the desaster relief he needs.

    This is crap that no Belizean should have to tollerate.

  5. Nayo 4 D Bay says:

    You have to sleep under the PM’s Range Rover and use the wata drip from the a/c to wash you body.

  6. Dahlia says:

    Belizean… you must have friends in the government that will help you in a crisis for you to talk like that about your fellow Belizean. Put yourself in his place and see how you would feel. We don’t all depend on the government, but in a time of emergency we need help. If the aid is there and its not being used whats the purpose of it? We need to help and support each other in order to strive. The Mini-ster should take care of the people that need and voted for him. Some of the people that need him have children and as such, much attention should be focused on the needing families.

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