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Aug 23, 2007

Villages feel forgotten in hurricane relief

Story PictureWhile most media coverage on Hurricane Dean has focused on Corozal Town, much of the storm’s damage was inflicted on half a dozen villages surrounding the district capital News Five’s Marion Ali is just back from the area with the following report.

Tours through three villages in the Corozal District gave us an idea that Dean’s destruction was selective, battering some more than others. Here in the small community of Consejo, this man’s thatch roofing suffered damage and his garage, along with personal effects were destroyed. Three days after the storm he and his family were putting things together.

Prudencio Rivero, Villager, Consejo
“Well I could tell you really really how it happened here because I was in Corozal. When I come I meet here like how you could see it right now. When I came I meet my things all about the place and my things drop up, break down and you know. As bad luck you never see how this stay before we did it. Yea, it all mees up…”

Marion Ali
“I understand the thatch blew off?”

Prudencio Rivero
“Yea, well not really blow off, but stir up you know and so you have to take it off and set it back.”

Closer to town in San Antonio, Angelina Gilharry and her family of eighteen have been rendered homeless by Dean and are now using the school building across the street as sleeping grounds.

Angelina Gilharry, Homeless San Antonio Villager
“We mi gone shelter da ITVET so when we come from ITVET, we come home when everything destroy, all the clothes, everything, an everything ina the house totally, everything damage. And now, we the shelter da the centre now and we wah have to come out deh before third ah September because school wah open third ah September and we noh have no way fu stay.”

“We are sunning the clothes outside and the one that get wet we are trying to heng them out so they could get dry, at least we could use them. And the children them noh have nothing like fu mek them have to go back da school, like they footwear, they schoolbag, they excersize books. They noh have nothing.”

If you would like to extend a hand to Gilharry, you can visit her at the San Antonio Government School or call her at 621-7349.

Marion Ali
“And while Angelina Gilharry and her family work to restore life back to normalcy, here in Paraiso Village the residents are a little bit luckier and efforts are now focused on cleaning up the mess.”

Reinor Castillo, Village Council, Paraiso
“I think we gonna have problems, especially in fruits. Scales of fruits, because all the trees from fruits are damaged, all are down. We gonna have a big problem in like, getting fruits for next year.”

Marion Ali
“What kind of fruits are we talking about?”

Reinor Castillo
“We are damaged like, mangos, oranges, bananas. Well that’s what normally we have in the lands right and lot of like, cornfields that were plant and they were ready for reap and all of it was lost right. Like in two days, clearing is supposed to come to normal but what is like parks and streets, we’ll gonna be cleaning.”

The National Emergency Management Organization’s distribution headquarters in the Santa Rita area was busy today.

Joseito Lopez, NEMO District Coordinator
“I can tell you that we’re trying our best, all the main streets are clear already. Right now we’re working on the water systems and electricity as you could see it now”

Marion Ali
“Well, I’m sure that your office, your district offices also helping those people that were affected by the storm?”

Joseito Lopez
“Oh yes, also we’re doing evaluations of the damages of houses and to find out their needs at this time and we are supplying them with food stuff and at the same time doing the assessment. So we have trucks in various villages right now that are delivering flour, sugar, rice, shortening, water, klim, beans, corn and corn beef, sausage. And then we have a pack of this solution that you can put in your water to purify it so that you can drink the water too.”

In all the affected areas, work crews, including the B.D.F., were busy cutting up fallen trees and manning distribution centres. But help may be slower in coming for some because of their distance from Corozal Town itself, as Prudencio Rivero found out.

Prudencio Rivero
“Well we need some help, really, we need some help.”

Marion Ali
“Help in what way?”

Prudencio Rivero

Marion Ali
“Did you lose anything?”

Prudencio Rivero
“Well yes, I lose zincs, I lose, material things, you know.”

Marion Ali
“You need to say what you lost.”

Prudencio Rivero
“Well, part of my house, and I lose everything I had in this place here, like television and radio, and stereo broke and very well things spoil there. Well, I noh seh give me that, but at least if them coulda give me some zinc or something or whatever help would be good.”

Marion Ali 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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