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After the All Clear: Agencies hard at work restoring Old Capital after Hurricane Lisa

Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2022. 8:27 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Government agencies, led by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), are hard at work at various aspects of restoring normalcy to areas affected by Hurricane Lisa.

NEMO has announced that coordination of relief funds for humanitarian assistance will be handled through its office by an emergency allocation from the Government, to cover food and emergency supplies for the most affected families. In the medium term, funds including emergency accommodation rental for displaced families will be allocated to the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs. A self-help small-housing relief and grocery bag assistance will be rolling out soon. After receiving the initial situation assessment report from NEMO’s Foreign Assistance Committee led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Caribbean Development Partners Group met on Saturday and pledged their unwavering support to Belize. Our neighboring countries and close allies such as Taiwan pledged their steadfast commitment to the country’s recovery effort.

In the area of utilities, electricity and water are expected to be fully restored within the next day or two, though Belize Electricity Limited has informed that there may be outages in restored areas while unrestored areas are being worked on. 95 percent recovery has been reported across the Belize District, with only the worst-hit areas still to be attended to.

Seven shelters remain open with 161 persons; four in Belize City with 126 persons, and three in Belize Rural with 35. 112 persons who were assessed by the Relief and Supplies Committee received food; 568 persons were assessed for assistance.

Schools are set to reopen on Monday, November 7, 2022. The fire department is assisting with sanitizing the schools and the Ministry of Human Development is preparing to house the displaced families. The medical department is vigilantly monitoring waterborne and vector risks. Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is closed to elective surgery.

In the area of clean-up, on Saturday the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO), supported by NEMO, kicked off the largest single contingent from the Belize Defence Force ever deployed on one task. The Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing (MIDH), supported by the private sector, is providing pro bono work with dump trucks and backhoes, and a massive 72-hour clean-up campaign in Belize City. 125 dump truck-loads of debris were removed from the streets.

The public is asked to be patient while waiting behind heavy equipment involved in the clean-up to avoid accidents and to separate debris such as trees and branches from household garbage. MIDH is also working in 26 rural communities across the country clearing roads and streets.

 

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