Mayflower area gets facelift

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Updated: July 21, 2017

The Mayflower area in Belize City is getting much needed attention. Residents in the area have had to live in very unhealthy conditions but with some assistance, the area is getting cleaned up. The work is headed by Councilor Philip Willoughby. Today he was in the area along with the South Side Police Commander Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal, who was meeting with residents there. Here’s that story.

Dalila Ical reporting…
“The living conditions in the Mayflower street area, most commonly known as Ghost Town, are unfavorable and from what we learned today from the residents, it has been this way for decades. It’s not visible from the street side, but once you follow a narrow alley, you come across a neighborhood that’s cluttered with garbage. Residents, most who live in small wooden houses, have had to bear with these conditions and raise their children here. One of them is Khendis Flowers, who grew up surrounded by garbage. He says living under these circumstances is difficult to say the least.

Khendis Flowers – Resident
“Man, these kids have to walk through water to go to school. When it rains the whole area gets flooded and sometimes the kids end up sick and not able to go to school. So this upliftment we appreciate it because then it will be better for the children.”

Councilor Philip Willoughby is leading the removal of garbage that pollutes the neighborhood. They tried to shovel it out last weekend, but that did not work.

Philip Willoughby – Councilor
“It wasn’t as simple as we thought so we went for back up, we say thanks to Gentrac and Mr. Bevans for working along with us and we have procured this little BOBCAT and we see how quickly we can now do it with automation and mechanisation through that little piece of equipment. We are not only limiting ourselves to what we have seen here but more emphasis because of the duration and the type of debris and garbage we have in here so you can imagine this from an emergency perspective it will be an emergency within an emergency so we have to take care of it and it will be dealt with. We are working with the young men from within the community.

But what led to the accumulation of the trash and why has the neighborhood been neglected for so long? Flowers is not sure.

Khendis Flowers – Resident
“I don’t know if it’s because of the area’s name or the name Mayflower, I don’t know if it’s because of the area people look at it as a disgrace or I don’t know how they look at it you know. They neglect the area.

Reporter
“Some might say the residents are just as responsible for this garbage because they just throw it right here where they live instead of disposing of it.”

Khendis Flowers – Resident
“Well yes the residents could dispose of the garbage but then likewise the residents need some help too from the Minister or whoever runs the area. The people are not getting any assistance.”

Willoughby says he is interested in doing more by implementing what he has learned in the UNICEF led workshop he attended this week.

Philip Willoughby – Councilor
“So it is all about improving the quality of life not just by talking but by action and through this action and what I have learnt to be focusing now on working with these young kids from within the community as well as the more mature adults to see how it is we can collaborate, network and work together and we will be doing the same thing on the Banak side where there is a lot of garbage likewise.”

Khendis Flowers – Resident
“This change means a lot to me because for the last we live in poverty because the area hasn’t been uplifted for a while and then we’ve needed assistance for years and we didn’t get it and now we appreciate the assistance that we are getting right now.”

Councilor Phillip Willoughby says similar efforts are being done in other areas in the City.