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Belize City Residents Under Cloud of Dust

Residents of Holy Emmanuel Street say they have had it with the clouds of dust that keep blanketing their houses. They have been complaining about their ordeal for weeks but their complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Hipolito Novelo spoke to the upset residents.

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Before the municipal elections, Holy Emmanuel Street in the Old Capital was riddled with craters and so the Belize City Council began rehabilitating the street. That was two months ago and today works on Holy Emmanuel Street have been halted. While there are more craters, there is plenty of dust- clouds of it form as cars speed by and residents have had enough of it.  

Sonia Miller, Resident

Sonia Miller, Resident: “I’m upset because two months ago they came and they talked about fixing the street. Now the street had holes yes but we weren’t living with the amount of dust that’s blowing in. There is no water truck to water the street and I can’t use my water because water bill ain’t cheap but this is ridiculous. Every two seconds I have to be mopping out and cleaning out and dusting out. This dust gets in your lungs I can’t sleep at night because when I sleep my lungs hurt me from the dust and as you could see everything when the cars pass they speed up and then the dust is just in your face. I’m sitting out here with my mask on just so that the dust doesn’t get in my lungs but I can’t live like this. They have to come and do something to this street.

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Another resident who was riding his bicycle pass saw us and wanted to vent his frustration too. He too has had it with all the dust. 

Resident

Resident:Before the elections they graded this street but I think they just wanted to win the election. They should have paved it right away because right now the dust is killing the people. Better they had left it alone until when they’re ready to pave it.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Too much dust.

Resident: “Too much dust man.

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: How is it affecting you and your family ?

Resident: Well lucky thing most people have on masks because of this corona otherwise this dust would kill them before the Corona.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: And while we were out there, the clouds of dust were far too much. This resident, Lauren Panting, lives a few houses behind and even that far the dust has penetrated. She says that in the past week the dust has been affecting the health of her family. 

Lauren Panting, Resident

Lauren Panting, Resident: “It not only affects me and my health I have a grandson and a son that are asthmatic and I believe that the dust is a contribution to someone who hardly gets sick and for the last two to three weeks I actually have a sever cough and cold and I believe it’s from this because this is the only strangeness that is happening and if you watch when vehicles pass here there is no slow down and I don’t know how comes they’re wetting our street today but I believe that what they should have done if they knew they weren’t going to pave this street or have done something constructive they shouldn’t have done this. This is a health hazard for all of us as a neighborhood.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: The water truck dampened the street but in less an hour, the water dries and the street becomes dusty again. The residents want the Belize City council to address their concerns as soon as possible. 

Sonia Miller, Resident: “You cook you have to cover your pot because this dust flies and it gets in the place. I literally had to use one of the power wash to wash down the place and the dust is so thick.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: And it’s not only affecting you.

Sonia Miller, Resident: “Its’ affecting everybody. If you look across the street there the people over there sell food whenever a vehicle passes they speed up so much that all the dust comes in the air I mean come on. We can’t live like this back here. It’s not animals that live back here we’re human beings and if this thing is killing from the grass what is it doing to our lungs.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: We reached out to the Councilor In charge of Infrastructure, Allan Pollard Junior and he told us that the paving of Holy Emmanuel Street is on the council’s list of priorities and will be paved as soon as the council’s finances improved.