While the country of Belize will be enduring stricter regulations, the three villages in the Orange Walk District, namely Santa Marta, Guinea Grass, and Shipyard, have been facing a total lockdown for the past two weeks. They have appealed to the government for assistance, as they are unable to get basic supplies. The Guinea Grass residents in particular have even protested what they refer to as inhumane treatment they are faced with. They are asking for the lockdown to be lifted. Today, the Prime Minister stated that it will happen but we’re just not there yet.
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “We need to examine the circumstances of each a particular village. I think they’re coming up hard now on the two week mark and while we’ve provided for the extension in the National Assembly we will be taking a look at this and determining which of the villages might safely come out of quarantine so yes the answer is yes we are going to be doing that.”
CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche, stated that they have been assisting the villages with packages that contain basic supplies. The packages contain general items, and they are hoping to provide more specific items in the future. A delivery of goods to these villages should be taking place in the next few days.
Judith Alpuche, CEO, Ministry of Human Development: “We are using our distribution points that we have used in the first phase being the shops in the actual stores and we’re actually working with the bigger shops like People’s Store in Orange Walk to facilitate the small village shops. So we will send out a press release with our latest numbers but we certainly have done near two hundred packages in Santa Martha and that as I understand covers almost the entire district. Last I checked we were around seven hundred packages for Guinea Grass and I know either today or tomorrow about four hundred packages or more are going in to Guinea Grass. In terms of Shipyard we have done a hundred and fifty one packages for the Shipyard area an in San Pedro it is well over a thousand five hundred that we’re working on. As I said I’m getting the latest numbers after we close our operations today and we’ll be sending out a press release with the exact number over the weekend but we’re working to ensure that people get what they need. What I heard expressed was more specialized issues around -I heard a gentleman on Love FM talking about the fact that we did not provide pampers for his child etc and so forth. What we are sending out is a family package and we send out according to family size. So one to five members you get one package, six to ten you get two packages and so on so that’s why we ask about family size etc. Indeed we don’t get down to the level of being able to provide pampers etc in the first round for families but once we ensure that people have their staples and that the majority of families are cared for then we can look more carefully at maybe individualized needs that people may have.”
The three villages, along with San Pedro Town, have been under lockdown since August 7.