It would take about US$20 million to get Belize back to where it was before Hurricane Lisa last week. Well, at least that’s what the government there says.
Prime Minister John Briceño says the money will go to assist with the rebuilding of storm-ravaged communities in Belize
“We used that and we took a guess estimate. I think it was 10 million US dollars. But we have the Ministry of Housing that is going house to house, constituency to constituency trying to look at what, trying to look at the number that we need to come up.”
He said that the initial numbers that the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing has come up with are approximately US$20 million.
He said this would be used to the rebuilding of the highway, the Philip Goldson Highway from the city up to the Haulover Bridge.
Briceño said a majority of the structures that were damaged during the passage of Hurricane Lisa were homes that were constructed with plywood and the plan going forward is to rebuild using concrete and other materials that can withstand the stresses of gale-force winds.
“Most of the houses that were destroyed are these plywood houses or houses that were just quickly put together. A board house, if it was properly built, can withstand the hurricane…So our idea is that we want to be able to build as many houses as we possibly can, for as many people as we can, within these areas and then also then for probably middle-class families to see if we can get some low-cost funding and interest rates so that they could also rebuild and rebuild better”.
Furthermore, he said residents of Grenada cannot continue to live in plywood homes.
“We cannot continue giving them plywood houses because then we are not doing anything for them because with the next storm it is going to go away. It‘s going to be blown away and also, you continue to perpetuate poverty and when you look at the conditions that our people live in, I don‘t think anybody should be living in those conditions in 2022 anywhere in the world, especially here in Belize”.
“So, the job, the task ahead of us is huge, but we have to start somewhere and I think that the best opportunity to start is now to ensure that we can get, to be able to assist people more long term than as opposed to short term,” Briceño said.