NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Some 100,000 tons of debris have been moved to the landfill in Grand Bahama as part of a joint venture between the government, through the DRA, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and Sanitation Services.
Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis announced the multi-million dollar joint venture during a press conference yesterday.
Lewis noted that a foreign company had submitted a proposal to remove the debris for over $100 million, but said they have been able to have the work done locally, employing Bahamians and spending $13 million.
It is expected the debris removal project will be near completion in one week.
“Without their partnership, I can assure you, we would not have realized the level of success that the DRA [Disaster Reconstruction Authority] has seen to date,” Lewis said.
Lewis said debris clearing has intensified, adding the government, through the DRA, has ventured into private areas like subdivisions.
“As a government, it would have been very reckless for us to realize we have debris sitting down in areas that pose a threat to our citizens, either from the perspective of being projectiles or just through trash in the communities that breed diseases and cause rodent infestation,” he continued.
“So, as a responsible government, and with our partners, we have undertaken the task that was not necessarily in our portfolio. But we decided we had to do it on behalf of the people.
“Like I said, I cannot over emphasize the appreciation that we have through our partners.”
Lewis asked residents to clean their communities and report indiscriminate dumping that would make the entire exercise a waste of time and money.
Troy Mcintosh, Deputy Director and City Manager at the Grand Bahama Port Authority, said they are ensuring that private subdivisions are being cleared and through the partnership, they have removed the debris, particularly since knowing some of the developers have had challenges.
To date, more than 25,000 truckloads of debris, approximately 100,000 tons, has been moved to the landfill.
He said he hopes this partnership is the first of many to get the city of Freeport back to being “clean, green and pristine.”
Also present at the press conference was Lou Carroll of Sanitation Services.