Abaco district council shut out from relief site plan

Abaco district council shut out from relief site plan

MARSH HARBOUR, ABACO – The approximately $6.4 million the government intends to spend on the Family Relief Centre on Abaco could be better spent, according to an Abaco district representative, who lamented the lack of information being provided by government.

Roscoe Thompson, head of the Marsh Harbour/Spring City township, and a member of the local district council, said: “Instead of spending $10-12,000 per pod, why don’t you give that to a Bahamian?

“Let them fix their  house and live out here. The trailer homes that they are brining in who is going to pay for the fuel to run those? Are they going to be hooked up to BPL or will they run off generators?`Is government going to give them duty free fuel? These are questions that need to be answered. Why spend $6.4 million when they could have done something that could be transformed into a permanent home. One day they are going to have to move them and we are out $6.4 million.”

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that the government will spend approximately $6.4 million for the Family Relief Centre on Abaco to house displaced Hurricane Dorian victims. He also announced that the government will acquire 100 RV trailers to house government personnel assisting with recovery efforts.

Thompson said that very little information has been provided to the local district council. “Look at the Ministry of Works and the new dome city they want to put up. They didn’t bring the plans to us first at the council and ask us what we thought. They are going to put them on the ground and lay sewer pipes to run to a deep drainage well,” said Thompson, who expressed concern over the likely impact to the water table.

Thompson said they faced similar issues with the construction of the new Spring City Subdivision.

“And the thing that blew my mind is that for every 10 feet you need an eighth of an inch deep drop decline so shit doesn’t flow uphill it flows down,” he continued.

Thompson noted that the island’s well fields are some 11,000 feet underground.

“But lenses underneath of our lines, some of them run for 6,000 and 7,000 feet,” he said.

“And then they want to put deep water disposable wells, so they want to put shit into our water table.”

He said it was just too close comfort, adding the risk should not be taken. 

Exumas and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper raised the matter in Parliament two weeks ago, and urged the government to address the claims.

But Minister of State for Disaster Management Iram Lewis has maintained that the claims are “not true”.