NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Pigeon Pea shantytown has been completely cleared, with some 25 percent of the Mudd cleaned up, according to Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Committee Chairman John Michael Clarke.
Clarke said people on residential properties will be encouraged to clean up their properties over the coming months, adding the government requires authorisation to clean up residential properties.
He addressed the monthly luncheon of the Bahamian Contractor’s Association at Poop Deck West yesterday.
“On Abaco there are approximately 14 contractors. The area known as Pigeon Pea, as of Tuesday of this week I’m advised is 100 per cent cleaned. The area known as the Mudd I’m advised is between 25-30 per cent cleaned. What is happening now is the additional contractors in Abaco, I think there are eight of them, the residential areas is where their focus is.”
With 18 to 23 feet storm surges and 220 mph gusts, Dorian decimated portions of Abaco and flattened two of the country’s largest shantytowns – the Mudd and the Pigeon Pea.
In the days after the storm, the Ministry of Housing and the Environment issued a Prohibition to Build Order for The Mudd, Pigeon Pea, Sandbanks and Farm Road communities with immediate effect, “to allow for recovery efforts and the removal of storm debris related to Hurricane Dorian”.
Back in September, the government announced that several contracts were awarded for the cleanup of shantytowns on Abaco.
As to residential properties, Clarke said: “What happens generally is the Department of Environmental Health Services sends out notices to persons on residential properties that they should sort and clean up their properties.
“That notice by statute has to be given. So if you are riding through Marsh Harbour and you see a lot of debris on residential property and you wonder why isn’t it being removed it is because the owners need to give government permission to actually go on the land and remove the debris.”
He continued: “There is a lot of debris on residential property but the owners have to give permission to go on the land and move the debris. There are certain protocols that have to happen.
“Over the next four months, the idea is to encourage the local residents to clean up their yards, to clean up their property and sort the debris. Even the debris has to be sorted a certain way. It’s not just a mass collection.”