Disaster authority to hold strategy retreat

Disaster authority to hold strategy retreat
Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS –The Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority will host a three-day retreat in Grand Bahama, in order to strategize key initiatives to ramp up operations on reconstruction efforts four months post-Dorian.

Minister of Disaster Preparedness Iram Lewis told Eyewitness News Online yesterday that the retreat, which will be held from Thursday to Saturday, will focus cleanup of the Farm Shanty town on Abaco, the review of all cleanup contracts and other critical issues.

“Coming out of that will be our immediate, midterm and long-term working plan,” Lewis said. 

“So we will be looking at our overall six pillars, looking at our initial strategy and identity significant projects, significant actions moving forward.”

Pointing to major issue, Lewis continued: “There was a significant amount of contracts issued for cleaning up, NEMA contractors.

“We will be reviewing those with a view of picking things up in areas where contractors are moving slowly, or show that they don’t have the capacity.

“[We will] find ways to strengthen them, or to get them to perhaps consolidate their efforts together or in some case if they are not performing, give it to other deserving Bahamians.

“This  is pretty much a milestone review, as to where are now.

“That’s where we are now, so that we can begin making adjustments to our plan to keep us on track or to get us ahead of our schedule.”

Dorian pounded the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama between September 1-3, claiming the lives of a confirmed 70 people — and displacing thousands.

In the aftermath of the storm the government commissioned several contractors to clear down the debris from the shantytowns.

Asked whether the government has determined how it will “manage” some 75 families who remain in The Farm, Lewis said: “We do know that we have to act. We to get into that environment so that we can clean.

“It is critical. As the prime minister said, all the document persons, persons who are here, there’s no reason to even be hiding out.

“Why not just come, get out of the area, to a more resilient area, in a safer environment, so we can cleanup and restore that area to some sort of healthy environment.”