DRA prioritizes available resources for Abaco and GB communities

DRA prioritizes available resources for Abaco and GB communities
In this undated photo, technicians from the Abaco-based Six A’s Construction company prepare land for the Abaco Centre that will serve as a hurricane shelter and community center. (PHOTO: DRA)

ABACO, BAHAMAS — The Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) recognizes the needs within the communities of Abaco and Grand Bahama are pressing, and it is methodically prioritizing the work and maximizing available resources to ensure both islands are fully reconstructed.

In a press release yesterday, the DRA noted: “Yes, COVID did impact the DRA’s ability to raise funds.

“Yes, DRA took over from the Ministry of Works and the Department of Environmental Health Services in February 2020 and through continued collaboration with UNDP (the United Nations Development Programme) and the Department of Environmental Health Services, successfully spearheaded Abaco and the cays’ cleanup and the central stockpiling of that debris in both Spring City and Treasure Cay. This was done using Bahamian companies almost exclusively, the majority of which were residents on the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco.

“As a matter of policy and practice, the DRA endeavors to prioritize contracting companies within the specific Disaster Zone (Abaco & Grand Bahama) to execute our projects within the zone.

“Through DRA’s Small Home Repair Program, we have assessed and funded a total of 3,735 approved homeowners for Abaco and Grand Bahama as they met the criteria to receive assistance: had to be Bahamian; the house had to have been destroyed in Dorian; had not received insurance; proof of home homeownership.

“DRA provides technical assistance and management for the reconstruction of the Leonard Thompson International Airport and the Treasure Cay International Airport demolition projects.

“DRA supports temporary housing in the form of 100 mobile homes and 70 domes.

“DRA continues with the development of the 800-person hurricane shelter, which will double as a community center in Central Pines, Abaco.

“DRA is underway with the construction of five of 42 homes, also in Central Pines, Abaco.

“DRA continues to provide a raft of support via tablet distribution for Abaconian primary and high school students, support of fire victims in Cooper’s Town, Abaco, providing bulldozers for firefighters in and around Central Abaco.

“DRA is in continuous coordination with entities such as BPL (Bahamas Power and Light), BTC, Cable Bahamas, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Utility Company, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Works.

“DRA continuously peruses donations in our development office to supplement the government’s funding in these very trying fiscal times.

“DRA has reacted to the pressing needs of the Abaco community and has deployed qualified technical support to live in that community and address the very unique needs of the Abacos.”

The DRA continues to welcome the feedback of key stakeholders within the declared Disaster Zone communities of Abaco and Grand Bahama and invites members of those communities to connect with it on social media, email info@drabahamas.org or call 352-9111 (Grand Bahama) or 699-1450 (Abaco).