Govt. considering making hurricane-ravaged shantytowns ‘memorial sites’

Govt. considering making hurricane-ravaged shantytowns ‘memorial sites’

Fully outfitted tent city to be constructed 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Government may declare several Abaco shantytown communities laid to waste by Hurricane Dorian memorial sites, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said.

Minnis, who was speaking with reporters following a donation from the Cayman Islands towards Hurricane Dorian relief efforts said, “Buildings on those areas were inferiorly built.

“They were set up for disaster, flooding hurricanes etc. They were not built with any safety codes and individuals lives and health were in danger into facilities. We want to ensure individuals are properly housed and not exposed to the elects. We are discussing the matter at Cabinet now and we think it may be appropriate to declare those areas some form of memorial site in respect for those who would have died in those particular areas.”

The government recently issued a cease order with immediate effect that seeks to prevent anyone from building or developing in those five communities. These include the Mudd, Pigeon Peas, Sandbank, Farm Road and Elbow Cay.

According to the order issued by the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, “no person shall erect any new building or development for the purposes of residing or carrying out any commercial activity in the identified community areas”.

The ministry said the purpose of the order is to “allow for recovery efforts and then removal of storm debris related to Hurricane Dorian”.

“This order is made in accordance with Section 24 (1)(b) of the Planning and Subdivision Act, 2010 and the Planning and Subdivision (Prohibition to Build) (Abaco) Order, 2019,” the statement read.

As to the hundreds of residents displaced as a result of Hurricane Dorian Minnis said, “Cabinet is still discussing in terms of how we move forward in helping people. We have to look at not only the structural component, but the psychological component also. I think that is even more interesting and more important than the structural component. Our people must understand that if you don’t deal with the psychological component effectively and efficiently then we can see another psychological hurricane at another stage that we must avoid.”

He continued, “It’s essential for us to mobile the individuals brought from Abaco and Grand Bahama back to their respective islands. Manpower will be necessary. You must be rebuild, and they must be a part of that. They are presently in shelters and we are presently discussing the establishment of a man camp. The man camp would be able house all staff personnel, individuals, contractors and their staff so they can rebuild and clean up the island etc.”


Tent city


Minnis spoke to the establishment of a ‘tent city’.

“We must also have a tent city, with bathroom facilities. Each unit will have two-bedroom facilities, recreation facilities, facilities for police, dining facilities, cafeteria facilities.

“It’s really a city we feel is essential to move individuals from New Providence back to this environment with everything including educational facilities.

“That can only remain for a certain period of time because six months to a year those individuals would become agitated and want to move into different facilities. We have to take that into consideration.

“At present we are in discussions and hope to have the man camp and tent city completed every quickly so we can mobilize people and return them back to their respective homes.”