NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The pace of reconstruction and business return to the island of Abaco has ‘definitely picked up’ since the start of the new year, according to Abaco Chamber of Commerce president Ken Hutton.
Hutton said there appears to be a ‘renewed sense of optimism’ on the island during a recent interview.
“I think I can honestly say the pace of return and reconstruction has definitely picked up since the beginning of the year,” he said.
“I think everyone is anxious to get back, get Abaco rebuilt and to come home. I think a lot of people are very optimistic. There is a lot of stuff going on and planned. I think 2020 is going to be a very good year for the rebuild.
“That is not to say that there aren’t challenges but there seems to be a renewed sense of optimism right now.”
A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sponsored conference to raise money for recovery and reconstruction following Hurricane Dorian begins today at Baha Mar.
Hurricane Dorian ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September.
The Category 5 storm caused $3.4 billion in damage, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.
Hutton noted that that the private sector driven Project Resurrect initiative which seeks to create and fund a long-term strategic plan to rebuild Abaco anew could is still in progress but could be affected by how the UN initiative comes together.
“This conference definitely has a part of it. How is comes together definitely will have a say on the direction for Resurrect,” he said.
“The biggest thing is there are lots of people out there who want to help. The last thing we want to do is be duplicating effort. We want to ensure that we are hitting the right targets and we are not stepping over each other. Coordination and communication is key.”