RAGGED ISLAND – Captain Stephen Russell, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), issued financial assistance estimated at $72,000 to Family Island residents impacted by the devastating Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Captain Russell was accompanied by NEMA assistant accountant Eva Lightbourn, and Family Island Administrator for Exuma and Ragged Island Districts Preston Cunningham.
Captain Russell and his team made the visit on Friday, August 24, 2018, issuing cheques on behalf of the Government. The financial aid was based on assessments carried out by technical teams of the former National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (NRRU). Eighteen households were approved for assistance and received a maximum of $4,000 (per household) to assist with recovery efforts.
During the assessments, it was discovered that approximately 45% of the houses impacted by the storm were not built in accordance with The Bahamas Building Code.
Captain Russell reminded members of the Ragged Island District Council that they must ensure that structures on the island are built in accordance with the building code.
He stressed that as hurricanes become more frequent and intense, hurricane preparedness must be a part of their way of life year round.