Over 600 GB residents get money for hurricane repairs

Over 600 GB residents get money for hurricane repairs
While staff at the Ministry of Works and NEMA distributed cheques for hurricane roof repairs on Monday, April 23, the Members of Parliament present checked in on how it was going. From left are: Ministry of Works Parliamentary Secretary and Member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama, Iram Lewis; Rev. Frederick McAlpine, Member of Parliament for Pineridge Constituency; and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, and Member of Parliament for Marco City, Michael Pintard. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

Hundreds of Grand Bahamians received financial assistance Monday from the government’s national repair program, to assist with roof repairs ahead of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season.

Some 610 Grand Bahama residents received the grants through the project, aimed at assisting residents with leaking roofs.

“It means a lot to the people of Grand Bahama because it’s been long coming and when you drive around town, you still see a lot of tarp on roofs and a lot of homes [that] are still damaged as a result of leaks,” said Iram Lewis, parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Works.

“We are just pleased that at this time, the government is able to assist the constituents from East Grand Bahama all the way to West, and some of the smaller cays.

“We expect that everyone will have their cheques in hand prior to the commencement of the hurricane season.”

Lewis urged the residents to ensure that their homes are properly repaired and comply with building codes ahead of storm season.

“…And by all means, please get your insurance because, based on what I’ve found out in a short period of time, there is no way the government can sustain such a programme. It is a heavy burden on the government, but again we are about people and we are going to do our best to ensure that relief is given at this time,” said Lewis.

Michael Pintard, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and Member of Parliament (MP) for Marco City added, there are a number of people being assisted independently, either by the MP for their constituency or various churches.

To this end, he urged those who have access to additional help – to not abuse the assistance programs.

“There are certain individuals being helped by two or three organizations,” said Pintard.

“We are asking residents who have gotten the supplies that they need to decline to accept additional supplies from some of the non-governmental organizations, churches or the government, so that somebody else can get assistance.”

Also present was Pineridge MP Rev. Frederick McAlpine.

“The government has done this,” said McAlpine.

“They have held up their end of the bargain. Please, we don’t want you to come back and say you didn’t get, or your roof isn’t repaired. We have a list, we know who got their roof repaired. And so, don’t call us out so we have to call you out. We know who you are, we know what we did and we did it in good faith.”

Due to the large number of cheques that are being distributed, the government has urged Grand Bahamians to only collect their assistance cheques once they have been contacted.