PM: Hurricane clean up may require intl. contractors

PM: Hurricane clean up may require intl. contractors
A neighborhood in Abaco post Hurricane Dorian

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – As the government continues reconstruction efforts in Abaco and Grand Bahama in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday said Bahamians must recognize their “limitations”.

Minnis was asked about the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority’s review of all Hurricane Dorian cleanup contracts.

“There’s now the authority that’s dealing with that and I think they are very efficient,” Minnis told reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) pledge conference.

“If they need to contract the private sector to do certain things, via from instate, or in country or out of country, they have the authority to do that.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis

“We recognize our limitations, and therefore we may have to be subcontractors behind a major contractor.

“These are the realities and Bahamians have to accept that. If you want to rebuild, you bring in the best; you bring the best that will give you results and that we’ll do just that.”

Dorian pounded the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama between September 1-3, claiming the lives of a confirmed 70 people — and displacing thousands.

In the aftermath of the storm the government commissioned several contractors to clear down the debris from the shantytowns.

At last report, approximately 14 contractors were involved in the debris removal efforts.

The Ministry of the Environment’s Debris Management Plan has established a timeline of 180 days to the total removal of debris.

It estimates there was 1.09 million cubic yards of debris in the Abaco districts and another 2.09 million cubic yard of debris in Grand Bahama.

Late last month, the authority’s Managing Director Kay-Forbes-Smith told Eyewitness News said that they were not satisfied with the cleanup process thus far.

Forbes said the authority has received complaints from residents in Abaco who feel the cleanup should be more aggressive.

She said the authority will be looking at those contracts and compare them with the work that has been already done and then make a decision on the way forward.