Spring City and Central Pines residents prioritized
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – As he declared “no illegals” will be allowed in the government’s temporary relief center on Abaco, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday revealed the first 125 domes have been reserved for residents in the Spring City and Central Pines subdivisions.
Minnis was asked how the government will decide who will be placed in the Family Relief Centre at a press conference on Hurricane Dorian relief efforts at the Office of the Prime Minster.
“Those are individuals who have been displaced,” Minnis said.
“There will be no illegals in the domes, no illegals.”
Hurricane Dorian, the strongest storm to ever hit Northwest Bahamas, devastated parts of Grand Bahama and Abaco, leaving thousands displaced and hundreds missing.
The storm leveled the two largest of the six shantytowns on Abaco – which also housed the largest number of undocumented migrants.
The government has announced it will spend approximately $6.4 million on 250 dome structures for temporary housing for displaced storm victims.
Minnis explained yesterday that the Family Relief Centre near Spring City, Abaco will house 125 of the 250 domes.
“The remaining 125 domes will be made available for local residents in Abaco, who are restoring, and or repairing, their homes,” he said.
“So far, the Spring City and Central Pines subdivisions have been identified as locations for some of the remaining domes.
“This allows residents who have lost homes in those areas to rebuild while staying on or near their properties.”
Minnis noted that this decision was made to ensure convenience for residents in those areas.
“Initially we were looking at a particular location and then after further discussion, there were so many homes, about 47 homes that were destroyed in the Spring City area, and there were about 32 homes destroyed in the Central Pines areas, it was decided that it may be more helpful and better if the domes were set up near Spring City, where individuals whose home were destroyed will remain in adjoining areas to their homes and can facilitate working very easily,” he continued.
“The same thing would subsequently apply to Central Pines.”
Yesterday, the prime minister said the first shipment of 40 domes is scheduled to arrive in mid-November and will be placed in the Spring City Subdivision.
He said assessments are ongoing to determine the number of domes that will be placed in the Central Pines Subdivision and to identify other possible locations for the dome structures.
The Family Relief Centre covers 12 acres of land. Each dome structure includes plumbing, drainage, a sewer system, and electricity; and will be able to accommodate up to five people.
The center will only be in place for two years until individuals and families move into permanent housing.
Officials have estimated that 76,000 people in The Bahamas were affected by the deadly Category 5 storm.
At last report, the National Emergency Management Agency said 777 people remain in public shelters in New Providence.
It remains unclear how many of those individuals are undocumented.
Meanwhile, the Bahamian Consul in Miami has recorded more than 300 Hurricane Dorian evacuees living in the United States since the passage of the storm.
Consul General Linda Mackey said the figure was growing daily, with some 60 percent of those Bahamians from Abaco.
Yesterday, Minnis was asked whether he is confident that the relief facility will be able to accommodate all of Abaco’s displaced.
“You must also take into consideration that the private sector is looking at a man camp,” he said.
“A lot of those individuals are from there and therefore would be employed and therefore they would be housed in the man camp until they can find other accommodations.
“But while in the man camp, that will help with rebuilding the city.”