NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday reiterated the government’s commitment to Ragged Island following calls from residents to remove the “uninhabitable” status from the island, two years after Hurricane Irma devastated it.
“Ragged Island has not been forgotten,” said Minnis, when asked about the matter during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister.
“The commitments that we made; we will continue.”
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma barreled into the island, packing winds up to 185 mph. The Category 5 storm blew off roofs, toppled lampoles and flattened homes and key infrastructure.
In the aftermath of the storm, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) deemed the island “uninhabitable”, but the government pledged that it would turn it into a green city.
But not much has changed since the storm hit. The island still has no public school, police station, clinic or administrator’s office.
There are currently about 60 plus people living on the island in patched homes.
Exumas & Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper has continually reminded the government of its obligation to Ragged Island, often noting that the government has “forgotten” those residents
The government has pledged that it will spend $12 million to restore government facilities on the island and $4 million to construct a new school that would double as a shelter.
United States-based company Salt Energy LLC has also been awarded the RFP to build a solar and battery storage solution on the island, that would result in the production of more than 90 percent of the island’s energy requirements.