PM to appear on CBS’ 60 Minutes this Sunday

PM to appear on CBS’ 60 Minutes this Sunday
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis

The episode focuses on “green city” efforts in Ragged Island, and the way forward after Hurricane Dorian

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis will appear on the program ’60 Minutes’ on CBS this Sunday.

Minnis sits down with Bill Whitaker to discuss The Bahamas’ recovery efforts nearly six months after Hurricane Dorian laid to waste portions of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

The Office of the Prime Minister announced the hour-long interview will take place at 7pm.

The prime minister is expected to address the growing threat of climate change, rebuilding durably in Ragged Island following Hurricane Irma, and the plans for the country moving forward after Dorian.

In a minute-long promotion video posted on cbsnews.com, the prime minister tells Whitaker: “After Ragged Island was devastated, I made a statement ‘Let us show the world what can be done. We may be small, but we can set an example to the world.

Whitaker asks: “So, it’s your goal to make Ragged Island a green island.”

Minnis respond: “Absolutely, absolutely; after which we can expand it.”

The promotion clip shows Whitaker traveling to Ragged Island with Bahamas Power and Light Chief Executive Office Whitney Heastie; and touring the solar microgrid with local engineers, before coming to a close.

It its write-up of the upcoming show, the network says: 60 Minutes reports on The Bahamas’ push for a more durable, greener power grid, Sunday.”

It notes that The Bahamas lies directly “in the cross-hairs of climate change” with its more than 700 islands spread across the Caribbean in an area referred to as ‘Hurricane Alley’, which is frequently “clobbered by storms and suffer flooding regularly”.

“The latest onslaught, Hurricane Dorian, killed scores of Bahamians last September with Category 5 winds that snapped utility poles like twigs and damaged just about everything in the city of Hope Town except its iconic candy-striped lighthouse,” CBS wrote.

“Scientists say once-rare Category 5 storms are on the rise due to climate change.

“But the Bahamas is fighting back. Its prime minister has embraced solar power not just as a necessity, but to show the rest of the world how to confront climate change.

The write-up continued: “Prime Minister Hubert Minnis addressed climate change forcefully after Hurricane Irma, another Category 5, struck part of his country in 2017.

“Ragged Island in the southern Bahamas was so decimated it would be incredibly hard to rebuild.

“But did they really want to restore power using a fossil-fueled generating system?

“Change could start here,” Minnis said.

“After Ragged Island was devastated, I made a statement. Let us show the world how it can be done. We may be small, but we can set an example,” he told Whitaker.

As of January 18, 2020, 40 percent of Ragged Island solar panels had been installed for the new microgrid.

The project, spearheaded by Tugliq Energy Co. along with US-based company Salt Energy LLC and Freeport-based Waugh Construction, were awarded the request for proposals last July for the solar and battery storage project.

Meanwhile, the recovery process continues in Grand Bahama and Abaco, though some remain critical of the government pace.

As of last week, roughly 50 acres of shantytown land had been cleared on Abaco.

Dorian tore through the northwest islands in September 1-3, leaving at least 71 dead.

Officials estimate the storm impacted nearly 30,000 people.