ABACO, BAHAMAS — Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield reiterated the commitment of the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the long-term reconstruction of Abaco, the Abaco cays and Grand Bahama on the second anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Dorian yesterday.
“Together, hand in hand, we will continue to strengthen our resources in our quest to build back better,” he said at a Service of Remembrance and Celebration for the Victims of Hurricane Dorian at Friendship Tabernacle at Dundas Town, Abaco.
The community event was held under the direction of the Abaco Christian Council.
Henfield continued: “Despite this massive destruction and loss stemming from this catastrophic event, we rose as a resilient people determined to rebuild and revitalize our hurricane-ravaged communities.”
Hurricane Dorian was the strongest storm to ever hit The Bahamas. It had maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. The storm’s gusts of 220 miles per hour and surge of more than 20 feet caused widespread devastation.
In the disaster zones, the government has had to spend tens of millions of dollars to rebuild the electricity network and water systems, create a new waste management system, repair and rebuild schools and facilitate other infrastructure repairs and upgrades, along with providing assistance for home repair.
Henfield expressed condolences to the friends and families of residents who lost loved ones during the storm.
As the worst natural disaster in Bahamian history, Hurricane Dorian caused $3.4 billion in losses and damage.
Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe also attended the event on behalf of the government.
She too committed to doing the hard work of long-term rebuilding and renewal.
“We will do what it takes; we will stay as long as it takes to help you rebuild your communities and lives with the resources we have, while pressing harder for what is needed,” she said in a statement.
Parker-Edgecombe and Henfield participated in a wreath-laying ceremony as part of the commemoration.
Henfield thanked all local and international partners who assisted with the recovery and restoration efforts.