Still no date for Ragged Islanders to return home

Member of Parliament for Ragged Island and the Exumas, Chester Cooper and Deputy Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, Chester Cooper.

Having endured the devastating wrath of Hurricane Irma last September, Ragged Island became unlivable and residents were forced to leave their humble abode in search of a better and much safer standard of living.  Now, one year later, repairs on the island are still in progress and there is still no established date for Ragged Islanders to return home.

“We don’t have a deadline yet, but we have started the work,” said Member of Parliament for Ragged Island, Chester Cooper.

He told Eyewitness News over the weekend that the island is still in need of major repairs and necessities, which he said must be completed before the Government gives the green light for families to return.

“We have utilities restored in terms of water, but we still don’t have a nurse, we still don’t have a police station; so one of the things we’ve worked on is to send out two freezer trailers to try to get commerce restored, but the people will not truly return to the island until they are absolutely assured that there is medial support and [functioning] schools,” Cooper explained.

Following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Ragged Island did not have a functioning water system, there was no electricity, nor were there any doctors and police officers on the island.

The government has earmarked $10 million for capital work in Ragged Island and other southern islands negatively impacted by past hurricanes.

Last year, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis promised Ragged Islanders that the island would be rebuilt and transformed and that the government would turn the small island into the first fully green smart island in the region.