NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is moving to review and adopt a Bahamas Resilient Recovery Policy following recommendations from a United Nations Development Program (NDP) and University and the West Indies (UWI) policy study.
The draft policy outlines a strategy and implementation plan on post-disaster recovery planning after Hurricane Dorian, as well as recommendations on the institutional framework to execute and operationalize the resilient recovery vision.
During a press conference this week on his ministry’s work post-Dorian and COVID-19, Lewis said the UWI Advisory Team submitted its reports in September and have been accepted by his ministry and endorsed by the Cabinet.
As a result, he said his ministry will organize internal consultations on the Draft Recovery Policy, review existing incentives for recovery and for encouraging risk-sensitive development, and identify and map existing financial instruments that can support recovery and reconstruction programmes among other initiatives.
He said they will Establish a National Private Sector Recovery roundtable to promote a National Agenda for Business Contingency Planning and Continuity Management.
Lewis said his ministry will then establish a timeframe for the review and adoption of a Bahamas Resilient Recovery Policy.
Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, was one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record and the strongest hurricane to have ever hit The Bahamas.
The storm brought surges 18 to 23 feet above normal tide levels and higher destructive waves causing flooding and mass destruction.
According to the Inter-American Development Bank assessment into the damage of the storm, Dorian caused about $3.4 billion in damages.
The report estimated damages to the environment at $7,146,963, and losses at $27,435,048. Additional costs were also estimated at $102,473,000.
The official death count stands at 74, though the number of missing people continues to be disputed.
The Bahamas remains at an economic standstill while the world attempts to manage the coronavirus pandemic which has catapulted unemployment rates and debilitated the tourism industry.