Categorized | Featured, National News

‘Abaco Needs Resilient Building’ -Henfield Concerned NGOs May Leave


North Abaco Member of Parliament Darren Henfield stressed the need for Abaco to build resilient, so as to better withstand hurricanes like Dorian.

Additionally, Henfield said in the House of Assembly yesterday that more than 4,000 nongovernmental organizations were in Abaco post Dorian. 

While in New York, he added that a number of countries pledged to assist in restoration efforts.

However, Henfield, who is also the minister of foreign affairs, said he is concerned that eventually the organizations will move on to the next task and forget about The Bahamas.

“You’re only as alive as the next event and then these agencies move on and forget you.  So it is important, as Minister Rolle stated yesterday, that we build capacity,” he said.   

“So it was genius almost to put people along with some of these people so that we too can be able to respond and help others and ourselves in this Bahamas when there is crisis.” 

The foreign affairs minister, in his contribution to the Disaster Preparedness Response and Amendment Bill 2019, noted that The Bahamas, along with other Small Island Developing States, contribute the least to climate change, but are most affected.

As a result, Henfield said its unfair for The Bahamas to be classified as a middle-class country prohibiting the ability to be able to apply for certain grants and loans.

“A lot of European countries pledged to double their response to the Green Climate Fund, but my question is that while we are still in the hurricane season, and we are grateful, I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but how do you operationalize the fund so that we can get the monies on the ground now where we need them to help build resilience?” Minister Henfield asked.

“We don’t mind if we send your own companies to The Bahamas or you create a group to manage the monies.  Who will come to the impacted area, wherever we are, and approve the money to build resilience, to put underground cables so that we can survive after these storms hit us?”      

Throwing his support behind the bill, the North Abaco MP said this bill will help the country to survive by addressing several key issues including empowering the government through the prime minister to maintain peace and to provide urgent relief to impacted areas.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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