Categorized | National News

Evacuation Order Still In Effect

Firefighters continued to fight a blaze at the New Providence Landfill that displaced hundreds of residents in the Jubilee Gardens community Sunday.

Environment and Housing Minister Kenred Dorsett up to noon Monday said while he could not speak to the level of control established at the dumpsite, firefighters were tackling several hotspots there and in other areas.

He also admitted that there were still a few hotspots his team were able to see via a drone picture that just could not be reached.

“Unfortunately the terrain is as such that the fire engines are not able to access some of the areas where the fires are. They are fighting a dumpsite fire as well as forest fires,” Mr. Dorsett said.

“As indicated yesterday, the fire started in an area behind the businesses along Fire Trail but because of the velocity of the wind and the fact that the firefighters were fighting so many fires, the fire had already jumped over to the dump site ignited that and then continued on.”

Minister Dorsett also acknowledged that combustible materials at the landfill exacerbated the problem.

“We just came out of a hurricane so while we have separated all of the green waste from the rest of the waste,” he said.

“The green waste was pushed more to the eastern quadrant of the landfill which happened to border the forest where it caught a light so the green waste and organic is what then caused the fire and then spread.”

Many residents shortly after officials began putting out the blaze were then notified to evacuate the area.

As the all clear is seemingly not likely any time soon, government officials are determined to make life as comfortable as possible for those who had no choice but to seek shelter elsewhere.

The Bahama Journal visited the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium which became an official shelter for residents affected by thick clouds of smoke that covered the community at the rear of the dump.

One of the directors from the Department of Social Services said the shelter housed about 13 families Sunday night until Monday morning.

“We were able to accommodate 13 families which totaled 54 persons including children. Because we had a few rooms available at the hotel, they were put up at the hotel and we were hoping that anybody else that came we would house them here,” she said.

“We have cots, we have blankets, and we have snacks. Aliv provided fruit drinks, Gatorade, lots of water and even food.”

The shelter says it is prepared to house more people in the upcoming days.

“We have social workers who will man the shelter around the clock. I was here all night and now I’m waiting on my relief team,” she said.

“They will stay if someone comes in after they say go back into their homes and find out it’s not livable right now with the smoke to avoid respiratory problems and they need some place to stay then they can come here and we will certainly take care of them.”

When asked what the feeling was like from those families who stayed at the shelter, Mrs. Kelly said most of the residents were just concerned about getting back to their homes.

The fire has been burning now for over 36 hours.





Written by Jones Bahamas

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