Categorized | National News

Millions Spent On Hurricane Restoration

Shane-GibsonMinister Responsible for Hurricane Restoration Efforts Shane Gibson yesterday gave a general account of funds spent on relief efforts over the last few months.

In his contribution in the Lower Chamber yesterday, Mr. Gibson again reiterating that restoration efforts are progressing steadily.

It has been three months since Hurricane Matthew’s devastating impact, and a little over a year since the damage of Joaquin.


As he did last week, the minister gave a breakdown of how funds are being dispersed throughout the recovery process.


He revealed that $1,133,900 was spent on vouchers to home owners; $3,775,603.63 on labour contracts; $24,109,165 on the loan programme for public officers; approximately $11,003,000 for the cleanup programme in New Providence, Grand Bahama and North Andros; $9,000,000 on repairs to public schools; $3.3 million for contracts on repairs to government buildings; $108,000 for repairs to Hunter’s Post Office in Grand Bahama; $70,562 for repairs to the Administrative Complex in Eight Mile Rock Grand Bahama.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources has estimated damage amounting to $1.3 million in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Exuma, Abaco, North Andros and Long Island.


Mr. Gibson noted that 73 fishermen in New Providence, Grand Bahama and North Andros sustained damage estimated at $1.9 million.


“Persons are taking advantage of the Exigency Order that was issued on October 7th, 2016, for the impacted islands enabling residents who suffered loss or damage to import or purchase goods locally, Customs Duty and VAT free up to April 4th, 2017,” Mr. Gibson noted.


“The Bahamas Customs Department has reported the total value of imports of miscellaneous goods at $86 million up to December 16, 2016, for islands under the Order with the exception of North and Central Andros,” he said.


The minister also revealing that to date, $1.6 million was donated by various local and international organizations and private citizens to the National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA) relief account.


Meantime, Mr. Gibson noted in his report on repairs to Family Island clinics, that the Clarence Town Clinic in Long Island which was completely destroyed by Hurricane Joaquin, will not be reconstructed after a decision made by the Ministry of Health.


“Health officials are of the view that there is no need to repair, rebuild, reconstruct or replace the said clinic, the reason being that Deadmans Cay Clinic is only 10 minutes away from the Clarence Town Clinic,” the minister said.


Long Island Member of Parliament (MP) Loretta Butler-Turner was not pleased with the ministry’s decision.


“I don’t know who’s doing the driving or suggesting that the drive from Clarence Town to Deadman’s Cay Clinic or that area is only 10 minutes. But I would caution whoever is making these decisions, that they become more fully acquainted with the islands, because we are talking more than 10 minutes between these settlements,” Mrs. Butler-Turner said.


“It is sad because I know for example, right next door to the Clarence Town Clinic, there are people who are asthmatic, that are constantly in need of nebulizers. We’ve had instances, Mr. Speaker, where young persons died because of the lack of intervention in a timely fashion,” she said.


In response Mr. Gibson assured that he would advise the Ministry of Health to revisit the decision.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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