Categorized | National News

Joaquin to Cost Gov’t $60 Million

Prime Minister Perry Christie yesterday announced that Hurricane Joaquin has left a bill of more than $60 million to rebuild the islands which it drastically devastated.

At a press conference held at his office yesterday, the prime minister outlined plans to assist residents in Central and Southern Bahamas who have lost their homes and businesses due to the ravaging impact of Hurricane Joaquin.

He noted that the government has not yet quantified the total cost of damages, but said that his last running calculation amounted to more than $60 million, as assessments are still ongoing.

The prime minister said the Ministry of Works has gone door-to-door conducting assessments.

Mr. Christie assures that the government has the resolve to deal with the tasks at hand.

Additionally, he revealed the government’s intention to borrow a sum of money from the Caribbean Development Bank to aid in the recovery process.

However, when asked, the prime minister said that the government has not yet determined the amount of funds it will borrow.

Mr. Christie said that his concern is making sure his Bahamian people are well resourced.

“Rebuilding is very important to the future of our country,” said Mr. Christie.

“I can give you every assurance that the government of The Bahamas will not compromise efforts to the rebuilding of not only the physical infrastructure, but most certainly the lives of our people.”

The prime minister also alluded to a conference call he and his minsters had with Leader of the Opposition Dr. Hubert Minnis, who expressed keen interest in partnering with the government to implement strategies to assist in the country’s recovery.

Mr. Christie says he welcomes this partnership, and in the event that the government agrees with Dr. Minnis’ proposal, both parties would proceed with plans.

He remarked that the nature of the country’s dilemma does not call for a political divide.

Furthering the efforts to rebuild the nation, Mr. Christie announced the government’s plan to implement a reconstruction team which will be led by former Director of Works Melanie Roach.

The prime minister said this will be an interdisciplinary team which will be supported by engineering teams filtered from the Ministry of Works, the Ministry of Housing and the private sector.

The prime minister acknowledges that this reconstruction team will bring specific focus to the combined efforts which are currently ongoing.

Ms. Roach dubs this call as an “adventure” as she says the team is expecting to face many challenges.

According to Mrs. Roach, so far the team includes former Permanent Secretary Barbara Burrows and former Director of Immigration Jack Thompson, in collaboration with other team officials from the private and public sector.

“We all have to work together as a team. All we want is to make sure the efforts are coordinated and there is no duplication of efforts, and no one falls through the cracks. We want to ensure everyone is back to sense of normalcy so that the healing process can begin,” expressed Mrs. Roach.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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