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Government agencies collaborating efforts to restore Grand Bahama and Abaco

Government agencies collaborating efforts to restore Grand Bahama and Abaco

GRAND BAHAMA, The Bahamas — Government agencies are pooling their resources in a collaborative push to get residents on Grand Bahama and Abaco, who were displaced three years ago, back into their homes and essential services returned to their communities.

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey, while bringing remarks at a press conference on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at the Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) Office to give an update on the Homeowner Assistance Repair Program (HARP), said a number of residents are still in need of assistance after the passage of Hurricane Dorian and it will take a collaborative effort.

“We’ve come together really because we needed a united effort in order to get things done on this island,” Minister Moxey said.

To that end, the Ministry for Grand Bahama, the Ministry of Works, the DRA, the Department of Environmental Health, Urban Renewal, Local Government and other government agencies are pulling out all the stops.

The DRA is spearheading HARP, beginning in East Grand Bahama, and with assessments ongoing, the first temporary work crews already hired and building materials expected on island next week, work is set to begin on the first set of homes in Rocky Creek soon.

“There has been so many of us who have been waiting to see the home repairs project started again through the Disaster Reconstruction Authority,” Minister Moxey said.

Senator Kirkland Russell, who was also on hand for the announcement, pointed out that The Government’s thrust is not just about repairing people’s homes.

“It’s about getting people, who are stuck in Freeport and in other parts of Grand Bahama paying rent, who want to get back to their dwelling, who want to get back to their community,” he said.

Some, he pointed out, simply need a cesspit tank, their plumbing connected or their kitchen completed in order to move back into their homes.

He also commended the government agencies for the work being carried out to revive the homes and communities in East Grand Bahama so that residents who are yearning to be back in their homes can return.

“We’re talking about getting the schools that were once condemned by the former administration, getting those schools back into service so we can stop ferrying children from Sweeting ’s Cay and bussing them from McLean’s Town all the way into Freeport. This is about getting government agencies back into East Grand Bahama,” he said.

With the Police Station and the Post Office Department reopened in McLean’s Town and Local Government, Social Services and Urban Renewal set to come on stream in East Grand Bahama, Senator Russell said the objective of the Government is simply to bring compassionate relief to the people of Grand Bahama through collaboration.

Administrator for East Grand Bahama Gilbert Kemp is also excited about the progress and revealed that office spaces for most of the government agencies for East Grand Bahama have been secured and he expected to be in his office by next week.

According DRA Chairman Alex Storr, to-date, some 1,000 persons have contacted his office for assistance via HARP.

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