$20 million spent for debris collection on Abaco and GB

The government spent $20 million on the collection of debris on Abaco and Grand Bahama in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) Managing Director Katherine Forbes-Smith said.

“Hurricane Dorian produced an unprecedented amount of debris in Abaco and Grand Bahama,” Forbes-Smith said.

“Such debris accumulation in a matter of days has never been experienced in The Bahamas. To date, we have spent approximately $20 million on the collection of debris within the disaster zones.

“Since mid-February, the DRA has been reviewing existing collection contracts, preparing to augment collection in areas not covered by those contracts.”

Dorian ravaged the two islands last September.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira said the Category 5 storm — the strongest to ever hit The Bahamas — produced 1.5 billion pounds of debris in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

According to United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Dr. Luis Lopez-Calva, as of January 13, roughly two million metric tons of debris had been collected on Abaco.

On Sunday, the DRA held a press conference where its executives provided an update on reconstruction efforts more than six months after Dorian.

During that press conference, Forbes-Smith said, “We are making steady progress on the mainland of Abaco and Grand Bahama. We will be increasing our focus on collection efforts throughout the Abaco cays. Additionally, we will be investigating and implementing solutions for the debris management sites in Spring City and Treasure Cay as well as improving the landfill facility at Snake Cay.”

She noted that the deadly storm, which killed at least 74 people, swept “a large amount” of debris into the sea.

“We have received survey information on marine debris in the East Grand Bahama area,” Forbes-Smith said.

“The marine areas in and around the Abaco mainland and cays have to be surveyed. Once done, we will issue marine cleanup RFPs (requests for proposals). This will be a major cleanup effort.”

Dorian caused $3.4 billion in damage and losses.

The storm impacted nearly 30,000 people and left scores of people missing.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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