Govt to address Ragged Island nearly two years after hurricane
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said Cabinet has recently approved the investment in renewable energy for hurricane-torn Ragged Island.
In September 2017, the island was devastated by Hurricane Irma.
Twenty months after the disaster, there is still no government school, post office, administrator’s office, police station or clinic on the island.
On Friday, Bannister said, “Cabinet has just approved the investment in renewable energy in Ragged Island and so you’re going to see some things happen with respect to renewables there… Our engineers are almost ready with the plans for infrastructure in Ragged Island.
“In fact, we’re at the stage now where we’re looking for contractors, so you’re going to see infrastructures start in Ragged Island. Ragged Island is a very special place. We have to be able to have all of the electrical infrastructure in place then we have to be able to have contractors mobilize and move there.”
The minister said contractors sometimes encounter “special challenges” when building on Family Islands.
He said the government wants to ensure that it doesn’t face the same issues that had arisen following the construction of the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI).
Some of BAMSI’s buildings had to be relocated in 2017 because of sinkholes, according to The Tribune.
“[You] see, memories can’t be short about these things,” Bannister said.
“You remember when millions of dollars of infrastructure [were] built in BAMSI over places where you have sinkholes coming up? We’re not going to have that happen on my watch so when you see [a] school in Gregory Town start and you see the construction start in Ragged Island, they’re going to be in places where there’s firm land and where the Bahamian people can be assured that we can have good infrastructure.”
When asked for a price tag for the renewable energy investment, the minister said, “As soon as they go out to tender, I will let you know. I’m not going to say that because it goes out to tender and I can’t tell the contractors in advance how to tender for something.”
Fewer than 60 people live on Ragged Island.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice