During his third national address for 2019, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced last night that the government will invest $8 million to restore public infrastructure on Ragged Island.
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma, which packed winds up to 185 miles per hour, devastated the tiny island, destroying homes, the public school, clinic, administrator’s office and police station.
Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deemed the island “uninhabitable” due to the lack of basic public infrastructure and key personnel including medical professionals and police officers.
Following the storm, Minnis vowed that Ragged Island would be turned into a “green city”.
During his national address last night, Minnis finally provided details of his government’s plans for the island.
“During the passage of Hurricane Irma, Ragged Island was devastated with key public infrastructure destroyed or severely damaged,” he said.
“The reconstruction of its public infrastructure includes the following new infrastructure: The construction of a school and teacher’s duplex at a cost of $2 million; the construction of a new clinic at $2.5 million; the construction of an administrator’s office, post office and court room at a cost of $2.5 million, and the construction of a police station and accommodations for officers at a cost of $1 million.”
Minnis did not provide a timeline on when construction of the facilities would begin.
“I am also pleased to announce that candidates have been shortlisted to participate in the request for proposal (RFP) process for a solar generation facility in Ragged Island,” he continued.
“The RFP is expected to be published soon. Barring any unforeseen circumstances the current projection for completion of the facility is by year’s end.”
Exumas and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper has continuously asserted that the Minnis administration has failed the people of Ragged Island after little to no movement was made to restore public buildings on the island since the passage of the storm.
At last report, there were fewer than 60 people living on the tiny island.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications