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Ragged Island has not been forgotten, PM says

Mitchell Munroe, 3, is one of few children on Ragged Island, which was devastated by Hurricane Irma two years ago. The island’s only school, Duncan Town All Age School, was badly damaged. Some parents have sent their children to New Providence to attend school. KYLE WALKINE

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday reinforced the government’s commitment to rebuilding Ragged Island two years after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Irma.

“Ragged Island has not been forgotten,” the prime minister said.

“The commitments that we made, we will continue.”

In September 2017, Ragged Island was devastated by Hurricane Irma.

The damage was so extensive that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) deemed the island “uninhabitable”.

Minnis has said that the island will become a green island, noting that the government would invest $8 million to restore public infrastructure on Ragged Island.

However, there is still no government school, post office, administrator’s office, police station or clinic on Ragged Island, as all of those buildings were destroyed during the hurricane, and have yet to be repaired.

On October 16, Exumas and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper said that Ragged Island residents had lost faith in the prime minister.

“I can report to you with certainty that the people of Ragged Island have lost faith in their own government,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest has said that Hurricane Dorian, which decimated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama in early-September, has led the government to change its fiscal priorities.

However, last month, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said the government has not shifted its focus away from Ragged Island in order to prioritize Abaco and Grand Bahama.

He said Ragged Island remains “a critical priority of the government,” noting that construction is expected to begin on the island early next year.

 

Jasper Ward

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

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