Caribbean Pavement Solutions (CPS) has completed its cleanup of the The Mudd shantytown in Marsh Harbour, five and a half months after Hurricane Dorian destroyed the area. The government and the private sector are now looking at a strategic rebuild of the entire area of Marsh Harbour, Guardian Business understands.
It was ordered by the government after the passage of Hurricane Dorian that rebuilding at the 40.9-acre shantytown site will not be allowed – a site where many illegal dwellings housed Bahamians and illegal migrants for decades.
A press statement from CPS explained that the company was successful in carrying out a complex, environmentally hazardous recovery project, which it had never done before.
“Some felt a home-grown company lacked the expertise and resources to see it through,” the release stated.
“For the first time in decades, Bahamian authorities have an unobstructed view of the property which once housed The Mudd, a community of 600 residences, 45 commercial shops, 100 septic tanks and six outside toilets, according to a Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) 2013 report on shantytowns.”
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said in the release that he never doubted the company’s ability to complete the cleanup of The Mudd.
CPS, which is a subsidiary of Bahamas Striping Group of Companies (BSGC), specializes in heavy-duty cleanup, maintenance and pavement preservation.
CPS reported in the statement that it recovered 12 bodies scattered among the debris on the site and “provided those lost souls with dignity in death by turning them over to the authorities for identification”.
According to the statement, the cleanup activities provided much-needed employment for people on Abaco who were without jobs after the hurricane.
President of CPS Atario Mitchell said it is now up to government and the private sector to redesign Abaco to meet its full potential in the wake of the massive Category 5 hurricane.
“The main thing for me is to get Abaco back to where it was. This is my home and I think that Abaco definitely has the potential to be more than what it was,” said Mitchell.
“It’s just up to the powers that be to really sit down and try to design Abaco to meet its full potential and then persons like myself and other individuals can come back and invest in Abaco and let’s make Abaco better.”