Hurricane Dorian will cost the Ministry of Education at least $21 million, Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd said yesterday.
“So, $7.5 million is just Grand Bahama,” Lloyd told The Nassau Guardian.
“These are all approximate. Five million [dollars] is Abaco. We’re going to have to build a school in Sweeting’s Cay and East Grand Bahama at a cost of $4 million to $5 million; that’s collectively.”
He also noted that the government will spend about $1.5 million on the replacement of damaged furniture.
The minister said assessments are ongoing on Abaco, noting that Dorian-related costs will likely increase.
Lloyd said his ministry was still trying to determine whether it will rebuild some of the schools that were damaged by the storm.
“…The Treasure Cay school will possibly have to be rebuilt and the decision is whether we rebuild [the] Patrick Bethel [High School] and the Hope Town Primary [School],” he said.
“We know that we’re going to have to rebuild schools in East Grand Bahama. There are now four schools.
“So, the question is, should we rebuild the four, the two or the one? And that will come about as a consequence of our discussions with the community.”
Dorian – the strongest hurricane on record to hit The Bahamas – struck Grand Bahama and Abaco in early September, decimating chunks of the islands.
The storm left thousands displaced, hundreds missing and at least 67 dead.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the ministry announced that teachers, administrators and support staff in affected areas would be awarded financial assistance, which included a lump sum payment, relocation payments and a hardship allowance.
Yesterday, Lloyd said, the government had spent roughly $2.6 million on relocation payments and salary advances.
He said $1.76 million went to those impacted on Grand Bahama and $879,649.98 went to storm victims on Abaco.