Electricity in Marsh Harbour by May

Electricity will be fully restored on Abaco by May, Disaster Reconstruction Authority Chairman John Michael Clarke said yesterday.

“Utility restoration continues in the impacted zones,” he said during the launch of the government’s Small Home Repair Programme on Grand Bahama.

“According to the latest [Bahamas Power and Light] BPL timeline, power should be fully restored on the island of Abaco, and particularly within the Marsh Harbour district, by May of this year.

“We are continuing discussions to make sure that the water utilities, both in Abaco and in Grand Bahama are fully restored.”

The Small Home Repair Programme will provide homeowners, whose properties suffered damage during Hurricane Dorian, with assistance in the form of vouchers for materials and labor.

Hurricane Dorian leveled parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama last September, leaving at least 70 dead and thousands displaced and homeless.

Many in the affected areas expressed frustration over the lack of progress made in cleanup efforts and the restoration of utilities.

Clarke said debris cleanup in public spaces is 90 percent complete. However, he acknowledged that the efforts must be “more intense” than they have been.

“About 90 percent of the debris in public spaces has been cleared,” he said.

“Abaco cays remains a challenge for us and we are actively seeking to have a solution for the Abaco cays.

“On the mainland, we made a commitment to assist private residences and small businesses and business owners with the cleanup so that we can advance the reconstruction process.

“We want to make our focus on cleanup a little more intense. So, what you’ll be finding over the next few weeks on the Abaco cays and at the debris management sites, we will be moving with more intention.

“Somebody asked me the other day, ‘Does that mean that all of the debris contractors that are working, does that mean that they all get fired?’

“The answer to that question is no. What it means, though, is if you are working and working with intention, that’s the job of the reconstruction authority.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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