Following the passage of Hurricane Irma – the Category 5 storm that caused massive destruction on Ragged Island in September 2017 – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis pledged to make the island a “green city” when it is rebuilt, however, Minister of the Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira said that kind of plan is less feasible for Grand Bahama and Abaco.
“After the event on Ragged Island, Ragged Island lent itself more to that type of declaration because it’s more isolated, had a smaller population, therefore a smaller electrical load,” Ferreira said.
“The situation in Abaco is a lot different and certainly Grand Bahama is a lot different. There’s substantial electrical infrastructure already on the island, larger populations, bigger economies and there are a lot of people that are displaced.”
Back in May, during his third national address for 2019, the prime minister said the government would invest $8 million to restore public infrastructure on Ragged Island.
The prime minister also announced at the time that candidates had been shortlisted in the request for proposals (RFP) process for a solar generation facility in Ragged Island.
Ferreira said it is unlikely the government will take that same route with the islands impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
“The road to recovery is to get electricity and water up and running as fast as possible, so persons in the affected islands can return and begin to rebuild their lives,” he said.
Hurricane Dorian swept through the northern Bahamas, beginning September 1 as a Category 5 storm packing wind gusts over 200 miles per hour.
It has been estimated by a catastrophic modeling and risk management company that Dorian caused $7 billion worth of damage to The Bahamas.