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‘Foolishness’

Some residents on Abaco said they would rather live in the ruins of their homes than move into the government’s dome structures in Spring City.

After Hurricane Dorian ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahama last year, the government announced a Family Relief Center to house residents on Abaco who were displaced by the storm.

However, when The Guardian visited Abaco this week, many were not too keen on the dome homes.

“We have Abaconians in Nassau living in shelters, want to come home but they can’t come home,” Pleasant Dawkins, a resident of Dundas Town, said.

“We rode out to Spring City on Sunday and looked at them little foolishness they have out there look like igloos.

“That don’t make no sense. The money they took to invest in that could have been somebody roof they put on to help others and, hey, I could have some people come here and be with me until they get back on their feet. But they spent all the money out there, which don’t make no sense.”

When The Nassau Guardian visited the site in Spring City on Tuesday, 28 dome structures were standing.

A small crew of about 10 men was busy working on them.

One worker was polishing a dome, others were installing a roof on another and a few were building out the plywood planks that the domes sit on.

The domes were set to open in December 2019.

Last month, Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis said the first 40 domes were being installed.

The domes are being erected by the Brickell Management Group for $6.4 million.

They will be in place for at least three years.

Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Committee Chairman John Michael Clarke claimed the dome structures are best “because it’s a resilient structure and that particular structure can take up to 180 mph winds with gusts up to 200 mph”.

Beverly Sawyer said she supports the government’s Small Home Repair Programme, which will assist residents in rebuilding their homes, over the dome program.

“I am supposedly entitled to $10,000 because my home is gone,” Sawyer said.

“I have a slight snag in that I have to prove that I own it and the document that proved that it was has been destroyed and it wasn’t stamped and recorded.

“I can use it more than those igloo pods that they are building. If they had just taken that money and divided it for one between two families, many more families would be back on Abaco.”

Roughly 9,000 homes and more than 11 million square feet of structures were damaged on Abaco and Grand Bahama during the storm, according to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in November.

The report noted $1.48 billion in damage to the housing sector with nearly 89 percent of the damage on Abaco.

“Them foolishness and thing they have over in Spring City, that’s ridiculous,” Dawkins continued.

“They have them sitting on big plywood. If any wind come, that going to blow the people over. I don’t even think they met with the people in Spring City about this before they went and set up there.”

She is also worried that more Haitians will move into the domes.

“Now, you’re going to set up dorms there to get a next shantytown? Eh,” she said.

“Because the majority over there is going to be like the Haitians them. Okay. That’s who is going to go there. So, that’s a next shantytown. They are all God’s people, yes okay.

“But that’s what is going to happen.”

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has said that undocumented migrants will not be allowed in the domes.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018. Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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