Government to build 42 homes for Dorian survivors in Central Pines

The government will build 42 homes for Hurricane Dorian survivors in Central Pines, Abaco, according to Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) Project Manager Wendell Grant.

The project, which is underway, is expected to cost more than $4 million, according to Grant, who added that it aims to assist individuals who lost their homes as a result of Dorian.

He said the first phase of the project will consist of five homes.

“That’s expected to be completed in three to four months and then we’re looking to — probably prior to the completion of that lot — to go onto the next phase of five homes,” Grant told The Nassau Guardian.

“So, we’re doing it in batches and progress our way through the whole allotment of 42.”

Grant was unable to provide the details for the “commercial arrangements” of the homes.

Hurricane Dorian, which impacted portions of Abaco and Grand Bahama in September 2019, caused more than $3 billion in damage.

An estimated 70,000 people were left homeless.

In December, the government broke ground on a new community center and storm shelter in Central Pines.

The DRA in partnership with the Bahamas Hope Foundation, Sol Relief, and Ernst and Young, will build the center, which was expected to open last month.

On Saturday, Grant said the center remains a priority for the authority.

“One of the things that we’re faced with, with that same structure is that we’ve had some challenges with the design of it,” he said when asked for an update.

“I wouldn’t say challenges, but some delays associated with the design of it because we’re looking to ensure that the design is done to the highest codes that are available right now. We’re looking to build as much resilience and as much eco-friendly, green aspects of this building, so we paid a lot of attention to designing a structure that really should be able to be self-sufficient, should we have a loss of utilities.”

Grant said there were delays with construction because the site “encountered some cavities”, which had to be addressed.

He was unable to say when the center will open.

“It’s been delayed several weeks,” he said.

Grant noted that the authority is still focusing on cleaning up Dorian-related debris on the islands. 

He said it is still dealing with “very large amounts” of hurricane debris.

“In particular, in Abaco, some persons are just returning … to their homes and beginning the process of demolition, demucking, cleaning up, which continues the generation of debris,” Grant said.

“Currently, we have three debris management sites opened and one transfer station. There is a debris management site in Treasure Cay and Spring City, Abaco, and then we’ve brought online the Green Turtle Cay transfer station. In all of those areas, there is still significant amounts of debris being generated and taken into our DMS (debris management sites) on a daily basis.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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