In response to the circulations in newspapers and broad discussions on social media, after consulting with local business owners, I found it necessary to offer a response regarding proposed projects for Andros.
Firstly, we as Androsians need to simply pump the breaks on judgment towards investment in Andros.
We need to know the details of the said project.
The information being circulated here on the ground and what is being reported is a big contrast, so it is in our best interest to rather seek understanding because even the MP says that he is unaware of such a project.
It would appear to me that the news media have gotten this wrong and that they have compiled three separate proposals into one, which is confusing and misleading.
The issue is not giving Androsians a clear understanding of what it is that is actually being proposed or offered to us and how it will affect us today and our children later and grandchildren in the future.
I’m not suggesting the project is a good one or that it’s a bad one; what I’m saying is that it is evident that we don’t have enough information as yet to make a decision, and those who are jumping on this are trying to pre-empt us from finding out what opportunities are ahead for us and we have to ask ourselves, “why?”
Some are even suggesting this project should go to Freeport.
What really needs to happen is that we the people should get full transparency on the proposals and maybe the investors would want to invest in both Freeport and Andros.
I think we have to be careful not to pass early judgment and take a side.
I was very much against the early proposal for a mining project here in North Andros.
I lead objection to it; however, I was able to review those plans and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks.
Since then, the scenarios have changed. For example, there is no more barging of water to New Providence; reverse osmosis plants have taken over.
This is different, and we can’t allow history to represent us as the sleeping giant that never progressed because its people fought against all manner of investment simply out of fear of losing control of something that we never had power over, which is the land here in Andros.
The government alone is unable to move our island forward. We need private investments.
Government spending alone won’t do it. We need an influx of new money, foreign direct and domestic investment dollars.
We just need to choose the best option to support what we have outlined within the Andros development plan.
I love Grand Bahama. It’s my second home next to Andros.
I’ve lived there and I want to see that island rise just as much I do Andros, but we have lost investment to Grand Bahama before.
It would be a shame for us to lose on this, here, simply out of ignorance or fear.
Those before us had the benefits of a false economy – an era where pushing investors away was easy because they benefited from an economy that allowed them to educate their children.
We do not share that luxury and we have to consider future Androsians.
We have had a brain drain in our community over the past 30 plus years.
We must work towards creating an economy that will keep some of our brighter minds home and attract other great minds from around the country, so let’s not rush to judgment but rather examine the opportunities that are before us.
Lastly, I would like the public to understand the facts as they are thus far on these matters.
The information I received is that the North Andros Council was contacted in reference to the proposed mining project only.
The developers’ request was to simply update the district council and to seek their support of the project when presented to the government.
The council met and made a determination and is in the process of drafting a letter of response to the developer outlining its position and recommendations, inclusive of, but not limited to, an environmental impact assessment.
Feedback from the respective township members and other community members suggest that once the investors can agree to those terms, the council will not stand in the way of what might be economically beneficial to the people of North Andros.
— Darin C. Bethell
North Andros Chamber of