Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday 1,602 passports have been reissued following Hurricane Dorian.
“Mr. Speaker, this is a good place to thank the public officials who worked very hard in assisting with the replacement of so many documents in the wake of Dorian,” Henfield said.
“As I indicated, the Passport Office, Mr. Speaker, replaced some 1,602 passports between the third and 30th of September. Four hundred and eight [in] Grand Bahama. One thousand one hundred and twenty-two from the islands and cays of Abaco.”
Henfield gave the breakdown during his contribution to the Hurricane Dorian (Replacement of Government Issued Documents Exemption from Fees) Bill, 2019, in the House of Assembly.
He described the bill, which was passed in the House yesterday, as “part of our journey toward reclaiming the things that we have lost in the storm”.
“For all intents and purposes, it is deemed to have come into force on the second of September, the day after Dorian made landfall in the Abaco cays and subsequently went on to lash Grand Bahama,” said Henfield, who also serves as MP for North Abaco.
The bill, which was passed yesterday, will allow eligible people from areas impacted by Dorian to be exempted from paying fees to replace documents that were lost or damaged during the storm.
It proposes that individuals who wish to replace documents produce a utility bill with an address or another “satisfactory document showing the name and address” of the applicant.
Dorian devastated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September.
The storm left thousands displaced, hundreds missing and at least 65 dead.