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Thirty-two domes completed on Abaco

Thirty-two of the long-awaited temporary dome housing structures in Spring City, Abaco, have been completed, with an additional eight to be set up and a further 10 being installed on individual properties, Brickell Management contractor Phil Robinson said yesterday.

“Thirty-two domes were completed and handed over to the government on Tuesday,” Robinson told The Nassau Guardian.

He added, “[What] you’ve got in the first row is a row of 14, followed by a row of 13, followed by a row of 5.”

“…We’ve also put solar light streetlights up on the front, and we’ve basically…locked the area down.”

According to Robinson, all that is pending now is for them to be occupied, as there’s a fully-functioning bathroom, “all the locks and everything has power to them – everything”.

“Just waiting for them to hand over,” he said.

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian – the most powerful storm on record, which left at least 74 dead and thousands homeless on Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that the government would erect domes as temporary housing for Abaco storm victims.

Last week, Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis said the domes were to be completed by February 28, noting that an earlier projected date of February 20 had not been met due to “utility connections”.

These are the first domes to be completed and ready for residents to move in.

The Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) was still in the process of arranging who will be moving into the units, The Guardian understands.

Originally, the government announced plans for a Family Relief Centre in Spring City to be comprised of 250 domes at a cost of $6.4 million.

Later, the Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) said that individual storm survivors could request to have a dome on their own property instead of being restricted to Spring City.

Robinson said construction of 10 of those individual domes began on Wednesday and would be completed “hopefully within two weeks, barring nothing going wrong”.

“We’ve got another 10 that we’re working on at the moment,” he said.

“We’ve got two in Marsh Harbour itself, you’ve then got four up in Spring City and you’ve got another four in Little Abaco starting from the top of Cooper’s Town [and] going right to the end where the ferry is; and these 10 have been allocated to individual properties, so it’s one to each property.”

‘A big open area’

Lewis told reporters as recently as last week that the domes would have two bedrooms each, but Robinson described them as having an open floor plan of 301 square feet with a bathroom.

Robinson said residents would be able to decide how they lay out their living space.

“It’s just a big open area,” he said.

“You can lay it out however you want to lay it out.”

He elaborated: “Basically, you have a lockable front door with a screen trap for flies and animals.

“You have two windows – one window for the main entrance and one window in the bathroom.

“You have a fully-functional bathroom with [a] commercial standard shower, sink and toilet, fully functional.

“Floor space is 301 square feet; it has four outlets, two lights – one light in the open area, one light in the bathroom, with switches.”

Robinson added, “There’s a further eight bases being put on the ground, so they want eight more.

“The infrastructure is there and waiting for them.”

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