0

Fnm Deputy Asks If We Should Rebuild After The Hurricane

photo

K Peter Turnquest

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest said yesterday that stakeholders should consider whether it is wise to rebuild islands like Crooked Island following the devastation that Hurricane Joaquin has left in its wake.

In the wake of the category four storm, some Bahamians have suggested that it may be in the country’s long-term interest not to focus costly recovery efforts on rebuilding an island that may prove particularly susceptible to climate change’s harsh impact.

“I think all sensible people would want to consider those kinds of things,” Mr Turnquest said yesterday at a press conference at FNM headquarters, when asked to respond to this suggestion.

“Unfortunately, we live in very low-lying areas and there are very few places that you can rebuild that will provide you with any significant amount of protection from these things and, of course, we have to consider the transitional, generational living accommodations of these communities. Certainly I would not suggest that we would want to engage in any of that kind of discussions without the residents, being the chief stakeholders, having the predominant say. I take the point that we do have to be aware and cognisant of the fact that we do have global warming and climate change and they are going to have an affect on these communities in the long-term.”

“How exactly we go about rebuilding and ensuring that the infrastructure is built in a manner that is going to be sustainable, I would leave that to the engineers and planners, but it is a legitimate consideration.”

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis and members of his party travelled to Acklins, Crooked Island and San Salvador on Monday to assess the area. Dr Minnis was also part of a delegation led by Prime Minister Perry Christie which visited storm affected islands over the weekend.

Dr Minnis said on Saturday, the FNM set the wheels in motion to mobilize resources in order to reach affected residents and assisted in the coordination of more than five flights and more than a dozen motor vessels into various islands carrying needed supplies.

He said the FNM established a command centre on Monday night to better help coordinate the assistance being offered.

He said the party also intends to work with all government agencies and directly with residents on the ground.

He said the party has also secured $25,000 worth of construction supplies for the Family Islands.

Forty-six residents were evacuated from the most devastated settlements in Crooked Island on Monday with the help of British naval planes and small aircraft operators.

A few hundred residents live in Crooked Island.

Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade has told The Tribune that if the evacuation had not taken place, many residents would have had to sleep outside or in subpar conditions.

One woman, Cynthia Williams, had spent nights since the storm passed sleeping in a nearby airplane hangar with her son while some people shared homes with upwards of 20 people.

When this newspaper arrived at Crooked Island Monday, scores of residents had just been brought by helicopter from Landrail Point and surrounding settlements – which were completely inaccessible because of debris and flooding – to the Colonel Hill airport. The scene there was sombre as children clung to their mothers and others sat in disbelief that all of their possessions were completely lost as the result of Joaquin’s strong winds and storm surges.

Many of them said they were hungry and appealed to anyone who could help to send food, water and tarps to cover their roofless homes.

Homes and buildings across the island were destroyed by the storm. Walls were knocked down, roofs torn off and floodwater gushed into the structures. Power lines and trees were also uprooted by Joaquin’s wrath.

Long Island, Acklins, Rum Cay and San Salvador were also battered by the hurricane.

Prime Minister Perry Christie, representatives of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), a government delegation and members of the media travelled to Crooked Island and other southern islands for an assessment and aid distribution on Tuesday.

Comments

TalRussell 3 years, 8 months ago

The Comrades of the red party's recommendation translates to telling the last resident Crooked Island to shut off the lights on their way off the island - should fuel the anger of all island loving Bahamalanders.
Is this the best plan they have come the 2017 General? Is the complete displacement of your settlements what will happen to our islanders under a new red regime government?
I am sure a new red regime government would soon find some foreigner who would jump at such an opportunity to combine for the cheap price - an entire group of settlements while recreating an entire island into their profit making paradise.
Some may see this as clearing out the poor Bahamalanders to make way for the rich foreigner. But maybe not. Could just be me.

1

banker 3 years, 8 months ago

It's just you. The Canadian government is doing the same thing and relocating remote outposts and settlements in Labrador, Canada. They are paying residents $270,000 each household to move to the nearest big city. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoun...">http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoun... Its a very pragmatic thing to do. Providing services for a few is very expensive.

4

iamatruebahamian 3 years, 8 months ago

If you think that's a good idea go live in Canada, Do we have a brain of are own, you people always wants to do what other countries do every time A BAHAMIAN suggests something its stupid right? We need to think with empathy.

3

Greentea 3 years, 8 months ago

Generally u make sense- but this sheet this man talking sounds like George Bush after hurricane Katrina in relation to New Orleans. THE WHOLE BAHAMAS is being impacted by global warming. Are we going to relocate the WHOLE population of the Bahamas? Where? Como Hill? During hightide, water floods properties in The Grove in the Middle of Nassau!! He is a Dumbass and if you believe its ok or even a real solution then in this case- you are too.

1

banker 3 years, 8 months ago

It's all fine and dandy to rebuild, and create something new and wonderful, and I am all for that. However, I am looking from the economics of it. The Family Islands do not have enough economic output to warrant the investment. Unfortunately, the government, with its idiot prime minister as finance minister, doesn't have the knowledge, insight or brains to figure out that there is not enough economic output to bring Nassau's infrastructure to civilised, modern standards -- never mind the Family Islands.

Some of my ancestors came from Moss Town, Exuma, which is now a virtual ghost town. It used to be a thriving agricultural community that raised tomatoes, vegetables and fruits for itself and for Nassau. But the way that they lived, was quite regressive. I wouldn't want to live that way.

They had cess pits. There was no electricity. They used to run and hide in hurricane houses until the storm was over. There was no ice. They would shop by mail boat which took forever. However, their economic output (raising and sending produce to Nassau) supported their rustic lifestyle.

To support the building of a modern way of life in the Family Islands, one first has to figure out how they would earn a living, and it would have to be commensurate enough to offset the high cost of energy and infrastructure to support that mode of earning a living. I think that we have moved beyond the agrarian, fishing homesteading type of life that the residents once lived. Heck, we can't even figure out how to employ people in Nassau.

Even if you chose agriculture, we don't need as many people as was required in the past. With mechanization and a thrust towards agri-business, we could have massive farms with very few people.

It is a tough nut to crack. We simply do not have enough money to create and maintain a modern infrastructure amongst a non-contiguous land mass, separated by miles and miles of ocean that is more expensive to cross than by say driving a truck. Technology may provide some answers, but at a price that we cannot afford. There is not enough human capital to make a difference as well.

I would like to hear your ideas on how you would economically support a refurbishment proposal in the Family Islands. We all would.

1

paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like UN Agenda 21, use the lie of globaloney to scare people into leaving their homes to move into 'compact urban areas' where they can be surveilled, controlled, and eliminated.

Yeah, I know, sounds conspiratorial, and it is; as UN Agenda 21 documents well demonstrate.

0

birdiestrachan 3 years, 8 months ago

No it would be wrong to abandon their Island homes. Who knows where the Hurricane will strike next, It may be the same place they have relocated to. If they start that there should be some very cheap beach front property and I would love to have a piece. And the very Canadians mentioned will be buying their share.

2

proudloudandfnm 3 years, 8 months ago

Of course we should rebuild, but rebuild properly. Elevate the homes and make processed sand a pre-requisite. Rebuild them so they can survive any storm.....

Hey we have VAT now. Put those billions to work. no excuses.....

If they do not rebuild then NO BAHAMIANS should ever pay VAT ever again....

4

CatIslandBoy 3 years, 8 months ago

It will take thoughtful, progressive, pragmatic, and forward thinking younger generations, like Mr. Turnquest, to move this country forward. We cannot progress by always looking in the rear-view mirror. Of course it makes sense to absorb the small populations from some of these far-flung islands into a few of the larger islands. Services could be more efficient, and much of the costs associated with governing could be eliminated. A world of possibilities could be opened up for these non-resident islands; e.g. large scale farming, livestock, manufacturing, etc. At least there should be a national discussion around this possibility before rejecting the idea outright.

3

The_Oracle 3 years, 8 months ago

This is the result of the lack of planning and foresight of the last 40 years. We have arrived at the inevitable destination of a broke visionless Government being responsible for the accumulated errors of the last and prior broke and visionless Governments, along with their own daily screw ups! A little common sense tells us that the infrastructural costs are higher per capital than in many other nations due to the far flung nature of the islands. The compounding factor is the Nassau centric Hub/center of the world mentality of both Government and Civil Service and the Nassau Merchants. Fix the latter, and consolidate infrastructural costs. Example: Build a runway elevated well above the surrounding terrain, using fill from the digging of a Harbor/creek as near as possible. Build a solid concrete terminal with Concrete roof building to serve for transport AND as a Hurricane shelter. If the islands are hit again, the first flights will not be faced with underwater runways and even if they do get submerged they will quickly drain into the surrounding area. Also the first flights will find they become natural hubs for the people they are checking on/and supplying! Yes it will cost money, but is the solution to just dump a few hundred or a thousand more people into Nassau? Government cannot build housing fast enough for Nassauvians to not make their mortgage payments on now as it is, and a couple days/weeks housing for these displaced out islanders is not going to cut it. The lack of a non political master plan si glaring, and for either political party to propose one guarantees the other will screw it up or kill it. BTW, we have been doing that since the Chechi (sp?) report of 1968-69! A wonderful plan probably still 90% valid! Ya just can't fix stupid.......

1

DDK 3 years, 8 months ago

You make good sense! Ever think of running for P.M.?

0

avidreader 3 years, 8 months ago

No community is the same after such a severe hurricane. Current in North Eleuthera is not the same after Hurricane Andrew in August, 1992. There are whole communities in Abaco that were relocated after severe storms almost a century ago and other communities that lost a great proportion of their population who moved to New Providence in the aftermath of severe hurricanes in 1926 and 1929. The terrible truth is that many of the homes that were destroyed and/or damaged were not in top shape to start with and were most likely under insured or completely uninsured. Keep in mind that "catastrophe" insurance coverage is about 3 times as costly as coverage that excludes "catastrophic" loss such as that suffered during the passage of a strong hurricane. It is virtually impossible for the government to assume the role of insurer of last resort for private citizens.

2

TalRussell 3 years, 8 months ago

Comrade Avidreader you really pushing the expectations envelope, so can we start with our national government replacing the long ago dead damn batteries in satellite phones the islands are superpose to be relying on for communications in times of emergencies. And, of course there are the airports radars with their worn out parts rendering them as useless as the cabinet members and ALL members of the House of Assembly and Senate. Have you ever before seens such a worthless cesspit of human waste posing as as a government of official opposition. Good God, collectively they is even more helpless than the hurricane victims now finds themselves in.

1

Observer 3 years, 8 months ago

Now is the ideal time to revamp those family island settlements that were washed out by the hurricane. New townships with modern amenities should be established on more elevated land to accommodate 400 to 1000 people, in the more sparsely populated islands.

1

The_Oracle 3 years, 8 months ago

Avid reader they will try to anyway, just as they want to be the provider of good health via National health insurance. Does anyone really want their health subject to typical government incompetence? Typical Government shortages? Typical Government graft? Typical Government organization? Typical Government timelines?

4

themessenger 3 years, 8 months ago

If anything the government should do the reverse and rusticate instead, decentralize and move people from Nassau to the islands, providing infrastructure obviously and funding/grants instead of pissing money away on the likes of BAMSI and BoB, thereby relieving the pressure cooker that Nassau has become. Just think Birdie, all that crown land just waiting for sons of the soil like you. Successive governments should have long since invested heavily in infrastructure on the larger islands to encourage sensible migration of our population and diversity of our economy. Where there is no vision the people perish.

3

EasternGate 3 years, 8 months ago

It is time to be sensible. Stop spoiling Bahamians. We can not afford to administer some of these far flung Family Islands. In fact, the residents have been depopulating for years. As soon as children get old enough the abscond never to return, except for home commings

4

The_Oracle 3 years, 8 months ago

Correct Eastern Gate, except that they aught to be able to administer and empower themselves with the correct "Local Government" legislation. This Nassau central reality of political micro management has created the meagre out island reality. It has created the Nassau Population explosion, has contributed to the Crime in Nassau, the over burdened infrastructure.

1

My2cents 3 years, 8 months ago

Exactly. The government should be offering incentives for people to relocate to the far flung islands, establish or relocate businesses and encourage real local governance instead of abandoning them. Building codes and standards can easily be implemented and enforced to avoid future disasters of this magnitude.

0

GrassRoot 3 years, 8 months ago

This Government will make the same mistakes again, will build at the same places again, will waste money again to build something, restore something that will be gone again in the next storm. This Government has no clue, no brains. They don't know any better. What can you expect from People that were in Politics during 40 years on an island the size of New Providence? The world has moved on. we didn't. I suggest that only Bahamians that have an education, lived abroad for a while and are not older than 30 can run for a MP or ministerial position.

1

John 3 years, 8 months ago

So do we just leave the Southern islands for the Haitians then?

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 8 months ago

Now there's an idea. Bring the Bahamians here and send the illegal Haitians there.

1

TalRussell 3 years, 8 months ago

Comrades which cabinet minister told the international media that the natives had no fear of Hurricane Joaquin - cuz they knows how run to hide in the caves?
More importantly. what portfolio is this minister charged with overseeing on behalf of all the citizens residents and tourists?
When I says you cant's makes this stuff up - you really cant's.

0

MonkeeDoo 3 years, 8 months ago

The discussion seems to assume that New Providence is immune to catastrophe ! How did all that sand get up on Collins Hill where they cut through. No volcanos here. But now we have allowed the southern hills to be cut down for roadways and one day the sea will flow from South Beach to Bay Street. Hurricane Ivan pushed water all over Grand Cayman because they have no natural barriers. Our Government needs to save a little money for a rainey day because its coming soon to an island near you.

3

The_Oracle 3 years, 8 months ago

And that would have been (or God forbid it happen, will be) catastrophic beyond any imagination. It would truly be the end. We have ben hit by at least 5 serious storms since Andrew and al we have learned is A) Bahamians will help each other B) we are a tough bunch that can pull together and C) you cannot count on Government. Government created NEMA and passed legislation but it seems A) you cannot legislate competency, B) you can try to appropriate the work effort and resources of others C) apparently you can B.S. at least 50% of the population repeatedly.

2

MonkeeDoo 3 years, 8 months ago

And now i see NEMA begging for money ! Jesus on a raft ! Chipman better get a grip on this. COB don't produce accounts so why expect NEMA too. Bahamians are true FOOLS !

1

Greentea 3 years, 8 months ago

This is about the dumbest thing I have heard to come from a politicians mouth in - what at Least the last 24 hours! Crooked Island. Long Island, Acklins all have a higher elevation than Grand Bahama. We already cut down all the hills in Nassau and during high tide water comes up out of the ground in parts of the inner city- I have seen it with my own eyes. If a hurricane strikes the northern Bahamas water would be across the island from sea to shining sea. Where will we run then. There is nowhere to go dumbass! You have been given the 700- protect, develop the 700! Now is the time to do something progressive with the southern islands, that could benefit the entire country. Experiment with new forms of electricity generation. Insist that homes are buildt in a certain way, subsidize this if anything. Design houses that can collect water like in Bermuda and Guyana. Do something innovative for God's sake. Head Knowles, LBT and all the Bahamians working together demonstrates the impressive level of guts this country has. Why are our leaders blind as damn bats?

1

Dashy 3 years, 8 months ago

It is amazing how we can speak from the bottom of our feet when it doesn't impact us. Some persons on those islands have invested there entire life savings to live and relocate there and your conclusion is to just pack up and leave. Global warming affects the entire chain of islands and the same issue could occur right here in Nassau. If this what the new hope of the FNM has to offer I am not impressed, this is not visionary thinking but backward progression. Agreed that this would then just be sold to another foreign investor who would then take advantage of our stupidity and greed as a nation and develop into something else. Nassaunis already overpopulated and becoming unlivable with all the crime and other social Issues. We as Bahamians should be encouraged to go back to our family islands and invest and rebuild and improve them Not just abandon them!!! FNM you are slowly not becoming an option for me!!!!

1

lazybor 3 years, 8 months ago

unbelievablehttp://s02.flagcounter.com/mini/rzN/b..." border="0" width="1" />

0

TruePeople 3 years, 8 months ago

Bey, They just want y'all move off the real estate so it can be resold to international millionaires for extortionate amounts. They gone convince you what you have is worthless, give it up! but when it gone Jah kno you ein gone see it nor a cent of its value

1

paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 8 months ago

Bingo! You've hit it. This is the scam of scams: scare people off their land and into cities, by using Globaloney as the big, bad, boogieman.

Get them into cities and falsely claim their former homelands are 'too dangerous' to inhabit.

And then, after a discrete interval, those very dangerous and beautiful lands are divvied up amongst the Elites who hate humanity and want the planet as their own private sandbox.

This scheme has been underway for quite some time, and fortunately thanks to the Net, people are beginning to see it for the genocidal scam it's always been.

Best. Comment. Read. In. Months.

Thank you for stating the truth.

0

proudloudandfnm 3 years, 8 months ago

Seems both Minnis and Turnquest are suffering from foot in mouth disease....

1

TalRussell 3 years, 8 months ago

The fact is that Comrade Peter the deputy leader Her Majesty's Official Opposition would make such a statement about bulldozing all the settlements of Crooked Island down is proof the opposition party is not working smart at winning the 2017 General. But I will let his statement speak for how badly his red party can expect to do come the 2017 General.
My sources are telling me weeks back that Peter is to be dropped from the list of the red party's 2017 General candidates - makes sense cuz the reds up in the House of Assembly are done acting publicly like it is every MP for themselves.
I mean Loretta got her hurricane relief project and Minnis says he got a red party's official one set up at their Mackey Street headquarters. ( not that you may have heard of its existence), Even the red party's official newspaper got's they own hurricane relief going. Some say the Green party's morning newspaper going alone with theirs - making no mention Green party association.

.

0

Sign in to comment