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Ruined Ragged Will Rise Again

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on a trip to Inagua on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on a trip to Inagua on Wednesday.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

DAYS after Ragged Island was ravaged by Hurricane Irma and deemed not fit for residents by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, he announced the government’s intention to “transform” it into the first fully “green” island in the region.

The prime minister explained renewable energy and smart technology from solar energy and sustainable water purification systems will be utilised for this effort with the help of residents and descendants of the island.

To further support these efforts, Dr Minnis said the government will seek not only the assistance of Bahamians, but look to international counterparts.

However, he did not reveal a cost to be associated with this undertaking, adding Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest would offer details at a later date on the price tag of Hurricane Irma’s related costs.

On Monday, Dr Minnis urged the remaining 18 residents on the island to evacuate as he warned health and safety conditions there would worsen in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Rotting animal carcasses and the destruction of all essential services, led Dr Minnis to strongly urge those still on Ragged Island to leave until the small community can be restored.

Despite this, residents of the island said Tuesday they were determined to go back home immediately and rebuild despite the decimation left by Irma.

“I assure the wonderful people of Ragged Island that their island will be rebuilt,” Dr Minnis told Parliament yesterday during his communication on the government’s preparation and restoration in the aftermath of the monster hurricane.

Earlier in his address Dr Minnis said: “Tragically, Hurricane Irma essentially destroyed Ragged Island.

“Most homes are destroyed or severely damaged. Power lines are down. Utilities are non-functioning. Public buildings including the government operated school, the clinic and other public facilities are severely damaged.

“Ragged Island will have to be rebuilt through a compilation of private and public efforts. I am pleased that Ragged Islanders throughout The Bahamas have come forward to offer their assistance for recovery and rebuilding.

“The government will evacuate the remaining residents from Ragged Island, (for) those who want to leave by Thursday of this week. Those who evacuated previously have the opportunity to briefly return in order to retrieve any valuables and other items not destroyed by the hurricane.

“An environmental team will be sent in to dispose and to engage in a major cleanup of Ragged Island. Only then can additional recovery efforts begin.”

“In partnership with the residents of Ragged Island, my government proposes to transform Ragged Island into the first fully green island in the region.

“Utilising renewable energy and smart technologies from solar energy through sustainable water purification systems.

“To do this we seek all Bahamians and international assistance of all friends of Ragged Island and friends of the Bahamas.

“Out of the devastation and destruction, a new Ragged Island will emerge including stronger building codes, improved zoning and strategies to mitigate against climate change and rising sea levels.

“Ragged Island can emerge as a new model for sustainable communities throughout the Bahamas and the region,” Dr Minnis also told parliamentarians yesterday.

The prime minister said as a low lying, small island developing country, the Bahamas must create new mindsets and protocols in this era of “super storms.”

“Toward this end the government will convene a panel of experts to study, advise and report on efforts the Bahamas must take in response to the threat posed by the frequent and more severe hurricanes some of which may be monster storms.”

“We must be better prepared for hurricanes which affect the entire archipelago and multiple islands in our island chain.

“Mr Speaker over the past several years it is becoming clearer and clearer to us that in far too many cases buildings in the Bahamas have been and are still being approved for construction that are not up to code.

“We need buildings that can withstand an Irma. We cannot be in the business of saving money over saving lives.

“Unfortunately, there are also some buildings that are built and owned by the government of the Bahamas that have been found wanting in regard to code standard. In light of the increasing power and frequency of hurricanes, I am therefore asking the Minister of Works (Desmond Bannister) to review our building codes and to ensure that building code enforcement becomes a much greater focus of our administration.

“NEMA’s task in between every hurricane season will be to provide the Cabinet with recommendations regarding how New Providence and Grand Bahama can survive a direct hit from a hurricane the size and force of Irma with no to little loss of life and with decreasing property damage. That is the kind of resilience we must develop throughout the Bahamas,” Dr Minnis also said.

He said at an appropriate time, NEMA would be instructed to conduct a full scale after action report to look at what systems and protocols worked and which ones either failed or were not up to par.

This, he said, includes the readiness of shelters throughout the country at the time Hurricane Irma hit.

Comments

BahamaPundit 3 years ago

Let's take this time to realize that Ragged Island is symbolic for the entire Bahamas. Its hurricane wrecked status is a metaphor for New Providence's faded glory. Bay Street, once teaming with high roller tourists puffing cigars and buying Rolexes has been replaced by corpse-like cruise visitors that sneer at $2 straw hats. Let's take this time to remember that Ragged Island is We. Once the envy of the world financial centers, with thousands of IBCs incorporated each month, now a ghost town of FACTA and OECD. We are Ragged Island my fellow Bahamians. Our crime and murders are ragged. Our BGCSE D average is ragged. Our corrupted politicians are ragged. Our 7 billion dollar debt is ragged. And, most importantly, our pride and love for one another is completely ragged. Irma, blow over this ragged chain of islands, blow. For not a structure remains standing and looters roam the streets.

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banker 3 years ago

Part of the reasons why we is like we is, is the thousands of IBCs incorporated each month, mostly for nefarious activities.

I once listened to a discourse by Julian Francis, the ex-governor of the Central Bank. He said that if we adopted commercial banking instead of wealth management and tax havens, and we had divested BTC long ago to an American carrier, we would have a different Bahamas. Perhaps one that looks like little Switzerland. Legitimate folks and businesses would bank with us as a hedge against exposure to American banks. And with an excellent communications infrastructure, we could have been a world-class commercial center instead of a dodgy tax haven.

Instead we gat a fookin' crook, half-azzed yardie criminal Swindling running the country, sowing the seeds to drive us into the ground and make us all crumb-catchers and beggars at da rich man's table. Baha Mar and the Chinese financing us is more of the same.

We deserve better. This time on earth is OUR lives, and we have a population who's majority consists of functional illiterates, poorly socialised people with no family values and no prospects.

I listened online (youtube) to a video of a new FNM MP at his first constituency meeting. What is the first thing that he said (within the first five sentences)? -- I een yer babies daddy! That's where we are. Young women rushing to open their legs and give their front to an MP just to get consideration to get by in life. That is the PLP legacy of this country. And that is why we have no where to go but down.

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BahamaPundit 3 years ago

There is no question in my mind that Ragged Island must be rebuilt! Its proximity to Cuba will be priceless in the future, as Cuba rises to prominence. What is more, that which you do not use, you lose. If we abandon this island, Cuba and other nationalities will invade and annex Ragged Island. Ragged island is a key demarcation of our soveriegn territory. Further, if World War 3 breaks out, it will be a good location to escape the global fallout and catch non-radioactive fish.

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TalRussell 3 years ago

Comrades! I hope PM Minnis, isn't budgeting to rebuild Ragged Island, out the couple pennies his government got paid by CCRI?
Did PM Minnis, position the Bahamaland to get shafted by the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance (CCRI), only but days after running before the media to brag how his red shirts regime had just written a $2.6 million catastrophic insurance premium cheque from the peoples public treasury to CCRI? Remember, this is the same PM Minnis who said he had instructed his attorney general to look into why former prime minister "Snow White" Christie, had stopped paying catastrophic insurance premiums to CCRI? For the record.PM Minnis paid out a $2.6 million premium, and CCRI days later wrote his government back a cheque for $234,000 to cover hurricane Irma's damages.
I hope the air conditioning if working well up in the cabinet boardroom - cause before the dust does settle on hurricane Irma, they going need it to reduce the temperature building up in that red shirts cabinet room. Comrades, come the 2022 General - we is going needs a real revolution!. { I can't make this up! }.

  • Shaft (1971) - Trailer -

...................////https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1ga1...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1ga1...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years ago

Minnis has been harping on and on about "green" technology, especially solar power, ever since the last general election. It is becoming all too obvious that the FNM received significant campaign funding from a major supporter with a huge vested interest in securing lucrative government contracts for rolling-out solar power throughout the Bahamas. The fix for these contracts is already in for the favoured major FNM supporter as the quid pro quo for the significant campaign contributions made to the FNM. So don't expect the Minnis-led FNM government to genuinely seek tenders for these lucrative "green" contracts. Rest assured there will be no fair bidding process, if there is one at all, and I just cannot wait to see who gets the lion's share of what will surely be very heavily padded "green" contracts. My oh my.

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TalRussell 3 years ago

Comrades! Any truth to government's hurricane Irma's cheques, are 'bouncing" right out Royal Bank's front door?

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ohdrap4 3 years ago

renewable energy and smart technology from solar energy and sustainable water purification systems will be utilised for this effort with the help of residents and descendants of the island.

Disaster capitalism.

Remember the 2004 tsunami? yep, they removed all the fishing villages and put "green" hotels there.

Solar energy is easy to obtain, but very expensive to store, way more expensive than BPL.

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TalRussell 3 years ago

Comrades! The frustration with alternative electricity sources is, the costs can never become attractive for households and businesses - after the government of the day- tacks on VAT, fuel surcharges, over and under usage taxes on top your electricity consumed monthly bills.
Government will continue with their healthy appetite to suck up as much as they can under the guise taxes and fees from the people and businesses... as much as they can get away with - without a revolt occurring. Case in point. You paid off the loans/mortgages on your place of residence but the government still taxes you on what they say the value your property is. If electricity was free, the government would quickly make it costly for the people who must consume it.

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The_Oracle 3 years ago

The PM may have the right idea, but I do not see him surrounded by the people needed to make it happen. I pray I'm wrong, but sure seems we are still on the road of good intentions.... you know where that leads.

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BONEFISH 3 years ago

Homes on Ragged Island should be rebuilt.Many of the residents don't want to stay any where eelse. The homes will have to be built to the building code. It can be a model for other islands.

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sheeprunner12 3 years ago

Why has the RBDF tent city not being set up down there and family/volunteers come to clean and rebuild the town??????? ........ Stop complaining and get to work!!!!!!!

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