By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
The Abaco Chamber of Commerce’s president yesterday urged the government to “get a move on” in developing a comprehensive plan for the island’s post-Hurricane Dorian revival.
Ken Hutton reiterated to Tribune Business that there will be no major improvement in Marsh Harbour until its main strip is fully cleared of all debris, and a structured road map for its reconstruction is agreed by all stakeholders.
“The longer we take to put together a plan then the harder it will be to control things moving forward,” he said. Mr Hutton added that the government also needed to control “persons rebuilding sub-standard accommodations”, and prevent them from “rebuilding in places where they shouldn’t be, and repairing structures that may not be structurally sound”.
Mr Hutton said his message to the government was “to encourage them to get a move on”, while acknowledging that the sort of rebuilding plan required by Abaco takes time to develop and will not materialise overnight.
The Abaco Chamber chief said more than 80 percent of homes in central Abaco have been destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, and added: “The housing situation is precarious at best. They are being repaired, but are they being repaired to the standard? Is there mould remediation taking place? Are they adhering to a better building code, or are people just putting things together just to move into somewhere?”
Mr Hutton, though, backed the government’s intention to make crown land available for the development of housing subdivisions so Abaconians can rebuild. “I think it is an excellent idea for the government to make crown land available for subdivisions,” he added, suggesting it can help control the “wayward construction” that may occur as a result of the current situation.