PLP leader Philip Davis. (File photo)
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION Leader Philip "Brave" Davis said the government's promised assistance for Hurricane Dorian's most vulnerable victims is inadequate.
"Almost ten weeks after Dorian, the government is yet to deliver on its promised rebuilding assistance of $10,000 per household to those in the greatest need," he said at a press conference on Sunday. "Recording householders' names does not amount to assistance."
He added: "I don't think the ($10,000) is adequate but that is what they promised but have yet to deliver but since that's what you budgeted to do and promised to do, then do it. I think each case has to be dealt with on its own right and peculiar circumstances. For example, the elderly, who have no source of income other than their pension, they ought to be treated in a particular way. Then I have the single mothers with children with no male figure in the house, they ought to be treated differently and they ought to have developed by now some sort of a social profile of which persons could achieve assistance and it depends on what profile you fall into that dictates what amount of aid will be provided by the government, that's what we expected to happen but most people would need more than $10,000 because that's hardly enough for a roof in some situations."
The Minnis administration hasn't identified its means test for aid recipients. Under the Christie administration, people who fell in one of three categories -- single-parent women, the elderly and the disabled -- were eligible to have their homes rebuilt at the expense of the Public Treasury following Hurricane Joaquin and Hurricane Matthew.
Earlier this month Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis revealed that non-government organisation Samaritan's Purse wants to conduct 1,000 permanent home repairs and whole-house repairs in partnership with local churches and local contractors. The International Red Cross, meanwhile, has committed to repairing 1,000 homes that have received minor to moderate damage and is examining how to provide financial resources to 2,000 households for multi-purpose use, including the replacement of furniture.
According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and related agencies, Hurricane Dorian left almost 3,000 homes uninhabitable, inflicting $1.487 billion worth of damage on the housing sector in the two affected islands: Grand Bahama and Abaco.
"Approximately 9,000 homes, and in excess of 11 million square feet of structures, have sustained some damage on the two islands. On Abaco, more than 75 percent of the dwellings were somehow affected, and approximately 57 percent of the houses were severely damaged. Central Abaco (Marsh Harbour), Treasure Cay, and Hope Town were the most affected locations," the IDB's report found.