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Govt Urged: 'Secure' Marsh Harbour Port

By YOURI KEMP

The Abaco Chamber of Commerce president has urged the government to “secure” the island’s major shipping port so that commerce can again flow freely and boost post-Dorian recovery.

Ken Hutton, pictured, told Tribune Business that while the November 7 re-opening of Maxwell’s Supermarket would bring “a huge degree of normalcy” back to Marsh Harbour, this could be threatened by an inability to import the necessary inventory.

“If we can get the international sea port secured it can be done,” Mr Hutton said of the planned re-opening. “Right now it is still not secure. “There is no fencing or anything at the sea port, and it is open to any and everyone to just walk on through.

“When the ship comes in and you have cargo, and are unable to take cargo off of the dock immediately, there is no place to leave goods at storage. If the cargo is not cleared by Customs then the shipping companies have to take the risk of the cargo, and the shipping companies are not willing to do that.”

Mr Hutton added: “We need the port secured. We need a full-time presence at the dock, Defense Force officers and police officers, along with Customs in addition to securing the area with proper fencing and surveillance equipment and the other necessary security measures.

“There is also a huge risk of stowaways, too, that international shipping companies are at risk for. There is just no security. Security is the main issue here in Abaco.”

Mr Hutton added that efforts to rebuild Abaco would “really take off” with the return of the commercial banks and financial service. Agreeing that Maxwell’s reopening would be a major boost, he said: “I think it just adds a huge degree of normalcy back to the area.

“People are now dependent on international aid and, with Maxwell’s return, it would make life a little easier. People now have to personally bring food supplies with them every time they come into Abaco, so with the reopening we don’t have to do that any more.”

Comments

avidreader 1 year ago

Also, the banks need to offer services to their clients so that people arriving do not have to bring cash with them in order to transact business. At the moment flights to and from Nassau, Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay are filled with people coming to inspect their properties or what is left of them and then returning to Nassau either the same day or the following day. Dump trucks are racing along the roads and the town smells musty, like garbage. Truly a pitiful sight compared to the days before September 1st. Trucks and cars are lined up to buy gasoline at what remains of the Shell station in what was downtown. The hours of operation are 1000 to 1400 according to what I was told. After dark things are really spooky with few lights visible but the almost full moon was enjoyable two nights ago.

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