‘Dome City’ Will Be In Use Two Years

A model of the Family Relief Centre’s dome structure that will include plumbing, drainage, a sewer system, and electricity. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

A model of the Family Relief Centre’s dome structure that will include plumbing, drainage, a sewer system, and electricity. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff


Deputy Chief Reporter


The $6.4m temporary dome city in Abaco is expected to only be in use for two years, according to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

During an update of Abaco post-hurricane, Dr Minnis also disclosed officials are eyeing a Wednesday start date for commercial flights at Leonard M Thompson International Airport and are expecting schools there to be opened in January 2020.  Additional economic concessions are also under consideration for the storm devastated island, Dr Minnis added.

Seven weeks after Dorian pummelled the island, the prime minister urged Bahamians who sought temporary relief in the United States to come home. He said they were needed to help with the rebuilding efforts and reiterated that additional steps had been taken to enforce security measures.

Dr Minnis said government was ensuring they would be accommodated at the family relief centre, adding a similar concept was being planned for Grand Bahama.

“The rebuilding of Abaco is going to take a long time but the rebuilding has begun,” Dr Minnis told reporters yesterday during a press conference following visits to Abaco and its cays over the weekend.

“We must rebuild with great care and attention so that Abaco and the Abaco cays are stronger and more resilient especially in the face of threats from climate change (that) include stronger hurricanes and rising sea levels.

“My team visited the site for the family relief centre. The land has already been cleared. Infrastructure materials are arriving. Trailers for the workers to build the domes are at the site.

“The infrastructure from the family relief centre will remain in place to accommodate permanent housing on the same site, which is near the Spring City Subdivision and the temporary domes will be removed as individuals and families move to their permanent location.

“The family relief centre will be located on government land and will be enclosed and it is anticipated that the family relief centre will be in place for approximately 24 months or two years.”

There have been concerns that the centre is being constructed near a well field in Spring City. However, Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis said this was untrue.

Dr Minnis also said: “I know that Bahamians were placed in shelters in the Florida area and I would have said repeatedly that those Bahamians must now return back because the US would have given them a certain length of time and many of them will be accommodated if they’re from Abaco. They will be accommodated in the family relief centres that we’re constructing and similarly in Grand Bahama.

“Accommodations are being made for them to return to because they are needed to help rebuild our Bahamas.”

While work has begun in various settlements of Abaco, Dr Minnis said there was still a long road to recovery and reconstruction ahead.

He said because Marsh Harbour and the adjacent areas are larger and contain more public infrastructure than the Abaco cays, these communities would require considerably more reconstruction.

“Even as we rebuild Marsh Harbour and the adjacent communities we are working to rebuild the cays as quickly as possible and this will help with economic recovery in general and will help the people on the Abaco mainland to recover.

“For example Elbow Cay employed approximately 400 people from Marsh Harbour. The quicker communities like Hope Town and Elbow Cay are rebuilt the more employment there is for residents of the mainland.

“In addition to general reconstruction efforts we must get as much regular economic activity as possible going throughout Abaco including in areas not destroyed by hurricane Dorian.

“But allow me to emphasise that the central government is deploying hundreds of government personnel from every ministry and major agencies on the ground to coordinate and to help with recovery and reconstruction,” Dr Minnis also said.

“We are ensuring security. We are boosting security and ensuring proper security on the ground.

“Those who break the law will be dealt with appropriately and prosecuted. I want to repeat this, those who break our laws will be dealt with and prosecuted. Law and order are essential for rebuilding.

“We have had to reestablish the workings and the instruments of government on the ground. This is the largest deployment of government personnel in the history of our country in the aftermath of a natural disaster.”

The prime minister said beginning this week, Abaco residents will be able to utilise the government’s ‘one stop shop’ in their rebuilding efforts.

The ‘one stop shop’ facility includes the Ministry of Works, Department of Environmental Health, Department of Customs, local government, the National Insurance Board, Department of Inland Revenue and the Small Business Development Centre.


Godson 1 year, 2 months ago

This is a bad idea! Indeed, it is waste of tax payers money. An abuse of office I say.

The after affect of hurricane Dorian presented an opportunity to engage the workforce and develop critically needed construction skills in The Bahamas. In particular, rather than our young men be shooting and killing themselves everyday, I would have engage as much of our young men so that they can learn the basic construction skills by building temporary housing made out of texture 1 x 11 plywood - properly strapped for strong winds. This would have cost much less than these igloos and the material would be useful after the period of use.

We continue to strengthen foreign interest above our people's best interest.


joeblow 1 year, 2 months ago

I can only wonder who profited from such a poorly planned and executed idea!


sheeprunner12 1 year, 2 months ago

The Government did not execute mandatory evacuation .......... it definitely cannot compel anyone to go back to GB or Abaco and on Govt terms.

Many Bahamians will prefer to live under a tarp over their damaged home, than to live in these igloos ......... or live in Nassau and migrate to and fro to complete home repairs.


TheMadHatter 1 year, 2 months ago

"... the US would have given them a certain length of time and many of them will be accommodated if they’re from Abaco. They will be accommodated in the family relief centres that we’re constructing and similarly in Grand Bahama.:

...... why "many of them"? Why not "all of them" ? What is the deciding factor/s to determine who gets accommodated and who gets kicked out on the streets with the rats?

How can they be accomodated in structures that the govt is constructING. That's ING. In other words, they have not been constructed yet. So where are they going to live NOW.

Why is he ordering people to return home (like they are communists by the way) - when they have NOWHERE to live EVEN IF they had somewhere to live in Abaco - where will food and water come for them to drink?

Also, Iram Lewis must not be aware of the reason "Spring City" was called Spring City. That's where the water "springs" are. That's where the underground water caverns are. So putting structures there (like there have been in the past) for people to be throwing garbage on the ground including batteries (both car batteries and nickel-cadmium batteries) to rust away and go into the water table, and people changing oil in their cars and pouring the old oil on the ground to go into the water table, and people having leaking car radiators for the radiator fluid to leak and go into the water table, and people having leaking transmissions (plenty) for tran fluid to leak and go into the water table ....

Where does he believe the drinking water in Abaco comes from?

Also, why do they say only 2 years? If the tooth fair planning to visit and put money under all these people's pillows so they can buy houses?

He is saying they should come home. Why? Should they come home and live in this disgusting 4th world (&#*@@() along with the rest of us? How will that help?


TheMadHatter 1 year, 2 months ago

Also - HOW WILL THEY GET BACK? These people have no money. They were taken over free of charge by Celebration Cruises ? They went with the shirts on their backs and the documents. Now all of a sudden they can buy plane tickets? And plane tickets from Florida into Freeport on what airline? None are flying into Freeport.


ohdrap4 1 year, 2 months ago

Many children of abaconians were born in the US, so they can stay as american citizens and facilitate their relatives status as well. The dome city is where the MUDD is relocated.


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