Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis will appear on 60 Minutes.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
DESPITE criticism that it has taken too long to get plans off the ground to convert Ragged Island into a sustainable “green” community following Hurricane Irma’s devastation, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis maintains the goal still “absolutely” remains, with plans to expand the effort.
The prime minister will outline how his administration intends to execute this plan during the next edition of 60 Minutes, airing Sunday, March 1, at 7pm on CBS.
Hurricane Irma devastated the island in September 2017, leading Dr Minnis to deem it “unliveable”.
A teaser for the American show was released this week.
In the promo, Dr Minnis tells 60 Minutes: “After Ragged Island was devastated I made a statement: Let us show the world what can be done. We may be small but we can set an example to the world.”
Asked by 60 Minutes journalist Bill Whitaker if it was his goal to make the island green, Dr Minnis replied: “Absolutely, absolutely. After which we can expand it. We can expand it.”
A 60 Minutes crew flew to Ragged Island with Bahamas Power and Light’s CEO Whitney Heastie to view progress of the island’s first hurricane proof solar micro grid.
Unlike others of its kind, this design is very low on the ground and is rated to withstand 180mph winds, an official said.
Last May, the prime minister outlined plans for an $8 million investment in rebuilding key public infrastructure on the island.
He also said candidates had been shortlisted to participate in a request for proposals process for a solar generation facility on the island, with the RFP expected to be published and the facility completed by year’s end.
In September 2017, Dr Minnis promised to transform Ragged Island into the “first fully green island in the region”.
That month he said in the House of Assembly: “Out of the devastation and the destruction, a new Ragged Island will emerge, including stronger building codes, improved zoning, and strategies to mitigate against climate change and rising sea levels.”
However, as months passed, little transformation took place and critics deemed his promise hollow. Dr Minnis also said a school and teacher’s duplex will be constructed on the island at a cost of $2m, a new clinic at $2.5m an administrator’s office, post office and court room at $2.5m and a police station and accommodations for officers for $1m.