By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Disaster Reconstruction Authority said construction of 100 modular homes in Spring City, Abaco, is expected t0o begin this month.
The units are intended to replace the 100 recreational vehicles (RVs) presently at the Government Complex and will house teachers and public servants.
In an overview of the work done a year after Hurricane Dorian, the DRA noted it has been "working tirelessly" along with other stakeholders and non-profit organisations to assess the storm's Hurricane impact on Grand Bahama and Abaco as well as "help guide the process of rebuilding better and more resilient than before".
Minister of Disaster Preparedness Iram Lewis said: "We knew that part of the process would be reconstruction, but the other half of the work is to make our islands more resilient and ready for the next disaster."
The DRA said as of August 30, more than 4,000 homeowners have registered for repair help.
"As (of) August 30, 2020, 4,335 homeowners have registered for assistance through the Small Home Repair programme, of that 3,166 were approved to date and $10m has been allocated so far for the program," the agency said.
"Also, 210 temporary domes were deployed in conjunction with NEMA throughout the affected areas. (170 Abaco; 40 Grand Bahama). With a generous donation from the Mediterranean Shipping Company Foundation, 20 container homes are currently being constructed for those families in Sweetings Cay whose homes were completely destroyed."
The release further announced 25 of 31 schools affected in the disaster zones will reopen this school year. Although four schools were completely destroyed in East Grand Bahama, the DRA noted the Ministry of Education officials indicated Treasure Cay and East Grand Bahama will have a new comprehensive school.
DRA also stated "100 percent of all medical facilities in Abaco are open and operational" while $20m has been allocated for the ongoing restoration and renovations to the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama.
"The Public Hospitals Authority, and the Grand Bahama Health Services are currently planning the expansion/construction of a new Hospital Facility. The DRA is providing technical assistance through a grant for a Risk Assessment for this very critical Project," added the DRA.
Previously announced plans for two subdivisions were also noted.
"Two 60 acre lots have been conveyed to the DRA for the development of two subdivisions in Spring City and Wilson City. The DRA will hold virtual meetings in the coming weeks with local government and town planning (officials), the Chamber of Commerce, residents, and all other stakeholders for the long-term development and reconstruction of these properties," read the release.
Other projects in the planning stage include community centres/hurricane shelters in Grand Bahama and Abaco, a Marsh Harbour Police and Fire Station, reconstruction of Abaco Port Facilities Marsh Harbour, and Snake Cay landfill redevelopment.
DRA officials previously said $30m has been spent on Hurricane Dorian clean up.