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Abaco Residents ‘Face Hardship’

Central and South Abaco MP John Pinder.
Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

Central and South Abaco MP John Pinder. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

TWO years after Hurricane Dorian destroyed Abaco, many residents still face immense hardship with some living in close proximity to raw sewerage and others living in cars.

This was the picture painted by Central and South Abaco MP John Pinder who told Parliament he would not sleep until his fellow Bahamians have a safe place to reside.

“The damage from superstorm Dorian is clear,” Mr Pinder said during his inaugural communication in the House of Assembly yesterday. “The land and the people are visibly affected two years on.”

Mr Pinder said the previous lack of representation “is real” as he told members of Parliament that basics like garbage collection and fire trucks were absent from the island.

He said: “The temporary housing domes were never completed properly. My Abaconians at their time of need were put in hard tents that are not safe or sanitary.

“Bahamians living with raw sewerage around them sharing electricity from neighbours with drop cords and living in cars is common.

“I am saddened. I am hurt how we were treated. Millions were spent with little to no help for the people.

“Our government workers are living in trailers parked outside the government complex offices and international airport. If you are lucky to have a house that is livable there is often no water.

“I will not sleep well until my fellow Bahamians have a safe place to sleep,” he said.

Comments

TigerB 2 months, 2 weeks ago

On the campaign trail, the PLP said that the government was using Dorian as an excuse. Now many are really seeing what we all who live in Grand and Abaco had been through. The problem now is they are stuck with the bill, including an airport. While I live in Grand Bahama, I was born in Spring City, which was also wiped out by both islands are my home. My prayers go with them as they try to tackle mother nature's mess.

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moncurcool 2 months, 2 weeks ago

While I do feel the pain of those affected by Dorian, as I was as well, it is not the responsibility of the government to rebuild the homes of individuals. That is what insurance is for. We need to get away from this mentality that you build a home and it is destroyed and you expect government to rebuild it.

We must empower people to do for themselves. that is the role of government after providing essential services

Further, Pinder needs to note that the garbage collection is the role of local government and not central government. He needs to take that message to the local government leaders in Abaco.

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DWW 2 months, 1 week ago

local government elections were due 2020 there is no local govt. local gov has to work with the budget which they receive from central gov which is always inadequate

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bcitizen 2 months, 1 week ago

Local government is nothing more than a scape goat for Central Government. Underfunded and generally useless only to take heat of central government. Central Government overrides them every time they see fit and blames situations on them when it suites them. Local government needs to be properly funded and given teeth or it needs to be disbanded.

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JackArawak 2 months, 1 week ago

"underfunded".....I was on the Hope Town local government 20 years ago, the annual budget we received is still almost exactly the same today. "given the teeth it needs" .....literally everything has to run through Marsh Harbour and or Nassau; I was politely told that we could name or rename our streets without reaching out for permission, but that was pretty much it.

John is a good man and pledged to, if nothing else, make noise on the HOA floor. I think he's off to a good start. Will it translate into concrete action? I recommend you not hold your breath.

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lovingbahamas 2 months, 1 week ago

You would think the government would provide drinkable water, reliable electricity and sewage where it existed before. Ok, forget the personal home rebuilds. But, in Treasure Cay there are 350 residences that formerly had sewage and now don’t. Furthermore, those poor, storm dazed people even ponied up over $600,000 to fix the sewer. But, do you think WSC and the government can take 10 minutes to say go ahead? The answer is NO!! What kind of a government is this. Think of all the income lost to the locals because 700 or 800 people can’t come to Treasure Cay because they can’t flush their toilet. It is a shame!

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

Meanwhile Public Works Minister Alfred Sears is fully pre-occupied and laser focused on seeing to it that approval is granted "sooner rather than later" to fund the placement of light and water infrastructure at Olympian Ramon Miller’s Tropical Gardens home.

Can you imagine? Thousands of Abaconians suffering and yet Sears is so much more worried and concerned about the home of one Olympian. What an effing joke!!!!

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Dawes 2 months, 1 week ago

Both situations are wrong and need to be fixed. I hope that Government is able to do more then one thing at a time, otherwise we have serious issues.

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

Believe me when I say Sears does not chew gum and walk well at the same time. And with that serious limitation he should always be focussing on the needs of the "many" and not the "few", and especially not the "one"!

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