FLOODING in West End, Grand Bahama yesterday. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said he was heartbroken to see flooding that was sparked by Hurricane Nicole.
Mr Davis, who is in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt representing the country’s interests on climate change at COP27, told people in Grand Bahama and Abaco to “take heart” and remember “the Lord is not going to put on us more than we can bear”.
He said his government’s top priority would be to address bringing normalisation where the storm has possibly disrupted lives and operations.
His comments came as the storm lashed Abaco before making its way to Grand Bahama.
“As I reminded the world yesterday (Tuesday), they don’t have to feel as passionate as I do about my people, nor am I going to talk to them about whether they are passionate about their own,” Mr Davis said.
“What I am concerned about is this existential threat, which is no longer a threat, but the reality of the intensity and frequency of hurricanes and I have been reminding them as I was speaking yesterday, and as I spoke during the course of the day, that we were experiencing the high winds the sea surges and the rain and the flooding.
“I’ve been seeing the images and my heart continues to go out for our people in times such as these. That is why our voices have to be heard at events such as these, so they have the reality of what is happening and that’s why I have to call on the world to get real about ensuring that loss and damage has to be compensated for.
“We do not have a significant carbon footprint in the world. Yes, we do have a significant carbon sink in the world, but yet still after this hurricane has passed, who is going to have to pay for the recovery, reconstruction and normalising the lives of my people? We have to, from the meagre resources that we are able to earn.”
He also said: “We must remember this is our new reality and we have to become accustomed to this. That’s why we are here making the point that we can’t do it alone. Our new reality is not the result of what we have done, but what the industrialised world would have done and, therefore, they have to come to the rescue of small island developing states such as ours and that is the one voice that you’re hearing throughout the theme here.
“All of the leaders from the small island developing states are now joining the voice that something has to be done and done now.”
In words to residents of Abaco and Grand Bahama, Mr Davis empathised with them.
“I say to you, take heart. Remember that the Lord is not going to put on us more than we can bear. I understand the trauma that you are undergoing now, the recall that you would be having after Dorian with this visit of Nicole.
“Please stay safe, adhere to the warnings, I want to thank the acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper for his efforts to ensure that the word got out and taking the action that was necessary to ensure that lives are not lost, and damage is minimal.”
Mr Davis said he was in constant communication with local officials throughout the storm.
“I am talking to the Meteorology Department and they have been keeping me abreast. I’ve been getting pictures from persons in New Providence showing the flooding, which is just breaking my heart as I speak.
“Please stay safe, follow the advisories that have been given, watch out for your water intake and ensure that you protect yourself from anything that water may be bearing.”