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‘IT’S LIKE DORIAN ALL OVER AGAIN’: Residents distressed over ‘short notice’ of dome demolition

AN AERIAL view of the destruction of domes in Abaco after demolition work began, in this image from video posted to social media.

AN AERIAL view of the destruction of domes in Abaco after demolition work began, in this image from video posted to social media.

By LETRE SWEETING

ABACO residents expressed distress over the sudden and “short notice” demolition of the domes that had been home to them and their families for more than two years.

One resident — K K Marshall — who watched his belongings get bulldozed last week said being without a place to live once again reminded him of the loss he felt after Hurricane Dorian.

“I sleep in my car at the back of the domes that they already demolished,” he told this newspaper yesterday.

“I don’t really know what to say. I just be moving. I feel like I already lose my job and all because I couldn’t find my ID. I only find my passport. My jewellery, all my shirts gone. I ain’t really myself right now. I can’t really even talk to say too much about it because it’s so serious, it makes me feel like Dorian all over again.”

“The police, he looked like he had a personal problem, because I even tried to explain to him, but he kept pushing me, telling me to get off the property before he locks me up. So, I had to leave. I stood on the side and watched them demolish my stuff,” said Mr Marshall.

 Despite extensions given to him and other residents, Mr Marshall said with no real assistance and less than a month’s notice of the move out deadline, he had trouble relocating.

 “They said it was a demolition. They just kept giving us extensions. The specific date they gave us (to move out) they gave it the day before they demolished,” he said.

 “I haven’t received anything from them yet, not even a ‘How do I feel about my stuff being damaged?’ Or what they could do to help me concerning my stuff being damaged. None of that. I just (yesterday) walked from the government complex because I am still trying to find out who’s going to help me deal with the stuff with my jewellery and my ID and most of my stuff. That’s what I’m really concerned about. But they tell me I must come back to speak to someone,” Mr Marshall said.

 “Even if they did tell me, ‘Well look here, try to save some money, so you could have something or be one of the ones with first preference for a house’ I might have been gone from then, but they never told me anything. They never explained anything to us. They just came round and said (they were) looking to make sure the domes were ok. And then from there that was it. Now it’s time to leave, you don’t have any place to go, because you been settled there for years.”

 Mr Marshall added that as his brother works on Green Turtle Cay, he is alone without family on the island and still has yet to receive any assistance.

 Maxine Ferguson, who now has to live separated from her children and most of her belongings, said she felt “embarrassed” when the power was cut off as she and her sons were moving out of the dome.

 “On the 8th of September when I arrived home, my sons and I were taking the stuff out of the dome and putting them on the outside because we had a trucker that was coming there. And all of a sudden the power went out. It was embarrassing for me because I’m always superwoman to my kids, because I always get things right,” she said.

 “The dome is gone now. But up to the day of demolition, I had made several calls in reference to needing more time to get out of the dome and they had promised to call me back with that situation. But they didn’t give us any date until three days before.

 “But that day in particular it didn’t work out as planned, because I really didn’t organise for anywhere to go. Once again my kids and I had to be separated, because they had to go somewhere and I had to go somewhere else. So right now, my situation today is that I am staying with an aunt of mine and my young son is staying with his dad,” she said.

 “So I just put all of my belongings into the home (that was being built) and the people who have been doing some of the work for me obliged, because they were trying to work as fast as they could. But unfortunately, they too had other jobs,” Ms Ferguson said.

 Despite having a fairly “comfortable” experience and assistance from the Disaster Reconstruction Authority, Ms Ferguson said the process of relocating ahead of the completion of her home has caused her some stress.

 “Living in the domes for me my situation was a whole lot different. I have children and living in the dome, it was comfortable. I made it comfortable. I had a hot water heater that was donated to me by the DRA,” she said.

 “During the time when we had to vacate the dome, I had a home that was being built. And it was just the fact of not being employed for some time, funds were a factor. So, I have inquired about having some help which in the plan did not go as it would have. And right now I am still in that predicament of needing some help. I’m almost complete, but still needing just a few stuff to be done, just to make it livable for me and my kids,” Ms Ferguson said.

 Shortly after Hurricane Dorian hit Abaco in September 2019 leaving thousands of homes destroyed or damaged, to assist with rebuilding efforts the Minnis administration spent more than $6m on nearly 200 domes that were supposed to be used as temporary housing for displaced residents of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

 However, only a fraction of them were erected.

 Last week, demolition of the domes in Spring City, Abaco began after the Davis administration grew concerned that the dome site was being “misused”, according to the Office of the Prime Minister.

 About 30 of some 34 domes have since been demolished.

 Dome dwellers were to receive $4,000 to assist with their relocation to a permanent home.

 In July, Housing and Transport Minister Jobeth Coleby-Davis announced that the government was aiming to have the structures demolished and taken off the property by August.

 Despite some criticisms about the removal of the domes, Mrs Coleby-Davis repeatedly stressed that they were a safety hazard due to lack of proper ventilation and excess mould being found in them.

 In a statement released on Friday, the Office of the Prime Minister suggested that critics who opposed the demolition lacked full knowledge on the domes, including their initial purpose, which the office reiterated were meant for temporary use.

 According to OPM, the government had initially planned to dismantle the domes and salvage the materials but decided against this for several reasons.

Comments

M0J0 2 months, 3 weeks ago

we really as a people have to stop depending on the government to support us for a lifetime. The gov. and many countries supplied aid and help, the storm has been some 2 yrs now, its time to move on and rebuild, cannot continually wait and expect help.

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Sickened 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Absolutely. But the PLP trained these people this way. Promises are like gold for the ignorant. Our people want food, water, shelter, job and transportation. AND they believe they're entitled to it because...???

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DDK 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hope you never experience a Dorian. You are as heartless as the worthless government.

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DDK 2 months, 3 weeks ago

THESE PEOPLE? What are you? Sub-human?

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Sickened 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I am what people with developed minds call a 'saver'. I am amongst the few that can foresee problems and disasters during my lifetime and can save for the rainy day. I go without so that I can pay for insurance and repair my home and cars without government help and cook outs. I go without so that I can better educate my children. I go without so that I don't need a loan in order to go to Miami to shop. I work in jobs I may not enjoy until I can find a job that pays better. What I don't do is wait on someone else to fix my f'ing house.

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bahamianson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

We have a pathetic government that totally wastes the people's money. How can we waste money on these domes just to demolish them? This is an outright disgrace, and someone should be fired for this. Who was in charge of overseeing these domes? Damn man, you just wasted my fricken money and want to charge more tax that I cannot pay !!!!! Government , the plp and the fnm, stop this crap , now!!!!you seem to waste money wherever you spend it. This is very unacceptable to me. I am saddened that occurrence like this occur too many times in this damn country. Look at the sports center, damn rusting at the very core.

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Hoda 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This was a political stunt. They are so busy trying to distract from the fact that they have done nothing for a year other than give people 500 here 4000 there. Its really sick. Allegedly Bulldozing a poly carbonate structure cause it have mold makes no sense. Bleach and and open the window. Some of these apartment round here if u turn off the ac is get moldy.

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tribanon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

You'll never guess who now owns that land and what they've received permission to build on it. LOL

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JokeyJack 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Where are all the United Nations cry baby organizations????? I guess Haitians weren't living in those domes or else all Hell would have broken loose.
But, no, they were only Bahamians - worthless dogs that don't count.
Government don't have to worry though - the majority of these former dome dwellers will NOT vote for a 3rd Party next election.

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Proguing 2 months, 3 weeks ago

"I guess Haitians weren't living in those domes" Who do you think they were rented to?

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JokeyJack 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I actually know who they were rented to. I personally know a contractor that di work on them periodically. Mainly Bahamians lived there.

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ted4bz 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The government is acting on this in ways the rich nations do, which tells us what? I’ll say this one more time. Minimize the government. Stop living depending on governments, they are fiddling with you. When they appear to do good things, it is crowded with motives, things that benefit mostly themselves. When they are done with it they are done with you. Emancipate your minds, ways, expectations, wants, dependencies and comforts in government. Those of us who have minimized governments have also minimized our short falls needs and setbacks. This is only possible when you take this step.

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Flyingfish 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Ive never seen a rich nation do this. If this was a rich nation act, the bulldozing would have been sued to oblivion.

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TalRussell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It’s just a big fiasco of Unsolved Domes Mysteries surrounding Pintard's inherited 'red party's' Abaco Domes project that was doomed to failure from the start.... Even the premiership "Brave" Davis, hesitates to reveal the Domes darkest depths., and it's said that there are close to 100 of them ... Anyone alive today can recall the occasion that the new government mentioned the firm the 213 Domes contract was handed over to? .... The pictured Domes, seems to be missing the majority of the 213 Pintard's inherited party paid for? ... Like, where the F#ck is they -― Yes??

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The FNM Government spent 6 million dollars on domes they bought 200 they erected 30 something has to be wrong with that.

How long is it temporary ?

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TalRussell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

@ComradeBirdie, you think its fair I inquire as why the premiership "Brave," remains so reluctant to take on the 'Pintard Inherited Red Party's 213 PrePaid Domes but never produced 'delivery evidence of them having' actually landing 'anywhere in the Abacos'? ... Is there something I'm so 'Banana Republic' is not in plain sight missing'? ... Like, where the F#ck is they -― Yes?

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Sickened 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Absolutely agree that the FNM messed this up BAD. They took forever to erect the few they did erect and now I'm seeing pictures of how close they are together. These are NOT sound proof products so they should have been erected much further apart to give these poor people space and privacy and a little yard space to call their own. And there's no way these people should have been in there this long. As you say this was supposed to be temporary. Plans should have been in place to get homes rebuilt but we also saw that building material was just stockpiled, in the elements no less, and never distributed. Foreign help was turned away for what reason? Crazy bad decisions were made. This tragedy was so poorly managed it's disturbing.
And the sad thing about it.... I don't think the powers that be have learned a damned thing from it. I bet you your right arm that after the next disaster many of the same people with be employed to do help.

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One 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Power is too centralized and there's no accountability. The government is accountable for many things it shouldn't be because it exerts its power over many things it shouldn't. To do business in the Bahamas you need some government officials' nod and favours. Without government connections, you wouldn't be able to compete in a market where your competitors bypass rules and get other breaks and exemptions. It's sad to see the things we do.

One could argue that maybe the government did the right thing we just don't know the full story. If that's true, why don't we know the full story? We are the public; this is a major tragedy that impacted the public, even if you weren't directly involved, the estimated damage to the country's GDP and impacts on our people are of concern to all Bahamian citizens.

Also, to those thinking Dorian was in 2019, get over it. Most things don't get better with time alone. The government should provide a clear roadmap to recovery and make it clear to individuals what to expect and plan around. Instead, the government gives vague grand promises that are designed to be misinterpreted and the people plan around those dreams. People are waiting around thinking the government will deliver the dreams marketed to them.

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IAmOne 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Most sensible comment on this dome fiasco I’ve heard so far.

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The_Oracle 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The saddest thing is they only built a fraction of them, leaving the majority in shipping containers unbuilt? That means they have value, perhaps They could donate them to Haiti? I'm sure they could use them. Demolishing them is quite frankly stupid, however we know the Government has to act to prevent themselves from hijacking/stealing/mis-using things.

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