September 11, 2019
Today we have our regular update; however, our focus is on introducing a few of our local NGO partners, who are providing critical resources and supplies to support the national relief effort.
NEMA, as you know, is working with many partners to offer relief and support to the people of Grand Bahama and the Abacos. As we say, we have one voice, one response, but many moving parts.
To give people a sense of all those moving parts we will hear from some of our local Bahamian partners who have been delivering critical services and support on the ground.
But first, our regular updates.
1. Education Update - School Registration
● Parents will be relieved to know that all children displaced by Hurricane Dorian who are now in New Providence will be placed in schools by the Ministry of Education.
● We are committed to minimizing the disruption to their academic studies and giving them back a sense of normalcy.
● On Thursday of this week (September 12), there will be a registration exercise at the T A Robinson National Stadium.
● This includes all students, teachers, janitors, school administrators and other employees who have evacuated to New Providence.
● Students and employees will be reassigned to new schools in New Providence.
● Assistance will be provided for uniforms, school supplies and transportation.
● UNICEF, the UN body responsible for children and education is on the ground and meeting with the Ministry of Education today (September 10) to offer further support.
● Transportation will be provided from the shelters to the National Stadium on Thursday for the registration of students and employees.
● Details on the logistics of transportation and other arrangements will be provided by the Ministry of Education. NEMA will also share this information.
● We will also ensure students who remain in Grand Bahama and Abaco will have access to education. We will keep you updated on these developments.
2. Registration of Displaced Persons
● There is no registration of displaced persons at NEMA.
● We have had a number of individuals visiting the office, so we want to spread the word that there is no registration of displaced persons at NEMA.
● The Department of Social Services handles the registration of persons affected by the Hurricane who have left Abaco or Grand Bahama.
● Individuals are either registered at Odyssey Aviation, an Official Shelter or the Department of Rehabilitative Welfare Services on University Boulevard.
3. Temporary Shelters in New Providence
● There are currently 2,043 people registered in New Providence shelters.
● Three Children’s Homes were activated to accommodate 45 displaced children from a children’s home in Grand Bahama.
● As at 10 am (September 10), these are the shelters being used in New Providence:
○ The Kendal Isaacs Gym, including the two tented areas: (1,357 people)
○ Fox Hill Community Shelter (239 people)
○ Calvary Haitian Baptist Church Shelter (85 people)
○ Salvation Army Mackey Street (27 people)
○ Pilgrim Baptist Church in St James Road (64 people)
○ Bahamas Academy Gym (226 people)
● The Department of Social Services is managing the missing persons hotline. They recently added additional numbers. The full list is available on NEMA-Bahamas Facebook page.
● For donations of supplies the public is invited to please contact the Department of Social Services, NEMA, or the cluster of local NGOs providing relief supplies to shelters.
4. Weather update
● NEMA is closely monitoring the weather, as there may be some rain and thunderstorms in the area of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
● The weather system may be in the area tomorrow and later in the week. NEMA coordinators on the ground are aware.
● The Department of Meteorology will issue its usual weather updates.
5. Update on Equinor oil facility
● The Department of Environmental Health Services conducted an assessment of the Equinor Oil Facility in Grand Bahama.
● Based on this assessment there is no concern for public health.
● The tanks themselves appear to be structurally intact, and there is no evidence at this time of an ongoing leak.
● During the storm the two domes on top of the tanks were blown off by the wind causing oil from inside the tanks to spill out.
● Since the storm, there is no continuous impact to the marine environment.
● An active clean-up crew from Equinor USA is arriving today (10 Sep) to manage this spill.
A press release will be disseminated on presentations made by NGOs, who spoke about the partnership with NEMA. Present were:
Gina Knowles, Founder, HeadKnowles Foundation
Kendria Ferguson, Executive Director Hands for Hunger
Dr Graham Cates, New Providence Community Church
Gerson Major, President, Bahamas Gaming House Association
Barry Rassin, Past President, Rotary International and Rotary Bahamas Sadye Francis, Director, One Eleuthera Foundation
Suzanne Pattaush, Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association