February 12, 2020
By Lindsay Thompson
Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis expressed confidence Bahamians will recover from the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian which struck North Abaco and Cays and East Grand Bahama about five months ago.
He made the statement in his first National Report on Hurricane Dorian Restoration Effort, which aired on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. He intends to make similar reports on other national developments, throughout the year.
Hurricane Dorian struck the country’s second and third most populated islands and economic centres September 1-3, 2019. At its highest peak, the category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 185mph and storm surge of more than 20ft, wiped out infrastructure, buildings, and lives were lost.
The hurricane left in its wake an estimated $3.4 billion in damage; and is recorded as the most powerful hurricane on record in the open Atlantic region and certainly for The Bahamas.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister is optimistic that Bahamians will recover from the historically devastating event.
“We have never before, suffered this scale of destruction in our history,” he said. “However, I have every confidence that the Bahamian people are up to the challenge.”
The Prime Minister also observed that Bahamian labour and creativity built this chain of islands into the most dynamic tourism economy in the region.
“What Dorian destroyed, we will build back better and more resilient. My government policies on coming to office has placed us in a position to be able to assist,” he said.
The Prime Minister told the nation that after Dorian struck, the government knew that no small island developing state could respond on its own. The government sought help from foreign governments, NGOs, charities, multilateral agencies, churches and individuals. And, that response is still ongoing in unison.
He then pledged that as Prime Minister, he and his government would be with the Bahamian people at every stage of this massive rebuilding effort.
“We will help Bahamians in need in Abaco, the Abaco Cays and Grand Bahama,” he said.
Additionally, the Disaster Reconstruction Authority has held a series of town hall meetings on both islands to provide updates on the rebuilding progress.
“As Prime Minister, I pledge to you the full effort of the government to restore Abaco, the Abaco Cays and Grand Bahama,” he said. He called on all to continue the hard work to make the country whole again.
“Let us be united, and of one accord with resilience in the work of renewal and reconstruction,” the Prime Minister said.