THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS BY ELCOTT COLEBY (2 – 6 NOVEMBER 2015)
find times;”>Foreign Minister the Hon. Fred Mitchell welcomed a high level South African delegation as he remembered the 30th anniversary of the NASSAU ACCORD, an agreement coming out of the eighth meeting of the Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in Nassau, The Bahamas, between 16th and 22nd October 1985, and was hosted by the late Prime Minister Pindling.
The NASSAU ACCORD according to Mitchell was an agreement essentially calling on the South African government to abandon its policy of apartheid, negotiate with the country’s black majority and end its occupation of Namibia. The Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group was appointed to investigate the South African issue and report back with recommendations ahead of the special 1986 CHOGM in London.
Mitchell said that a free Mandela visited the Bahamas and thanked Sir Lynden Pindling for his role in opposing apartheid. Thabo Mbeki also visited the Bahamas when he became president of South Africa. The member for Fox Hill hailed the twenty-one years of democracy of the Republic of South Africa.
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie delivered three communications under this House agenda item. He joined the Foreign Minister in paying tribute to this important historic event that led to the release of political prisoner Nelson Mandela.
The Prime Minister then reported on the launch of the Bahamas Learning Channel (BLC) at COB earlier this week. The BLC will air educational programs on channel 40 when the Parliament is not in session. He believes that this channel could become an effective alternative to traditional learning. To date, seventeen shows have been previewed. The Prime Minister also told the House that $5 million from the INSPIRE program were allocated to computerize physical classrooms, effectively creating virtual classrooms in junior and senior high schools around The Bahamas. This new technology said Mr. Christie, allowed a teacher in a family island to lecture to students in New Providence and vice versa.
The Prime Minister concluded by delivering his third update to Parliament on the post Joaquin restoration and reconstruction efforts in the hurricane stricken islands of the southern Bahamas. The other two communications were delivered on the 7th and 21st of October 2015.
Below is a detailed summary for ease of reference:
Cellular services have been restored in every community except Gordon’s, Mortimer’s and Roses in Long island and in Majors Cay, Pitts Town and Long Cay in Crooked Island. There is Fixed Line Service at the BTC main offices.
Full restoration of power supply was achieved in San Salvador, Acklins, Long, Cay and Rum Cay and 84% of customers on Long Island have had their power supplies restored.
Most of the water supply was restored within one week of the storm. Currently the provision of a water tanker in Landrail Point and the provision of a Desalination Plant at Colonel Hill and at Lovely Bay/Chesters are on-going. The Water and Sewerage Corporation estimates that it has spent some $1.75m on the capital works, including new water tankers trucks for Rum Cay and Crooked Island.
As for schools in Long Island, repairs to the Simms Primary School should be completed in two weeks. Mangrove Bush and Morrisville Primary Schools are being repaired and these schools should be ready for occupancy by the 19th November, 2015. All other schools in Long Island are opened and in normal operation.
In San Salvador, all of the schools are opened. The students of the United Estates Primary School are being accommodated in the Seventh Day Adventist church while their school house is being repaired.
In Rum Cay, the school has had to be relocated temporarily to a BTC owned building pending the completion of a new school to be opened in January 2016.
In Crooked Island, all of the school buildings suffered major damage and the majority of children have been re-located to Nassau while the schools are being rebuilt.
In Acklins, all of the schools have opened.
For the period 2nd October to 1 November, 2015, the Ministry of Health deployed 79 healthcare workers comprising Medical Doctors, Nurses, Psychiatrists and Psychologists to the Family Islands including 1 Psychiatrist and 1 Psychologist earmarked to travel to Rum Cay.
The HELP DESK established by the Department of Social Services has registered some 119 persons, assisting many of them with food coupons and has provided shelter for eight (8) persons.
Based on technical and social assessments, 600 homes are in need of replacement and repairs. NEMA has sent $392,382 worth of emergency building material to the affected areas and is delivering 7 trailer homes to provide temporary housing.
Civil Aviation Repairs are estimated to cost $1,696,939.53. The particulars are:
- Crooked Island Terminal – $119,247.08
- Acklins Island Airport Terminal Building – $180,374.77
- Acklins Apron and Taxiway – $427, 818.57
- Deadmans Cay Long Island Terminal Building – $162,279.68
- San Salvador Island Terminal Building – $807,219.44
Acklins road repairs at existing elevations estimated to cost $22,085,347.22. The rebuilding cost with a 5 feet elevation is estimated cost of $43,937,358.33. The estimates cover the roads in Lovely Bay (temporary road); Queens Highway from Spring Point North to Lovely Bay; Camel Point Road; Spring Point Clinic Road; Salina Point Secondary Road; Chesters Road; Airport Access Road and the Airport Parking Lot.
The severely damaged dock at Spring Point Acklins is estimated to cost $1,388,136.75 to replace.
Repairs to Government buildings in Crooked Island are estimated at $255,051.84.
Reconstruction of the Landrail Point Dock is estimated at $1,317,186.75.
The total cost of repairs to infrastructure in Crooked Island has been estimated at $3,374,187.14 and includes culverts and carriageway reconstruction, the carriageway and bridge at Bullet Hill.
Repairs to Government buildings such as the Clarence Town Administrative Complex, the Packing House and various clinics are estimated at $682,581.32. This includes reconstruction of repairs to the Clarence Town Clinic.
Repairs to the docks at Clarence Town, Salt Pond, Simms and other infrastructure including seawalls and roads are estimated to cost$2,940,952.27.
Infrastructure in Long Island is estimated to cost $1,321,384.63, inclusive of road repairs, airport airside repairs, dock replacement and the reconstruction of a concrete boat ramp.
Repairs to public buildings in San Salvador are estimated at $830,000.00 and include residences, the Police Station, the administration buildings, the Graham’s Harbour Fish Fry and Recreational Buildings at Graham’s Harbour.
The infrastructure costs are estimated at $1,445,016.41 with the principal costs being attributed to the resurfacing of the Graham’s Harbour dock.
The total estimate for Government Buildings and Infrastructure comes in at $56,483,471.47. If the Acklins Road works at the 5ft elevation were subtracted, and the government proceeds with the road works at the existing elevation, then the total revised costs come in at $34,398,124.25. Click here to read more…