Ragged Island looks like the same day IRMA LEFT – $2.3 Billion borrowed in one year and no REBUILDING! WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MINNIS’ Promise of a GREEN CITY? LIES! No police on Ragged Island, there is no clinic, there is no administration building.
By Chester Cooper, Exumas and Ragged Island MP
This past Friday marked one year since Hurricane Irma hit Ragged Island and irrevocably changed the lives of those who lived there.
One year, since this administration promised to rebuild Ragged Island and still no meaningful progress has been made.
It’s been a year since public buildings were destroyed yet their ruins remain untouched.
Today, as it was after the storm a year ago, there are no police on Ragged Island, there is no clinic, there is no administration building.
More than a year later there is no school on Ragged Island; there is no postal service.
A year has passed and where is the plan for the Green City promised by the prime minister?
Clearly, it remains in his imagination.
Yet one year later, as three hurricanes roil in the Atlantic in the peak of the season, there are still those who persist, living in the shell of infrastructure despite the prime minster flippantly labelling it “uninhabitable”.
After a year, NEMA saw fit to donate $4,000 per resident with a standing structure, though it’s a little late, and though, those who experienced complete loss were left.
There were some bright spots in the past year.
BTC, Aliv and BPL worked diligently to restore services in the aftermath of Irma. For that, I thank them.
Water and Sewerage Corporation restored water service in recent months. For that we thank them. It was much needed relief and returned some semblance of normalcy to the lives of Ragged Islanders.
However, that this administration has failed is not cause for despair.
Many others have stepped into the breach and helped make life a little more bearable for those in great need.
Currently, there are two 20-foot freezers we organized headed to the island to support fishermen wo are eager to increase their catch.
This will boost commerce on the island and drive the restoration.
We are also planning renovations to the Mission House, which will be offered to the government as a temporary nurses’ residence and clinic.
We are also donating all of the supplies necessary for the renovation of Holy Innocence Anglican Church on Ragged Island.
The church was instrumental as the main shelter during Irma and continues to be the only suitable location to shelter residents on the island.
While the government may have failed Ragged Island so far. Her residents and descendants should know that I will not, and neither will the Bahamian people.