The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), as per the Hawksbill Creek Act, is the quasi-governing arm of Freeport and the development partner with the Government of The Bahamas for East and West Grand Bahama.
Accordingly, it is expected that in times of island-crisis situations, the GBPA steps up and takes the lead. Three years ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the GBPA was the main catalyst for restoration.
This time around, the GBPA is, once again, the key poster entity for resilience and post-Hurricane Dorian assistance. We were impressed with the fact that the GBPA mobilized temporary venues so that its service-operations would continue. Also, in expanding its efforts, the GBPA put together teams of employees who have coordinated special programs, inclusive of “Operation Relief”, “East End Outreach”, and “Regency Park Mission.”
These projects, and others planned by the GBPA, are essential to the spirt of revitalization that is so necessary, in order for the island to rebound, despite numerous setbacks. There are many still with us, who yearn for the “magical environment” that was synonymous with the island, in particular Freeport.
The responsibility to ensure continued leadership is that of the GBPA, and it is indeed quite encouraging when initiatives are taken to hold hands with other stakeholders for furthering restoration efforts, physically, and fostering the mindset of confidence. There are those residents who remain disillusioned and despondent, after losing everything.
The GBPA is the major investment engine in the island, but at times like these, it must also be that great psychologist, seeking to help residents deal with the conditions left by Hurricane Dorian.
The hands-on projects are necessary and important, as the rebuilding takes place.
There must be interest shown, though, in the mental state of residents. Council sessions should be organized to guide Grand Bahamians through the trauma stages and to give those in dire need, hope. Those persons who are still being assisted to survive, along with their children, by relatives or service groups, and government agencies, want to ultimately be on their own.
Many are mentally distressed.
We submit today, that’s an area, which has been dealt with in a secondary fashion thus far. Perhaps the GBPA, as it leads the way in island restoration, would see fit to focus more, also, on the traumatized.
Bring comfort to as many as is possible, through assistance with their physical surroundings, and, to help them mentally as well!