Hurricane Matthew passed through The Bahamas October 5-6 in 2016. It left a lot of damaged homes.
The government of the day, at that time, promised a spirited restoration program. Funding was in fact provided for restoration in Grand Bahama. All of the agencies that performed on behalf of the government in responding to natural disasters, announced outreach measures.
There was never a full report given that detailed government’s “restoration” spending, area by area, in Grand Bahama.
To this day, there is cloudiness about just how much money was earmarked for restoration in Grand Bahama and just how it was spent. It’s a reality however, that scores of homes throughout Grand Bahama still show proof of the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.
If one travels through the Hawksbill, Mack Town, Lewis Yard areas it evokes sadness and disappointment to see so many homes with heavy roof and structural damages. Although taxi and tour drivers tend not to take visitors in certain areas, there are nevertheless the adventurous sorts who are determined to see as much of Grand Bahama as possible.
So, they venture into communities with an incredible amount of shabby and damaged buildings. It is the view here that many of the homesteads in the less affluent areas, that were damaged by Hurricane Matthew, fell through the cracks.
It appears that the homeowners got little help with adapting to the process that would have enabled them to get benefit from some of the government funds for restoration.
Seemingly, nobody looked out for them.
So here it is, over a year since Hurricane Matthew, and many residences have not been included in the process of restoration. The old government, the Progressive Liberal Party, is gone. The people got rid of the PLP in May of last year, preferring to try the present Free National Movement Government.
This inheritance business is interesting. Indeed, the FNM has inherited a situation whereby there are many residents who deserve attention being paid to their damaged homes.
Governance is continuous.
We thus challenge the representatives of the government in Grand Bahama to do a survey of homes that were damaged by Hurricane Matthew and seek to find a way to cause some meaningful form of restoration to take place.