NASSAU –– Nearly 900 homes were destroyed by Hurricane Joaquin, Prime Minister Perry Christie advised the House of Assembly in a communication yesterday.
Christie, who provided an update on the recovery efforts on the impacted islands, said Long Island suffered the greatest loss of private homes.
A total of 123 homes were destroyed on Acklins; 50 on Crooked Island; 23 on Rum Cay; 277 on San Salvador; and 413 on Long Island.
Christie said while the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) would assist with rebuilding, the government had purchased five homes on wheels and seven mobile trailer homes, which will be assigned temporarily to house families and government employees as repairs take place.
The homes on wheels can accommodate three adults or two adults and two children.
Six to ten people can be accommodated in the seven mobile trailer homes.
“This is a continuing exercise, and based on their findings, the government will respond in kind as a part of the work of the National Restoration And Recovery Unit,” Christie said.
“This will be done in the shortest possible time as the primary consideration of my government is to house and restore the physical comforts of our citizens.”
The prime minister also announced that the Japanese government, through its aid programme, had donated $1.7 million to The Bahamas to assist with relief efforts.
He thanked several international agencies for their “immediate response to our situation”, including Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Organization of American States (OAS).
“Mr Speaker, there yet remains a tremendous amount of work ahead of us,” Christie said.
“Our purpose is to restore human comfort to those who have been displaced, to restore vital infrastructure such as telecommunications, electricity and water; to begin the restoration of vital infrastructure and to begin rebuilding homes, schools and clinics.
“As I said in the opening of this communication, this must be an integrated effort.
“We have made a commendable start to this process and we will not relent until the restoration and recovery is 100 per cent completed.”
Schools on Mayaguana, Inagua and Long Cay, which sustained minor damage, have opened.
Meanwhile, the three primary schools on Acklins remain closed after sustaining extensive damage.
The Acklins High School is expected to open next week.
Repairs on the high school and primary school on Crooked Island are ongoing.
Those schools are being repaired by a private citizen who provided the materials and labour.
In San Salvador, the high school will remain closed until next week when repairs will be completed.
The primary school was expected to open yesterday.
“There is an imperative for schools to be operational as quickly as possible in order to prevent the further death of the community,” Christie said.