Bahamas Vows to Build a “New” Ragged Island

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - September 16, 2017

By the Caribbean Journal staff

While the vast majority of the Bahamas escaped the wrath of Hurricane Irma, the southern island of Ragged Island bore the brunt of the damage, with most homes destroyed or damaged, powerlines down and public buildings damaged or destroyed.

Now, Bahamas Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is vowing to transform Ragged Island into the first “fully green island” in the region.

“Out of the devastation and the destruction, a new Ragged Island will emerge including stronger building codes, improved zoning, and strategies to mitigate against Climate Change and rising sea levels,” Minnis said. “I assure the wonderful people of Ragged Island that their island will be rebuilt. We will work with private institutions, international agencies and foreign partners to create a more sustainable island-community at Ragged Island.”

No lives were lost during the storm, thanks to early evacuations of the Bahamas’ southernmost islands.

“This is the first time in the modern history of The Bahamas that an entire island has witnessed the wholesale destruction of its infrastructure, both public and private,” Minnis said.

“Most homes are destroyed or severely damaged. Power lines are down. Utilities are non-functioning. Public buildings, including the government-operated school, the clinic and other public facilities are severely damaged or destroyed. The numbers of dead animals pose a serious health risk,” Minnis said.

The island will have to be rebuilt through a combination of public and private efforts, he said, with a number of Ragged Islanders already having offered their assistance for recovery and rebuilding.

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