Nearly two years after Hurricane Dorian left the tiny picturesque community of Sweetings Cay in ruins, residents there are expressing their anger with the rate of recovery and the lack of assistance by the Minnis administration.
One irate resident passionately voiced his frustration to Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis during his recent tour of the island in the north.
“These is Bahamian people. These een FNM and PLP people. These Bahamians, and they suffering Bahamians... and the only ting what here – NGO. NGOs! Non-government tings! From what Sweetings Cay gone through from hurricane Dorian to now, nothing!”
Most of the homes and other buildings, including the area’s school, business establishments and the Baptist and Anglican churches, were destroyed, left either in piles of rubble or without roofs. Some structures were even completely ripped from their foundations.
Now, nearly two years after the devastation, residents are still living in tents or in their now condemned homes. They lamented what they feel is a notable neglect for them by the government.
Trailers, donated by NGOs to assist the remote island’s handful of residents, were erected but sit empty and unused reportedly because no one in government has given the approval for them to be used. The trailers require foundations – specified by authorities - to be constructed in order to secure them, but with the destruction done to their very way of life back in September 2019, those residents are finding it hard to purchase the materials and assistance needed. They say no one in the Minnis-led government has stepped in to give them hope.
Rotary International, US AID and Samaritan’s Purse are among the NGOs that have sought to bring a measure of relief to Sweetings Cay.
Rotary has to date aided in building nine homes for residents. Some of those residents received the keys to their new homes this past weekend. Plans for a second phase to get the people of Sweetings Cay back to some real tangible form of normalcy are underway. US Aid and Samaritan’s Purse also recently completed a project to ensure that there is sufficient potable water for the community through a water distribution network upgrade.
The PLP leader said he was saddened that the situation on Sweetings Cay remains dire so long after Dorian and that the FNM, which campaigned on the tagline “The People’s Time”, has failed to take the time out to offer any sort of help to the people there. Davis thanked organizations like Rotary, US AID and Samaritan’s Purse for their assistance.
Playing on words once used by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to berate Bahamians, Davis once again those in the current FNM administration - “Where is YOUR heart? Where is YOUR compassion? Do YOU have a soul?”