The Hon. Clay Sweeting, member of parliament for Central and South Eleuthera (CSE), during early September, commented on the status of a number of initiatives and projects in Eleuthera that had been announced during the past year – including in the areas of health, agriculture, infrastructure and others.
Beginning with several of the agricultural projects, he informed, “The cultivation center (in Hatchet Bay), the contract was executed three weeks ago. The funding should be dispersed during this first week in September, so, you should see activity there within two or three weeks. Everything has been approved for the cultivation center in Hatchet Bay… The cultivation center building, which is roughly 60 feet by 120 feet, will house training and education for agriculture.
“It will also be a facility that people can use, and it will also have a food kitchen – for people who would like to add value to their produce. So, the food kitchen, all this we have already purchased, and they are in country. The building is already at the site. So, the contracts that have been executed should start shortly… Also, the greenhouses are 95% complete, and there are just some irrigation issues that they have to sort out.”
Speaking briefly about the recently announced major road works set to begin in South Eleuthera, Mr. Sweeting said, “In regards to the roads, the contracts are already issued, signed. They have done some road patching through the whole constituency. They should hopefully start work on the new roads by December or January. The new plant will have to be constructed, in the meantime, but all the preliminary work is done – so, it’s only now the execution of the project. Within two years, we hope that the whole constituency should have proper roads, along with cat eyes and striping as well.”
Housing activities continue to be on the radar, added Sweeting, saying, “The housing in Rock Sound – they have finished three homes, and now they are waiting to complete the other four, and then we will issue keys there. They had some issues with getting some supplies, but I spoke to the contractor and he said hopefully in another two to three weeks he should have those completed. Then they will move on to Hatchet Bay, where some lots there have been allocated to construct some homes there. They will also add some more homes at the Rock Sound site. So, those should be done simultaneously.”
He continued, “We looked at land in Governor’s Harbour, but that was actual crown land, that would have to be converted to the Ministry of Housing – so, that is a longer process they are looking at. The property in Hatchet Bay and in Rock Sound, was already under the Ministry of Housing, which was a much quicker move, because they already had conveyances for that.”
When asked about a recent housing fair held in Lower Bogue in August, CSE MP Sweeting replied, “I don’t have many details, but I know that they had the Housing Fair, and they are looking at some crown land there in the Lower Bogue area, that they are looking to allocate. That too is under the crown grant, and would have to be transferred. So, hopefully that will be done and then we could also put out housing in the constituency of North Eleuthera as well.”
Sweeting was also asked about the new health facilities that had been reannounced in 2022 for Rock Sound and Palmetto Point. He supplied, “I spoke to the Minister of Health last week and at the Ministry of Works, we have got final approvals from Palmetto Point, Rock Sound, as well as Mangrove Cay (Andros). They are assessing now to construct and are at the Ministry of Works. The local councils here in Eleuthera approved both Rock Sound and Palmetto Point, and sent them back to Town Planning which will now be at the Ministy of Works. When that’s completed, then hopefully we can start construction shortly after.”
Finally, commenting on the newly reopened clinic in The Bluff in August, MP Sweeting stated, “As far as I am aware, they renovated the clinic in The Bluff prior to this administration. But what happened is that they had to do a proper assessment to ensure that the building was structurally sound. Once the building was completed, they still had to ensure that it was proper for healthcare. And also, staffing would have been an issue too. So, they corrected those issues to enable it to open up.”