NASSAU, The Bahamas — Two building contractors were awarded contracts to construct homes on Acklins, one of the islands severely impacted by the Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015.
The contracts, valued at an estimated $41,000 for each single bedroom-home, were signed during a press conference at NEMA on Gladstone Road and NEMA’s Way, Wednesday, February 10, 2016.
The contractors awarded the jobs were Arthel B Gibson and Steven W Rose to rebuild the homes in Mason’s Bay and Salina Point, respectively. Both veteran contractors who are residents of Acklins said they were pleased to be a part of the rebuilding process after the destructive path left by the storm, which impacted islands in the Central and Southeast Bahamas.
Director of NEMA, Captain Stephen Russell handed the contractors approved plans and drawings for the design of the homes, and a Construction Manual for Small Buildings for use in New Providence and the Family Islands, in keeping with The Bahamas Building Code.
After complete assessments by the Department of Social services following the storm, it was determined that the two homes be rebuilt. A protocol is followed for the rebuilding of homes: the aged, disabled, single parent, general public (having difficulty finding materials and or labour).
Materials for the homes are to be shipped to the island starting Monday (Feb 15), baring no weather delays or other reasons. It is estimated that the homes in Acklins should take eight-nine weeks to be completed.
For two-bedrooms homes, the cost is pegged at $54,000 to rebuilt and for three-bedroom homes, cost pegged at $66,0361.43 to rebuild. These estimates are subject to change depending on site preparation, logistics, amongst other things.
About 1,122 homes were damaged and/or destroyed during the passage of Hurricane Joaquin. Two hundred homes have been repaired so far by NEMA. Some residents were given materials to repair their homes themselves, and an audit will be conducted to determine whether those residents were able to carry out those repairs.
NEMA has received an estimated $3 million in funds donated towards the Hurricane Joaquin relief with approximately $1.4milion already spent.
Captain Russell said that there would be “a standard for all contractors” during the reconstruction phases.
The repairs and reconstruction phases are being done by the National Repair and Reconstruction Unit (NRRU), supported by NEMA. Workers are being recruited for the reconstruction phases from the islands impacted and elsewhere throughout the country.
By: LINDSAY THOMPSON