US donates millions in modular shelters, rescue boats for Bahamas hurricane response

US donates millions in modular shelters, rescue boats for Bahamas hurricane response

Sunday, September 20, 2020

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NASSAU, Bahamas, (CMC) — The Embassy of the United States in Nassau has delivered US$3.6 million dollars worth of modular shelters, medical evacuation boats, and construction materials to the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management, and Reconstruction, in time for peak hurricane season.

Chargé d'Affaires John McNamara, on Friday, delivered the donation to Minister of Disaster Preparedness, Management, and Reconstruction Iram Lewis, just over two weeks after the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Dorian.

This donation is the latest addition to what is now nearly $38 million in assistance from the United States to disaster recovery in The Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian.

According to McNamara, the donation represents the enduring spirit of friendship between the United States and The Bahamas and a shared commitment to save lives when disaster strikes.

“Today the United States [through US Northern Command — USNORTHCOM] provided The Bahamas with a $3.5 million-dollar modular shelter system. The system can accommodate up to 400 people and includes two kitchens and six latrine/shower units, all of which can be deployed together or separately among several affected islands.”

The modular units will allow the Government to quickly provide shelter to displaced citizens, or to provide accommodation to disaster response personnel in the wake of a hurricane.

Additionally, the United States donated 12 medical evacuation boats and related equipment — including litters, life vests, and trailers — that will help The Bahamas respond quickly to life-threatening floods following a hurricane.

These specialised craft are unsinkable, rust-proof, polyethylene boats with 40hp engines that can reach 20-25 knots in normal conditions and carry up to 12 people or 2,500 pounds of cargo.

The boats will go to the islands of Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, Eleuthera, Andros, New Providence, Great Exuma, Cat Island, Long Island, Crooked Island, Acklins, and Mayaguana, all of which have received flood water rescue training from US Northern Command.

The United States will also provide construction materials to contribute to the repairs of 12 existing shelters on Grand Bahama damaged during Hurricane Dorian.

These materials will supplement repairs already underway by the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management, and Reconstruction.

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