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Bahamian Politics Last Updated: Sep 15, 2019 - 1:18:55 PM

Glenys Hanna-Martin on update on post hurricane activities
By Progressive Liberal Party (PLP)
Sep 10, 2019 - 1:16:36 PM

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Nassau, Bahamas  -- Statement of Glenys Hanna Martin, Member of Parliament for Englerston Constituency,

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, 10thSeptember, 2019.

Yesterday we traveled to Marsh Harbour, and Spring City, Abaco. I accompanied the Leader there and we were able to view first hand the devastation and destruction wrought by Hurricane Dorian

The Leader has appointed a Disaster Relief Committee dubbed Operation Restoration which I co-Chair with Sen Michael Darville who is today in Freeport overseeing our efforts there including the distribution of meals to approximately 200 people daily.

The PLP has been transporting food, water and generators to parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama since the all clear was given by the Department of Meteorology immediately after the passage of the storm.

The scope and nature of this storm disaster require all hands on deck and we believe it is critical for there to be a collaboration of all of our national leaders, regardless of political or religious persuasion. Partisanship or foolhardy self-assurance has no place in the necessary effort to bring restoration to our people.

We in this organization and specifically our Leader, again pledge our full and unquestioned support to this objective and again reach out to the Government to provide our own experienced assistance to this end.

In the meantime, we continue our individual efforts which will continue unabated. We stand with the people of Abaco and Grand Bahama in this their most painful hour.

We will never leave them.

We are inspired and bolstered by the courage of our people in the affected areas whose experience is painful beyond imagination.

We will do all in our power to work towards their healing and full restoration.

A very important issue is the Environmental release at the Equinor Petroleum Storage Facility at South Riding Point.

Equinor ought to have known of the risks connected with petroleum storage as a result of the high winds and sea surges produced by Dorian as reported.

After the passage of the storm there were rumours and reports on social media about an oil spill at the facility shortly after Dorian made landfall. When we arrived there several days later, we saw the spill, but there was no evidence or visible signs all those days later that efforts were being made to arrest the emission, contain the spill, recover the oil and remediate the area to avoid contamination of the water table which could trigger a public health crisis.

NEMA only spoke publicly to this spill at or around the time we visited the area, published photos and released a video vignette bringing this to the attention of the nation. They NEMA spoke, the agency indicated that they were aware of the spill even though they said nothing publicly about it before then. I find silence relative to this public interest issue troubling and the timing of their public admission curious.

It was reported that WSC was on its way there, but days later, what have they discovered and what is the current status? Is the water safe? What is the extent of the environmental damage.

Equinor indicated that a team of specialists was on their way to Grand Bahama to address the spill. Have they arrived and if not what is the status?Have any interim measures been taken by competent firms in Grand Bahama to ameliorate any risk?

The issue fundamentally is the quality and potability of the water and the impact to the environment which impacts the lives of entire communities in East Grand Bahama.

We invite donations of food, water, clothing, generators and other items to support persons utterly lacking having list everything. We pledge expeditious and fair distribution in affected areas.

We again thank all agencies on the front line, RBPF, RBDF, other uniformed branches, medical professionals, social workers, technical personnel, NGO's, volunteers and last but not least, the outpouring of international support.

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