DOMES, DOOM AND THE FOI
I can’t believe I am at the computer again shaking my head at more mind ‘bogglement’ taking place!
Yesterday, there was a spirited whatsapp video flying around the country concerning the many sitting trailers of exposed wood going to rot, along with mattresses and sheet rock lying open to the elements in Abaco. Whether true or false, whether in response to or in preparation for damage control I cannot say, but reading yesterday’s newspaper story about the Abaco dome situation, I can but sigh – deeply and yet again!
Where in the world is that elusive appointee to the OPM announced several years ago who was supposed to be tracking projects to make sure they were moving according to schedule and being completed on time – anyone else remember that press conference?
I asked the questions last year on Facebook as to what was the situation with the progress (or lack thereof) of the Abaco domes, and the total costs incurred, seeing as it had been a year since the usual big fanfare publicity parade accompanied by flowery speeches and clicking cameras had taken place! It is depressing to see that the project has been at a standstill for a while, with materials - whether donated or paid for with our hard earned treasury funds – sitting idle and deteriorating. There is no excuse for this abuse of treasury funds, blatant dereliction of duty, and stark disregard for the Abaco citizen’s welfare!
According to figures quoted in the newspaper, there were 200 domes ordered, but only 100 are erected and occupied, each costing about $10,000 to erect – that’s $1 million dollars spent so far with another $1 million needed to complete the other 100 domes, and the domes themselves costing “about $6.4 million”.
Inquiring minds would like to know, so answer us, da people dem, this: Are the construction costs a separate charge in addition to the $6.4 million figure? Were the domes donated or not? What company did they come from? Were local contractors used to construct the domes? Do the present occupants have to pay ‘rent’ for the domes? Did the domes come with bathrooms and kitchens installed (as shown during the flowery press conference) or did occupants have to finance that cost themselves and buy additional furniture? How were the occupants determined and the domes allocated? Why are “40 domes sitting in Grand Bahama”?
Why are the domes not completed and occupied? According to the Disaster Reconstruction Authority: “What I want you to understand is we are in a different point in our process at the moment….the domes were not erected in a timely manner as we would’ve anticipated.”
Reality check – it is now well over a year later and 5 months out from the start of yet another hurricane season!
Meanwhile, and I will say it again - $20 million allocated for building sidewalks in Nassau!! Go figure those figures, and let me know how they compute to your way of thinking because I just cannot make sense, nor fathom the logic of the convoluted thinking that takes place in the ‘gubment’ hallowed halls!
We must, as citizen of this land we love, insist, agitate, and demand that the Freedom of Information Act be enacted asap so that the powers that be are held to account and are constantly forced to be clearly conscious of their obligation to do so with transparency and efficiency in tow so that we can shine some bright lights in these convoluted halls of doom!
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