THOUSANDS of Bahamians’ lives have been damaged and forever changed by Hurricane Joaquin. In life, when stories no longer dominate the headlines, we tend to forget about the PEOPLE behind those headlines, and tend to think their struggle must not be that bad if they are no longer the most trending topic, but that’s not true. WE HAVE YET TO GET A DETAILED ASSESSMENT & RECOVERY REPORT FOR EVERY SINGLE ISLAND DEVASTATED BY JOAQUIN. HOW ARE EACH AND EVERY RESIDENT & FAMILY MAKING IT? WHAT ARE THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS TO-DATE?
WE NEED THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN FULL:
– Does every single storm victim have the water, food, shelter, sanitation and healthcare provisions they need at this time to preserve or improve health and life post-storm?
– How many Bahamians, including children, were rendered homeless by Joaquin? How many Bahamians were rendered jobless? How is post-storm homelessness and unemployment being addressed?
– What is the breakdown of relief supplies sent to each island, either by NEMA, other government agencies or by private relief groups?
– How many residents island by island have received supplies and what is the category and amount of supplies received?
– What is the status of public healthcare facilities on the islands and do they have all the medicines and equipment they need?
– How many storm-ravaged Bahamians have been re-located to other islands, either by choice or otherwise, since the storm – and how are their basic needs being addressed?
– How has the government specifically addressed sanitation, fresh water supply needs, ground water contamination, environmental damage and vector control post-storm?
– What is the number of injuries sustained during Joaquin? What post-storm health impacts have been reported and are being adequately treated? This includes mental health impacts.
– What level and quality of access to qualified, skilled & competent mental health professionals do storm victims have on these islands?
– What is the structural status of all schools on the islands and the ETA on their repair or replacement?
– What actions have the authorities taken against reports of hoarding and/or theft of relief items on the various islands?
– What is the dollar figure of hurricane relief money and supplies donated to NEMA to-date?
– What have funds donated to NEMA been spent on to-date?
– How much money has been spent from the Consolidated Fund on hurricane relief and repairs so far?
– When will the government address the nation on our access to assistance via the Emergency Relief Guarantee Fund and how much of our tax dollars are currently in that Fund?
– Are home repairs currently underway being done to code? How is the government working to carry out or facilitate home repairs on the islands?
– What is going to be done to assist those in the farming & fisheries industries hard hit by Joaquin, particularly since the government either neglected or refused to include these critical Bahamian industries in its Exigency Orders this time around?
AS FOR GOV’T REVENUE & EXIGENCY ORDERS
– How much money does the government project will be lost in duty and VAT revenue as a result of its Exigency Orders, and how will this impact revenue projections for the first half of fiscal year 2015/2016?
– When will the government announce (AND TABLE IN PARLIAMENT AS IS REQUIRED) a re-alignment of approved Budget allocations for 2015/2016 to make up for the amount of money that will be needed to rebuild the islands affected and to repair public infrastructure, etc? If they need help with that, they can start by getting rid of that multi-million dollar Carnival foolery and re-direct those funds into restoring life, shelter, structure and industry to islands ravaged by Joaquin.