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DNA commentary: Forward, upward, onward and together!
Submitted by the DNA party   
Sunday, 04 October 2015 16:37

Hurricane Joaquin ripped through the central and southeast Bahamas this week leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The category 4 system devastated homes in Rum Cay, San Salvador, Long Island, Crooked Island and Acklins; and is further responsible for multiple unconfirmed deaths. Not since France, Jean and Wilma which wrought similar devastation in the Northern Bahamas has a hurricane been responsible for such widespread loss in the family islands.

The unpredictable nature of Hurricane Joaquin presented its own set of challenges. The speed at which this system formed and intensified made it not only difficult to forecast but led to lapses in storm preparation. It is these lapses which Prime Minister Perry Christie called a ‘teachable moment’. WE AGREE. It is our hope that we, as a people, and as a government are able to learn from this very tragic experience. The time will come when as a nation we will be able to discuss in a frank and honest way how to prevent similar lapses from occurring again; the time will come for us to create and develop more succinct early warning and immediate response plans but NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO ASSIGN BLAME! We CANNOT and MUST NOT get hung up on who did or did not do their jobs. WE CANNOT and MUST NOT use this an opportunity to score political brownie points. Instead, our focus MUST remain on restoring a sense of normalcy to the lives of those affected.

In the wake of such desolation, it has been a heartwarming experience to watch Bahamians in the unaffected islands come together to render aid. Over the past 48 hours we have seen countless groups mobilize to secure donations, supplies and volunteers. This past Saturday the DNA joined those efforts. Through the DNA’s Men’s Alliance, Women’s Alliance and Business Alliance organizations we have arranged a supply drive at a central relief depot at Bahamas Bus and Truck on Montrose Avenue which has so far received tremendous support from party supporters and the wider public as well. Our efforts will continue. We further offer our assistance wherever we can to the Government of the Bahamas in an attempt to help our brothers and sisters.

DNA Men’s Alliance offer relief
Submitted by the DNA party   
Saturday, 03 October 2015 07:16

It is in times of need and tragedy that we must find humanity. The acceptance that we as a people are civilly and socially responsible to bring comfort, help and hope to those amongst us who find themselves in situations of despair, need and vulnerability is the highest level of humanity we have.

We offer our contribution to the Non-Partisan efforts of NEMA as we all, DNA, FNM and PLP move forward in fulfilling our mandates to support, grow, and protect all Bahamians and by extension The Bahamas and all those that reside in our national boundaries. In this spirit we reach out to NEMA as they coordinate with their efforts.

Our brothers and sisters in the Central and South Eastern Islands through no fault of their own, find themselves vulnerable and in need of our help. We are currently organizing efforts to provide relief to our brothers and sisters via financial donations, water, food, clothing and volunteers and will open a central relief depot at Bahamas Bus and Truck on Montrose Ave, between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon tomorrow. We invite all contributions; nothing is to small an effort.

"We can be divided in opinions, solutions and ideas, but we must find common ground in purpose"

Kristopher Gray

President, DNA Men's Alliance

This week in The Bahamas by Elcott Coleby (September 28 - October 2)
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Saturday, 03 October 2015 07:13

Hurricane Joaquin pounds the central and southern Bahamas

The biggest news this week in The Bahamas was a destructive force of nature called JOAQUIN. This category four Hurricane brought torrential rain and surges in tides and surfs, causing widespread flooding in the central and southern Bahamas this week. By Thursday, the entire Bahamas was placed on hurricane warning. By Friday, the central and northwest Bahamas remained under a hurricane warning.

Schools in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco joined the Family Islands schools in being closed on Friday. Banks were closed at 1pm and government departments not delivering essential services were closed at noon.

The Ministry of Tourism, Bahamasair, the National Dug Prescription Plan, the Public Hospital Authority, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company all implemented their individual hurricane preparedness plans.

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, activated its National Command Center where the agency communicated with the entire leadership of the Royal Bahamas Police Force across The Bahamas. NEMA admitted to some communication challenges with local government officials in some of the Family Island districts.

There was international criticism. The Weather Channel stated that the Doppler Radar System at the Bahamas Meteorology Department was not functioning. The Bahamas Department of Meteorology immediately issued a statement denying this, indicating that its radar system functioned continuously through the storm and any suggestion to the contrary was incorrect.

Statement from Minister responsible for Local Government Hope Strachan
Submitted by Frederick Johnson III   
Friday, 02 October 2015 11:42

The Minister of Financial Services with responsibility for Local Government Hon. Hope Strachan wishes to advise all Bahamians throughout the family of Islands to head all warnings issued by the relevant governmental agencies, weather officials, authorities and emergency personnel in the midst of Hurricane Joaquin and extremely dangerous and unpredictable storm.

As the Minister with responsibility for the Family Islands Hon. Hope Strachan is also urging residents to continue to secure their families, homes and properties as much possible, but to head all evacuation orders and instructions to seek safe shelter. Residents are advised to remain indoors and be vigilant until the official all clear is given.

As this powerful storm continues to batter the islands of the Southern and Central Bahamas, Minister Strachan wishes to reassure all residents that her Ministry is monitoring the movement of the storm and stands ready to assist and begin damage assessments as soon as the storm has passed.

The Minister and her staff will also continue to keep the people in the Bahamas in prayer throughout these very uncertain times.

DNA statement on the government’s hurricane preparedness or lack thereof
Submitted by the DNA party   
Friday, 02 October 2015 10:00

Notwithstanding the Prime Minister’s address to the country on Hurricane Joaquin, the Bahamas still awaits direction from this government as to what to do. The Prime Minister’s press conference said absolutely nothing!

And we in the DNA are most disappointed that no directions or guidance have been given for the Bahamas in connection with this now category 4 hurricane. Indeed, recognizing the unique challenges facing an archipelagic nation, governments of such nations should strive to be proactive and efficient in its preparedness for disaster. In doing so, the government ensures that means and measures are in place that would allow it to respond quickly and appropriately to natural and manmade disasters.

The PLP government has failed in this regard. We ask the question again to the Prime Minister, what exactly did you say? What directions have been given to the people of the Bahamas in connection with this category 4 hurricane?? For God sake PLP….govern this country!!!!

For all of the residents of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, we urge you to take all the necessary precautions to protect yourself as this category 4 hurricane passes. Our prayers are with you and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

The Democratic National Alliance

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