NEMA update for Thursday, September 26, 2019

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ROYAL BAHAMAS POLICE FORCE (RBPF)
The Commissioner of Police has released the official number of deceased persons recovered as Nine (9) in Grand Bahama and forty-seven (47) in Abaco.

RBPF PROCESS FOR IDENTIFICATION
The Royal Bahamas Police Force, through The Commissioner of Police, is the only entity that has the authority to release an official count of recovered bodies. Whenever a body is found in Grand Bahama and Abaco the police are called in and accompany the retrieval team at all
stages. As a part of the ongoing procedure the RBPF has begun the process of identification of recovered bodies from Grand Bahama and Abaco. 

If you have not seen your loved ones since the passage of Hurricane Dorian please report them missing or misplaced at the Missing Persons section at the Criminal Detective Unit (CDU) located University Drive. An officer will take a statement, which will include relevant information pertaining to the missing or misplaced individual.  Bodies can be identified through 4 methods:

Facial identification. This occurs when facial features are still intact and relatives can easily recognize their love ones.Fingerprint. This occurs when fingerprints of the deceased are still accessible.When fingerprints are taken it is inserted into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) for comparison.

DNA. In cases of advanced decomposition, the confirmation of identity will be done through DNA profiling analysis. This requires the collection of blood, tissue, bone or tooth from the remains to be compared to controlled samples from relatives.

Dental. In these cases there are skeletal dental remains that can be compared to dental records.

Another form of identification can be done through The International Criminal Police Organization, (Interpol) with a Black Notice that circulates internationally, information (fingerprints, DNA, dental and facial identification) on unidentified bodies.

PORT INVESTMENTS BY CARNIVAL CORPORATION
On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, the Government of The Bahamas signed two separate heads of agreements with Carnival for the $100 million-dollar development of a cruise port in Sharp Rock, Freeport, and an $80 million-dollar expansion of Half Moon Cay. The Carnival Corporation has agreed to develop a new island destination on Grand Bahama on 329 acres of land at Sharp Rock. The cruise port will be the largest Carnival Cruise Port in the world and will lead to significant job creation during the construction phase as well as long- term employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The Most Hon Dr Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minister, noted the significance of signing both agreements in the restoration and recovery of Grand Bahama following Hurricane Dorian. “A major part of reconstruction, which has become even more urgent, is the ongoing economic recovery and revitalization of Grand Bahama,” he said. When completed, the new port is expected to bring millions more tourists to Grand Bahama each year. The plans for the new port include aquatic facilities, food and beverage pavilions, restaurants and nightclubs, a shopping plaza, zip lines and sports facilities, miniature golf course, park areas, open-air concert facilities and a transportation hub.

MINISTRY OF PUBLIC WORKS

Designated Landfill site still required for solid waste management.  The Ministry of Public Works, the Department of Environmental Health Services, /Department of Lands and Survey are working together to identify a suitable location for solid waste management. DEHS has reported that a potential site has been identified.

Freeport building assessment continues in the following locations: Queens Cove; Columbus Park; Hudson Estates; Hawksbill; Regency Park; Bahamia North; and Back of Town.

Building Controls: There is an overwhelming request from building owners to start rebuilding or repairs. MOPW is in discussions to retain a structural engineer who will be preparing a process for applicants to receive permits to build; in collaboration with the Buildings Control Division of the Ministry of Public Works (MOPW).

HAZARDOUS MATERIAL LAND/MARINE

Equinor in Grand Bahama – The Ministry of the Environment in conjunction with US Coast Guard continue to monitor the spill at the site. We are in the process of reviewing their waste management plan, an approval to the amendments will be granted by Saturday, September 28, 2019.

The Department of Environmental Health Services, along with representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and Equinor will carry out another flyover of the coastline on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 12 noon. The flyover is part of routine monitoring.

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
 Damage assessments were conducted on Grand Bahama on September 19, 2019 and on Abaco on September 20. The total estimated damage as of September 20th amounts to $7, 441,350
 8 damaged fishing vessels total estimated replacement cost is $906,800
 5 outboard engines have been reported lost or damaged. 
 Total estimated value of fishing gear lost to date is reported as $205,400
 6 seafood processing plants have been severely damaged; estimated $4,681,500
 Seafood processing plant inventory loss amounts to an estimated $1,645,150.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
 Teams will return to Grand Bahama to continue assessments October 2-4, 2019
 Need assistance with supplies to construct swarm boxes for bees to create housing and feeding location;
 Shipment of feed sent to Abaco was delivered and assistance requested with distribution to farmers. Farmers are collecting from World Food Programme representative at port.
 Staff of Department Of Agriculture is available to assist with distribution to farmers.

ABACO
The Emergency Operations Centre in Abaco shared the results of on-the-ground assessments recently conducted in North, South and Central Abaco to determine/update figures of people currently living in Abaco Islands and in need of humanitarian assistance.  Abaco is still in the relief phase as relate to food assistance. A distribution plan of in-kind donations (food and non-food items) has been put in place to start weekly deliveries to pre- identified distribution sites. Also:

 A distribution center has been set up in Marsh Harbour, at the Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS), and is now fully functional.
  There is no confirmed date for reopening of shops/supermarkets.  
 Abaco Gas is selling propane from their operating location in Marsh Harbour. 
 Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue is organizing and coordinating relief efforts in Hope Town.

FOOD SECURITY
 World Central Kitchen has kitchen facilities in Nassau and Marsh Harbour, Abaco. They are providing two meals per day (lunch and dinner), including hot meals, salads and sandwiches. 
 Some organizations are considering the shift from in-kind to cash-based assistance. 
 Ministry Of Social Services recommends that all individuals and organizations reaching out to the ministry and offering to provide meals in shelters are to partner with well- established/recognized organizations that are already providing food assistance.
 The Ministry continues to provide Emergency Food Vouchers to evacuees residing outside of shelters.
 The Salvation Army is providing food boxes in Grand Bahama (door-to-door and from a distribution site in Freeport) and in Nassau (from a distribution center). The ration is designed to cover the food needs of a family of 4-6 people for 2-3 days.

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