The Minister of Works and Utilities and Member of Parliament for Fort Charlotte addressed the issue of shanty towns while delivering his contribution to the 2023/24 budget debate in the House of Assembly on Tuesday.
The Hon. Alfred Sears told Parliamentarians, “we now have a plan of action and as soon as we receive the necessary intelligence information which is being gathered, we will proceed with the demolitions or regularizations in a humanitarian manner. We are reaching out to the international community to request as much assistance and understanding of this complex issue that The Bahamas is faced in the facilitation of the work of the task force.”
The task force appointed by the government to tackle the shanty town issue has requested $6 million this fiscal year. The Minister outlined some of what that amount will cover. He said, “overtime salaries, travel and subsistence, strategic communication, supplies and materials, tablets for data collection, services, heavy equipment and rental for demolitions, trucks and jeep for the Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Force and consultancy fees for environmental assessment.”
Sears also said, “a secretariat has been established which has been attached to the Ministry of Works whose overall composition will be made up of constituents from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Bahamas Power and Light and other ministries of the government as may be necessary from time to time.”