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Bahamas denies claims officials are REJECTING aid for devastated Abaco Islands

Bahamas authorities have denied claims officials are rejecting aid for the devastated Abaco Islands.  

Officials were accused of stalling or rejecting aid for Bahamas victims in an attempt to get residents to evacuate from the island.  

Sources from nonprofit organisations working in the area told Fox News they were encouraged by officials to hold off on delivering humanitarian aid and items such as generators to the devastated Abaco islands which has been rendered virtually uninhabitable by the hurricane. 

However a spokesperson for the Bahamian government have rejected the claims on Tuesday, putting the delay in aid delivery down to impeded travel on the islands in the wake of the storm.  

It comes amid reports of overflowing shelters in Bahamian capital Nassau being forced to turn away desperate survivors due to lack of space.  

Bahamian police and members of a recovery team remove a victim in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10, one week after Hurricane Dorian. Bahamas authorities have denied claims officials are rejecting aid for the devastated Abaco Islands

An elderly man waits to be attended at a tent hospital set up by Samaritans Purse in the aftermath of Hurricane DOrian in Freeport, Bahamas, on Tuesday. Sources from nonprofit organisations working in the area told Fox News they were encouraged by officials to hold off on delivering humanitarian aid and items such as generators to the devastated Abaco islands which has been rendered virtually uninhabitable by the hurricane

An elderly man waits to be attended at a tent hospital set up by Samaritans Purse in the aftermath of Hurricane DOrian in Freeport, Bahamas, on Tuesday. Sources from nonprofit organisations working in the area told Fox News they were encouraged by officials to hold off on delivering humanitarian aid and items such as generators to the devastated Abaco islands which has been rendered virtually uninhabitable by the hurricane

Two cars are seen in an area destroyed by a storm surge in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, on September 10

Two cars are seen in an area destroyed by a storm surge in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, on September 10 

Pallets of aid and food are seen in the port of Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10. A spokesperson for the Bahamian government have rejected the claims on Tuesday, putting the delay in aid delivery down to impeded travel on the islands in the wake of the storm

Pallets of aid and food are seen in the port of Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10. A spokesperson for the Bahamian government have rejected the claims on Tuesday, putting the delay in aid delivery down to impeded travel on the islands in the wake of the storm

Officials added that the evacuation process from the Abaco Islands is almost complete, and military aircraft is now flying supplies to the surrounding cays where less people chose to evacuate. 

It comes amid mounting desperation as hurricane survivors arriving in capital Nassau by boat and plane were turned away from overflowing shelters.

As government officials gave assurances at a news conference that more shelters would be opened as needed, Julie Green and her family gathered outside the headquarters of the island’s emergency management agency, seeking help.

‘We need a shelter desperately,’ the 35-year-old former waitress from Great Abaco said as she cradled one of her 7-month-old twins on her hip, his little face furrowed. Nearby, her husband held the other twin boy as their four other children wandered listlessly nearby. One kept crying despite receiving comforting hugs.

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands in the northern part of the archipelago a week ago, leaving at least 50 dead, with the toll certain to rise as the search for bodies goes on.

A helicopter flies over the village of High Rock which was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in the Grand Bahama, Bahamas, on Tuesday, September 10. Hurricane survivors arriving in capital Nassau by boat and plane were turned away from overflowing shelters

A helicopter flies over the village of High Rock which was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in the Grand Bahama, Bahamas, on Tuesday, September 10. Hurricane survivors arriving in capital Nassau by boat and plane were turned away from overflowing shelters

Ayfon Minus, 8, collects donated food that was brought by helicopter from Freeport to the Hurricane Dorian ravaged village of High Rock in Grand Bahama, September 10. Hurricane Dorian devastated the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands in the northern part of the archipelago a week ago, leaving at least 50 dead, with the toll certain to rise as the search for bodies goes on

Ayfon Minus, 8, collects donated food that was brought by helicopter from Freeport to the Hurricane Dorian ravaged village of High Rock in Grand Bahama, September 10. Hurricane Dorian devastated the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands in the northern part of the archipelago a week ago, leaving at least 50 dead, with the toll certain to rise as the search for bodies goes on

Members of the fire rescue team Task Force 8, from Gainesville, Florida, help remove a body one week after Hurricane Dorian hit The Mudd neighbourhood in the Marsh Harbor area of Aboca Island on September 9

Members of the fire rescue team Task Force 8, from Gainesville, Florida, help remove a body one week after Hurricane Dorian hit The Mudd neighbourhood in the Marsh Harbor area of Aboca Island on September 9 

Nearly 5,000 people have arrived in Nassau by plane and by boat, and many were struggling to start new lives, unclear of how or where to begin. More than 2,000 of them were staying in shelters, according to government figures.

Green said that shelter officials told her they couldn’t accept such young children, and that the family has slept in the home of a different person every night since arriving Friday in New Providence, the island where Nassau is situated.

‘We’re just exhausted,’ she said. ‘We’re just walking up and down, asking people if they know where we can stay.’

Erick Noel, a 37-year-old landscaper from Abaco with a wife and four children, found himself in the same situation. They will have to leave a friend’s house by Wednesday and had not yet found a shelter where they could stay.

‘They are full, full, full,’ he said. ‘I keep looking for a place to go.’

He said he found one small home for his family in Nassau but could not afford the $900 monthly rent. Undeterred, Noel said he would keep searching.

Meanwhile, government officials said they were helping all evacuees and considering building temporary housing, perhaps tent or container cities.

Bahamian police and members of a recovery team remove a victim in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10

Bahamian police and members of a recovery team remove a victim in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10

Bahamian police and members of a recovery team take a break while removing a victim as Canadian search and rescue members pass in the background in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10

Bahamian police and members of a recovery team take a break while removing a victim as Canadian search and rescue members pass in the background in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10 

Police officers search for the dead in the destroyed Mudd neighbourhood after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbor on September 10

Police officers search for the dead in the destroyed Mudd neighbourhood after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbor on September 10 

Police officers search for the dead in the destroyed Mudd neighbourhood after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbor on September 10

Police officers search for the dead in the destroyed Mudd neighbourhood after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbor on September 10

Police officers search for the dead in the destroyed Mudd neighbourhood after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbor on September 10

Police officers search for the dead in the destroyed Mudd neighbourhood after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbor on September 10

‘We are dealing with a disaster,’ said Carl Smith, spokesman for the Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency. ‘It takes time to move through the chaos. We are responding to the needs.’

The government has estimated that up to 10,000 people from the Abacos alone will need food, water and temporary housing.

Getting back to Abaco is the dream of Betty Edmond, a 43-year-old cook who picked at some fries with her son and husband in a restaurant at a Nassau hotel, where her nephew is paying for their stay.

They arrived in Nassau on Saturday night after a six-hour boat trip from Abaco and plan to fly to Florida on Wednesday, thanks to plane tickets bought by friends who will provide them a temporary home until they can find jobs. But the goal is to return, Edmond said.

‘Home will always be home,’ she said. ‘Every day you wish you could go back.’

‘You try to keep your hopes up, but …,’ she added, her voice trailing off as she shook her head.

A helicopter flies over the village of High Rock after delivering emergency supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in High Rock, Grand  Bahama on September 10

A helicopter flies over the village of High Rock after delivering emergency supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in High Rock, Grand  Bahama on September 10 

A ship that was pushed up near the road from a storm surge is seen in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10, one week after Storm Dorian

A ship that was pushed up near the road from a storm surge is seen in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10, one week after Storm Dorian 

A couple's photograph is seen amongst the rubble in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10, one week after Hurricane Dorian

A couple’s photograph is seen amongst the rubble in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10, one week after Hurricane Dorian

A thunderstorm is seen over destroyed trees in Marsh Harbour, Bahmas on September 10, one week after Storm Dorian

A thunderstorm is seen over destroyed trees in Marsh Harbour, Bahmas on September 10, one week after Storm Dorian 

The upheaval, however, was exciting to her 8-year-old son, Kayden Monestime, who said he was looking forward to going to a mall, McDonald’s and Foot Locker.

Also flying to Florida was 41-year-old Shaneka Russell, who owned Smacky’s Takeaway, a takeout restaurant known for its cracked conch. The restaurant, named after the noises her son made as a baby, was destroyed by Dorian.

Russell said good Samaritans had taken her and a group of people into their home over the weekend and found them a hotel room in Nassau for a couple of days.

‘To know that we were going to a hotel, with electricity and air conditioning and a proper shower, I cried,’ she said.

A destroyed home is seen in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10.

A destroyed home is seen in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10. 

A man bikes past destroyed homes in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10, one week after Storm Dorian

A man bikes past destroyed homes in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas on September 10, one week after Storm Dorian 

A girl looks up as a rescue helicopter flies over Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas on September 10

A girl looks up as a rescue helicopter flies over Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas on September 10

The nearby island of Eleuthera also was taking in evacuees as unmet needs keep growing, said Sadye Francis, director of a nonprofit organization.

‘There are still others that have nowhere to go,’ she said. ‘The true depth of the devastation in Abaco and Grand Bahama is still unfolding.’

Dimple Lightbourne, a 30-year-old Abaco resident now in Nassau, said she couldn’t wait to escape the disaster Dorian left behind.

‘I don’t want to see the Bahamas for a while. It’s stressful,’ she said. ‘I want to go to America. … This is a new chapter. I’ve ripped all the pages out. Just give me a new book to fill out.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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