On 1 September 2019, Hurricane Dorian made landfall as a category 5 hurricane in The Bahamas with wind speeds in excess of 185mph, lashing The Bahamian islands of Great Abaco (pop. ~17,200) and Grand Bahama (pop. ~51,000). After striking The Bahamas, Dorian’s travelling speed slowed to 1 mph over Grand Bahama, prolonging the island’s exposure to life-threatening storm surge of 18-23 feet above normal tide levels. Dorian is the strongest hurricane on record for The Bahamas and has tied a record for the strongest Atlantic hurricane to make landfall.
Over 76,000 people have been affected and an estimated 15,000 people are in need of humanitarian aid. Response efforts have been complicated by damage to essential infrastructure, such as roads, ports, airports, healthcare facilities, government facilities, bridges and telecommunications. The Bahamian community is entering their third-week post-Hurricane Dorian. While much of the government, private sector and NGO community efforts are heavily focused on the immediate needs of displaced communities, momentum is building to plan large-scale debris removal, WASH systems and the path for long-term recovery.
Grand Bahama’s infrastructure experienced damage, but many structures are projected to be restored for use in the coming months. The scale of destruction in Abaco is far more extensive and will require large-scale reconstruction. Our team is working with ministerial and NGO counterparts to gather information and deploy resources effectively for a coordinated response effort.
Given the scale of need that exists across Abaco, our Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART) has focused efforts on building capacity to serve those communities. If you haven’t already seen the Facebook Live, click here to hear directly from Sage, International Response Manager, and Saulcy, Partnership Manager.
Our program will officially open to volunteers on October 1st. We plan to conduct early clean up and debris management activities through long-term rebuilding, performing continuous work for the next two years. Addressing central community infrastructure will be crucial to a holistic recovery in Abaco. We’re now in the process of identifying specific schools and other structures, such as health clinics, to focus on and we’ll share more on these projects in the coming weeks/months.
We believe in staying for the long term and plan to help rebuild resilience in affected communities. Our recovery efforts will likely target school repairs and rebuilds.
A special thank you to our long-term partner, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and generous supporters for helping us reach the $4M match goal. While this is incredible, we have found the scope and scale of the devastation to be even more extreme than first estimated. This leads us to estimate we’ll need a minimum of $6M for the recovery work over the next two years. We appreciate your continued support to assist The Bahamas on the long road to recovery.
Please donate to help support our hurricane relief efforts.
Stories and Impact. Right to Your Inbox.