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Eleuthera to get “ambitious” infrastructure upgrades

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister announced major infrastructure upgrades to improve delivery of services for Eleuthera at the 6th Eleuthera Business Outlook held last month. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister announced infrastructure upgrades to improve delivery of services for Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, and Harbour Island at the 6th Eleuthera Business Outlook, April 26, 2018 at Valentine’s Resort and Marina in Harbour Island.

Bannister revealed the government’s plans to assist in “creating a world class Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells”.

Minister Bannister said it is anticipated that the initiatives will foster growth and development in the Family Island community, and the private sector will take advantage of the opportunity to invest in the growth of the local economy.

It is the intention of the Ministry of Works to provide world class, reliable energy in an environmentally friendly way at the lowest cost to consumers, thereby ensuring that consumers are satisfied with the service they obtain.

Minister Bannister advised of the urgent short-term need for additional energy generation capacity for Harbour Island.

“In the long term we will conduct a cost benefit analysis to determine the cost of upgrading [energy generation]. We will also look at installing solar in North Eleuthera for daytime power, and rely on traditional generation for cloudy days and nights. This option will, of course require us to run a submarine cable from the mainland to Harbour Island,” he said.

Adrian Gibson, chairman of the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC), is currently compiling a report that will lead to changes in the way water is supplied to Family Island communities. Residents can anticipate a change in the quality of water delivered by the WSC and investment opportunities through public-private partnerships.

Proposed infrastructural projects include road reconstruction between Gregory Town and the Glass Window Bridge, within the settlement of Spanish Wells and throughout North, Central and South Eleuthera.

The following capital works by the Ministry of Works were outlined:

  • Extensive improvements to the Spanish Wells administration building, the Harbour Island Administration complex redevelopment project
  •  Renovation and upgrade of the former Workers House Building, Governor’s Harbour
  • Facilitation of numerous sections of road repair
  • Construction of a new two-lane bridge to connect Spanish Wells and Russell Island
  • Improvements to the island’s school and educational system. Construction works on the North Eleuthera High School are almost completed. Preliminary works are also being carried out on the Harbour Island School.
  • Construction of primary and secondary new school facilities and relevant ancillary buildings at Harbour Island
  • Inspection and review of the structural repairs required for the Spanish Wells administration building; with a view to effecting the required improvements, or if necessary construct a new building
  •  Requisite engineering studies for the Glass Window Bridge so that plans for a new bridge can commence; $2 million has been budgeted for this.
  • Improved docking facilities in Harbour Island.  $1.5 million has been budgeted for this
  • $14 million to build a new North Eleuthera airport
  • A Project Team is being commissioned to design a new administration complex at the existing Harbour Island administration building site

Minister Bannister described the government’s agenda for these islands as “ambitious” and urged those in attendance to consider the investment opportunities provided.

GIBC Digital, a global technology firm, has announced that it is opening an office in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Headquartered in New York, the company also has offices in Boston, Stamford, Tampa, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The Freeport office will serve as the company's global training headquarters and become the location for its new data and artificial intelligence centre.

The government seeks to tap into the talent pool of the Bahamian diaspora for further growth and development of The Bahamas by the creation of a database into which Bahamians abroad could submit their names and areas of profession.

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