https://culturalmemorybahamas.com Memory, Mourning & Resilience in The Bahamas Mon, 16 Dec 2019 19:41:39 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/cropped-android-chrome-512x512-2-32x32.png https://culturalmemorybahamas.com 32 32 Local Disparity Can Lead To A Never Ending Cycle of Climate Inequality. https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/local-disparity-can-lead-to-a-never-ending-cycle-of-climate-inequality/ Mon, 16 Dec 2019 03:54:50 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=878 The simplest meaning of disparity is variance. How exactly does disparity play a role in climate inequality? Summarizing a paper by Nazural Islam, S., & Wickel, J. (2017), (p. 5), disparity ie. the unequal sharing of goods and whether it be aid, relief supplies etc., can lead to persons who are not receiving as much help and benefiting as much as other areas to have a gross disadvantage. Since these areas are not well equipped to rebuild and restore, they are left susceptible to more damage from future storms, this phenomenon is known as climate inequality. In this sense disparity and climate inequality/injustice are directly proportional. With more disparity comes more climate injustice.

The topic I chose to base my research on is the fact that there is local disparity among areas of Grand Bahama and that the disadvantaged areas should be monitored and assisted as much as possible so that the people of these areas do not face climate injustice later down the line.

Grand Bahama suffered a devastating amount of damage as a result of Hurricane Dorian, East Grand Bahama was directly hit by the 185 mph winds of Hurricane Dorian and suffered extensive damage. Other areas saw damage from flooding and some damage from the winds as well, however the amount of damage in areas such East Grand Bahama are unbelievable. How exactly can knowing the relationship between local disparity and climate injustice prove beneficial to Grand Bahama and The Bahamas in general? Well, to answer that question, the research found can greatly assist the governing entities of Grand Bahama in realizing that local disparity should be kept as minimal as possible in order to have everyone benefiting at the same pace and not allowing certain areas to fall victim to the detrimental effects of climate injustice.

East Grand Bahama Post Hurricane Dorian (Photo from CNN)

Reference
Nazural Islam, S., & Wickel, J. (2017). Climate Change and Social Inequality. Retrieved 15 December 2019, from https://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2017/wp152_2017.pdf

]]>
Why are there no hurricane preparation centers for those in flood zones in The Bahamas? https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/why-are-there-no-hurricane-preparation-centers-for-those-in-flood-zones-in-the-bahamas/ Sun, 15 Dec 2019 19:19:35 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=873
]]>
Blame the Communication!! https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/blame-the-communication/ Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:34:11 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=865 Image result for bahamas preparing for dorian

A boy helps his father secure a door in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, on Saturday in preparation for Hurricane Dorian. (Dante Carrer/Reuters)By Jasper Ward and Anthony Faiola

The Bahamas government was to blame for the lack of communication brought about the Bahamas. People were going around stating how the government did not warn them in time of when to flea for safety. Bahamians are now upset at the fact that they were stuck in their homes and had to fight to survive during the hurricane. This is not entirely true, these people cannot put their entire blame on the government for lack of communication. Even though it was a slow process, there was still time for the people to prepare and plan for safety. There were those that were hard-headed, that they did not want to leave their home. That everything was going to be fine and its just a storm. Well those people are now distraught and are fighting for survival.

The government were trying to build and finish the fishing hole road before Hurricane Dorian’s arrival. Instead of using those funds to buy materials for those in need they went ahead and tried to finish. After the storm the bridge was devastated, but that didn’t stop them from picking up where they left off before the storm. They began putting more money into the project and not helping those in need. There are people fighting for their lives, trying to survive and the governments first thing was to go ahead and continue working on the bridge

Preparation and planning moving forward will change for the better. The government has issued a new bill since the passing of Dorian to ensure safety and communication to be better and faster. Peter Turnquest put out this statement with the bill. ” The new bill has several components. First it allows the Prime Minister to call a mandatory evacuation order for all residents and islands in the predicted path of the storm.  This change will have several implications for our future responses to natural disasters, including how we address the fiscal dimensions. To be sure, the Government will be required to address the logistical needs associated with mass care and shelter services under a mandatory evacuation.”

]]>
Flooding Emergency https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/elementor-862/ Sat, 14 Dec 2019 21:56:38 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=862
Minister of Public works inspecting the High Rock seawall.

As a result of hurricane Matthew in 2016, Grand Bahama obtained 70 percent of the economic loss and damages of The Bahamas (Hartnell, 2018). Most infrastructure in The Bahamas is lacking the scientific backing it needs to withstand extreme weather. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) urged for coastal communities to be relocated.

There is little protection from coral reefs due to rapid erosion destroying over 50 percent of the natural infrastructure (Hartnell, 2017). Increasing effects from climate change result in rising sea levels and higher water temperatures which increases the risk of flooding. Sea walls and bridges in some areas are improperly built and in effective in severe weather (Hamilton, 2018).

Grand Bahama six feet surge risk zone map.

Flood maps show the vulnerability of the northern parts of Grand Bahama to storm surges. Three feet of surge dominates almost half of the island and emphasize how susceptible we are to floods (Silverman, 2019). Improvements of current systems of flood management and infrastructure will take a significant amount of time and money. Hurricane Dorian exposed the weaknesses in flood management and emergency housing. Flood management is feasible as a long-term objective, with proper guidance from scientific research.

]]>
Homeless Because of Hurricane Dorian https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/made-homeless-by-hurricane-dorian/ Sat, 14 Dec 2019 05:36:43 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=847 Climate change has had an enormous impact on the lives of persons living in the Bahamas. The past three years of hurricane seasons has caused vast damage and loss for many Bahamians. On September 1st – 3rd, 2019 a slow moving category five hurricane named Dorian, became the worst hurricane to negatively impact the Bahamas in its history of hurricanes. Dorian has destroyed an entire island, entire communities and disrupted industry and social welfare for tens of thousands of persons dwelling on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. Hurricane Dorian is directly responsible for leaving more than seventy thousand people dwelling on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama homeless.

Most of the homeless are from the island of Abaco and are immigrants from Haiti whose dwelling on the island of Abaco has been previously addressed by the Bahamas government before hurricane Dorian arrived. The popular shanty towns of The Mud and The Peas were communities tightly packed with structurally hazardous dwellings, in addition, their environments were reportedly unfit for housing humans and broke Bahamian laws, yet for more than a decade, many immigrant families were permitted by the Bahamas government and judicial system to call The Mud and The Pigeon Peas their homes, before Dorian flattened the entire Abaco Island, leaving almost all of its residents displaced. Meanwhile, all of East End residents and many other Grand Bahama residents are suffering the same fate because of Dorian. The government has worked closely with local and international Nonprofit Organizations to help bring relief to the number of families made homeless. The Red Cross is one of the many NGOs assisting the government to bring welfare to needful Dorian survivors, specifically on Grand Bahama Island, by assisting persons without a home into rental accommodations via the Department of Social Services.

Model of hurricane proof Dome House

In October of 2019, the government of the Bahamas announced that it is deactivating its Dorian shelters and pushing its “Family Relief Center”, a 20acre government subdivision-compound constructed with hurricane proof dome houses on Abaco Island, between Murphy Town and Marsh Harbor and is expected to immediately house 1000 of the Abaconian Dorian survivors.

Meanwhile, there is no government relief that ensures any of the Grand Bahamian natives a home because they lost their former residence to hurricane Dorian and many of them will face the fact there may never be provided to them any such aide by the government, and after three months of living on an island with a retard economy, many Grand Bahamian residents are going to need additional financial help to continue living in modern residential accommodations or be forced to face the reality of becoming homeless or at best long-term tent dwellers.

]]>
Heritage: Washed Away by Big Wave Dorian https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/heritage-washed-away-by-big-wave-dorian/ Sat, 14 Dec 2019 03:21:39 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=668

Do you feel anxious now that hurricane season soon approach in couple months? Do you feel that you need to be more prepared? During this year, the Bahamas had dealt with a catastrophic storm named Hurricane Dorian. It had affected the whole northern Bahamas with strong winds and rain. Also, no one didn’t expect the major storm surge that wipe out half of Grand Bahama. This storm surge had reach up to 7 meters which affected the whole subdivision in heritage. Residents from heritage didn’t expecting for this “tsunami” like flood to happen in that area.

The back of hertiage
water slowly develops in heritage (zns 2019)

I’ve interview a resident in the deep part of heritage. Its a very secluded area. In that part of heritage about 2000 houses spread out. She said that she lived here for 9 years and never experience a flood. She says that she barely feel any wind and rain from pass hurricane especially hurricane Matthew. ” when I notice the water was rising I tried to call for some help ahead of time” she said. she stated during that time she packed her stuff and drove near her Mother’s home that was 3 mins away. At her Mother’s home, where her younger sister lived, she notice the water was rising even higher. “it was high as the door knob” she said. Sooner or the later the water was above her waist. She said that her and her daughter, grandson, sister and niece had to go up the manhole as soon as possible. She said that she carried a sharp object and a hammer just in case its not strong enough. Eventually, her and her family were rescued from the roof and was saved by a group of men that she knew. She said that the aftermath was very diffcult for her becuase she lost everyhing. Lucky her cat was still alive to be by her side.

Be prepared!!!! :if you decide to stay at your homes or it’s too late to for you to evacuate from a storm surges make sure you have good supporting materials. In each home in a low lying community or a community that is now having unexpected stoem surge, Bahamians needs to have flashlights that is waterproof. Next have a lot of durable rope, if you have a large family make sure tie everyone together in a line so no one is lost in action. If you have small children tie them against you tight so the powerful waves don’t wash them away. Next have a life vest, even if you’re a swimmer still have on a life vest as possible. You might be tired at the time or catch a crap whiles trying to save you and your family’s lives. Another material is a flare gun, you don’t know what time of day the storm surge is going to happen. Next have a harmer, authorities in Grand Bahama was reporting to carry a hammer when you entering attic/man whole in your homes. The use of this hammer is to break your way out to sign for help. According to the article about the latest on hurricane Dorian they wanted everyone to find floating devices. You maybe want to decide to get a floatable boat so you can find a safe place to be at during the storm surge. Finally always have you disaster kit and your personal document in hand.

“the monster that swallow heritage” (resisdent 2019)
“saved by the monster” (resident 2019)
]]>
Oil Spill Chronicles https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/oil-spill-chronicles/ https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/oil-spill-chronicles/#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2019 23:52:22 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=776 By now, I’m sure everyone has heard about the oil spill that occurred down in East End, Grand Bahama. It has been broadcasted on many Bahamian news outlets and even broadcasted on American news channels. A reporter from WSVN visited Grand Bahama and reported that there has been plants and insects spotted in oil. Everyone is just so fascinated to report about this oil spill. What will the government do? What will Equinors Oil Facility do? For starters, there has been some improvements from the visual aspects of this oil spill, you can no longer see the oil on the grounds opposite the facility, nor in the roads. But that is just the surface issue that was cleared up. The deeper issue we’re facing now is the threat to our ecosystems. In East End, there are many wetlands, including mangroves and there are many acres of pine forest. They are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem here in Grand Bahama, it covers 50% of Grand Bahama, so I’ve learned in Ecology. This issue has caused our animals to vacate their home as it is not safe and food sources are scarce.

It has been a huge surprise to me that many persons aren’t aware of the importance of our wetlands, the major one being our mangroves. The two major importance’s is that they stabilize our climate and provide ground water. It’s no secret that global warming is a real issue and this summer has been one of the hottest summers ever on, record. Wetlands work against global warming, but it’s only so much our little Bahamas can do to correct mistakes from the larger first world countries. The more we industrialize countries, the more carbon dioxide gets into the air and there’s only suppose to be 0.04% of CO2 into the air, the percentage must be high to initiate global warming. Our beautiful mangroves (red, black, white and buttonwood) absorb the warming gas, CO2 out of the air and store them in their roots and leaves, making the air less warmer. In my ecology class, we were suppose to tour through the wetlands on a glass bottom boat but the hurricane destroyed the wetlands and our trip was canceled. After the passing of hurricane Dorian, I was informed by one of my classmates that the people in her community have been getting their fresh water from the mangroves. I was happy to hear that persons can rely on the ecosystem to give them fresh water, which is why we must protect it. When it rains, the wetlands filter the water before it seeps into the ground, then storing it as “ground water”. This has been a blessing to the less fortunate or to those who simply don’t want to buy gallons of water everyday just to bathe, cook and brush their teeth. The water has a high salt content and nobody really knows what it’s contaminated with and that’s scary. Three months later and this issue is still present.

Secondly, the government issued a statement saying that the oil has spread seven miles into coppice environments north to the facility. Coppice are trees or plants found near wetlands or forest, in this case, it’s near our pine forest. Our pine forest are homes for many animals, including our Bahamian boa constrictor, many different species of birds and pigs and wild hogs. We’ve been seeing these wild pigs more than we’ve ever seen them before, and they walk in these large crowds. My first semester here at UB, every two weeks I would ride down East End to catch the boat and go home. Never once spotted a pig crossing the road. Now that the hurricane has left behind an oil spill, these animals are constantly leaving their habitats and looking for new, clean ones. I saw the pigs at first on Facebook, when someone recorded them. In the video, the pigs were coming up to them, possibly for food or water. Then, my friend rode down there to catch the boat and recorded another video with many pigs crossing the road. I kept saying to myself that this was so unlikely of them. To my surprise, heading down there three weeks ago, I saw many pigs just standing in the middle of the road, then heading towards my car. Of course, I was afraid because one of the pigs was very big and I’ve never seen a pig that big. On their legs, there was black substances, it can be oil or it can be mud but I wasn’t stepping outside the car to figure it out. It is no coincidence that the oil spill has affected their livelihoods and they’re trying to start over.

From my camera roll
Taken by Author22/11/2019
Oil spotted in water near Oil Facility. By Daniel Murray & Ray Darville

References

Childs, J. W. (2019, October 9). 5 Million Gallons of Oil Spilled from Bahamas Storage Facility Damaged in Hurricane Dorian, Company Says. The Weather Chanel . Retrieved from https://weather.com/news/news/2019-10-09-oil-spill-bahamas-equinor-dorian

Vedrine , B. (n.d.). Government Continues to Monitor Oil Spill at Equinor . Retrieved from http://www.bahamas.gov.bs/wps/portal/public/gov/government/news/government continues to monitor oil spill at equinor/

]]>
https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/oil-spill-chronicles/feed/ 1
Greener Grand Bahama https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/renewable-grand-bahama/ Fri, 13 Dec 2019 21:17:02 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=749

It is evident that the Earth’s temperature is increasing drastically, and the Earth’s climate is changing for the worse. With these increasing global temperatures are favorable environmental conditions that increase the chances of extreme weather, and more relevant for the tropics, dangerous hurricanes like Hurricane Dorian. The use of fossil fuels, coal, and other forms of nonrenewable energy sources are the main contributors for this critical problem. Which is why we musts seek alternative forms of energy sources here in Grand Bahama.

Beneath layers of ancient rock are decayed plants and animals that are millions of years old. These organisms are rich in carbon and are what we refer to as fossil fuels. Most of our energy is obtained from fossil fuels, which includes coal, fuel oil, and natural gas, all of which are nonrenewable, and harmful to the environment. By burning these fossil fuels, there is a continuous input of Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, creating a direct link to global warming and climate change.

Because Grand Bahama Island is surrounded by water, it would be a great idea to use this abundant water as a source of energy through Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. The sun heats up the surface of the water, creating a temperature difference between the water’s surface and deeper water. Ocean thermal energy conversion uses this temperature difference to generate electricity. The OTEC system is made of an evaporator, generator, pump, condenser, and turbine and working fluid that all work together to produce on going, environmentally friendly electricity.

Diagram of OTEC System (OTEC News)
Solar Panel with Bahamian Flag (Solar Magazine)

Solar energy is the harnessing of the sun’s heat and light to produce energy. Here in Grand Bahama, one thing we don’t lack is sunlight. Light from the sun falls onto a solar panel, and creates electric current through the process of the photovoltaic effect. For a high amount of energy, each panel can be linked together creating a solar array. Any electricity that is produced from the panels are in the form of direct current and is converted to alternating current using an inverter. After the electricity is converted, it is then used for local power or sent to an electrical grid.

With the rise of global temperatures, it is important that we seek alternative forms of energy generation. It should be of interest to all countries to discontinue the use of fossil fuels, in order to keep the Earth’s temperature below 1.5oC. If we fail to do so, we risk losing everything we know and love. We must combat this vexing problem! If we do not act now, we could be forced off our beautiful Grand Bahama Island. We must act now!

]]>
Hurricane Preparedness https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/hurricane-preparedness/ Fri, 13 Dec 2019 03:37:11 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=820

When we all hear the word hurricane we automatically think of the worst well, in some occurrences some think of the worst but still hope for the best in the end. The word hurricane holds such a strong feeling on the chest of many Bahamians. To any other set of people hurricane can mean strong winds, lots of rain. Shaking trees, and for kids it just means no school. But, sadly for Bahamians it reminds them of loved ones missed, hiding in the attic for days waiting for help, also waiting for the sun to rise in the morning and for it all to be over and done with. Some feel as though they can prepare for a hurricane when in reality while that is true it’s mainly about being prepared to adapt to the statuses that are happening around.

You can have as many water bottles filled with clean water, all the batteries in flash lights, every window battened up and house stocked up on canned goods but if the roof fly away in the case of hurricane Dorian there was no use for the windows anymore, and the house being flooded there’s was no use for the canned goods nor the filled up bottle water. Which comes to my point where I say hurricanes is partially being prepared and partially able to adapt to the environment and your surroundings. In regards to recovery efforts the government and the community are the two major and imperative things when it comes to getting the island back to its charm.

Some Bahamians who are privileged enough have money stored away for certain things and emergency purposes mainly after hurricane Dorian many had to have their front rooms set on the lawn drying , many had to flee to the USA to restock on their house supplies food , furniture etc. in  order to get back on their feet. In some unfortunate cases many don’t really have that type of amenity to be able to go abroad and purchase new things for their now destroyed place of domicile. They have to make do with what they have and stand on the lengthy lines in the sun for some toiletries, food, water and any little miscellaneous  items they can get to make things as calm as possible.

]]>
Minority Communities, Devastated by Dorian https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/minority-communities-devastated-by-dorian/ Fri, 13 Dec 2019 01:25:57 +0000 https://culturalmemorybahamas.com/?p=808 Minority can be defined as, culturally, ethnically, or racially distinct group that coexists with but is subordinate to a more dominant group. In Grand Bahama Haitians are the largest minority group and have a great disadvantage to higher and middle class Bahamians in Grand Bahama. They face so much challenges in The Bahamas such as discrimination, low economic opportunities and the stigma that comes with being a Haitian in this country. When Bahamians travel or migrate to other countries to live a better life, they hate being face with discriminators so why do they do it to the Haitians who are just trying to do the same. The poverty line is at $4,247 of yearly family income. This already places about 13 precent of Bahamains “poor” . Haitians have the highest rate of poverty being at 37.9 percent even though they only represent 7.4 precent of the Bahamas population. These people most likely live in flood zones where surges can happen easy in their area.

Hurricanes are devastating for everyone but they hit immigrants the hardest. Their homes being destroyed making their future uncertain.When hurricane Dorian happened many Haitians lost the little they had and their documents. In 2010, after the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti, many Haitians who were displaced, settled in The Bahamas. Obtaining work permits is expensive and not having a passport bars them from owning land or claiming citizenship. Their children are stateless since The Bahamas doesn’t grant birthright citizenships. “Alicia Reckley, 37, a mother of five, was born in Haiti but is married to a Bahamian, and thus is exempt from deportation. But Mrs. Reckley is worried about her 11-year-old niece, who was born in the Bahamas to Haitian parents and has neither Haitian nor Bahamian documents. The child’s mother was deported last year.” (Knowles, 2019.) This is an example of how The Bahamas doesn’t grant birthright citizenships. Reckley and her family reside in the shantytowns, Abaco.

Haitians recovering their belongings from their destroyed homes in Abaco, Bahamas, in September.
Credit, Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press.

Brianna Sacks a BuzzFeed news reporter conducted an interview with a forty-one-year-old mother named, Gina. Brianna Sacks communicated with Gina through a translator who speaks Creole. Gina plays a voice note from her boyfriend, leaving a sad but loving message to the kids and her. Her boyfriend, Avner was arrested by immigration officers after his lunch break near Treasure Cay, a gated community on Great Abaco Island. Avner was helping rebuilding houses in Abaco. Gina talks about being stressed after hurricane Dorian, they had lost their home, money and stable jobs. She thanks God for protecting her and her family during the storm. “Immigration officers had been conducting daily raids in Haitian neighborhoods and hurricane-recovery sites, demanding work permits and residency papers as part of the Bahamian government’s ramped-up campaign against undocumented immigrants.” ( Sacks, 2019.)

Gina burying her face in hands out of frustration.
Photo Courtesy Meridith Kohut for BuzzFeed News
]]>