NASSAU, The Bahamas – United States Congressman Maxine Waters paid a Courtesy Call on officials at the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA on Gladstone Road on Thursday, October 10, 2019.
The US Representative for California’s 43rd congressional district was accompanied by her husband Sidney Williams, former US Ambassador to The Bahamas; Congressman Al Green, the Representative for Texas’s 9th congressional district; US Charge’ d’ Affaires Stephanie Bowers, US Embassy, Nassau; Tim Callahan, USAID Senior Regional Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean, and other officials from the US Embassy.
They met with Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA; Chrystal Glinton, Deputy Permanent Secretary, NEMA; John Michael Clarke, Co-Chair, Reconstruction Committee; Lillian Quant-Forbes, Director of Social Services; Melanie McKenzie, Director, Department of Environmental Health Services and Sherry Johnson Deal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Congresswoman Waters was given an update on the recovery process underway by NEMA. Captain Russell noted the “tremendous” support by international partners and countries, especially the United States.
She thanked NEMA officials for taking time out of their “busy schedule” to update her on recovery efforts post the category 5 Hurricane Dorian, which impacted North and Central Abaco and East End Grand Bahama last month.
“We are pleased to be of help,” he said. “I am absolutely pleased to be here because you know my husband was former Ambassador here and we feel that we are part of the family here in The Bahamas. We feel that we cannot reasonably love and enjoy Junkanoo and not be of help as much as we can.”
Congresswoman Waters noted that NEMA has a “tremendous responsibility” with regards to Dorian’s recovery efforts. “We can say God Bless you and thank you, public servants …”
US Charge’ d’ Affairs Bowers said she is looking forward to working with the new Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, whether through technical assistance and in other ways, and to assist during the reconstruction phases.
Former Ambassador Williams said he was “happy to be back home”; despite the devastation.
The US officials were also given a tour of the Dome structure model on NEMA’s compound; the structures will be erected in areas impacted by the hurricane and used as temporary housing and Government office spaces.