More than two years after Hurricane Dorian devastated Abaco, local government official Derek Dawkins says most of the damaged homes in his community of Murphy Town have not been fully repaired or restored.
No doubt, the shortage (and recent cost increases) of construction materials and the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the delay. But Mr. Dawkins says that for the majority of Abaconians with whom he speaks, the greatest challenge is a shortage of labour.
To help Murphy Town rebuild, Mr. Dawkins is organizing a Neighbourhood Co-op Workforce, which will pair skilled workers such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers with local volunteers to repair homes and other structures within the community.
Despite losing his brother and his own home to Hurricane Dorian, Mr. Dawkin, has been a tireless community advocate since the storm.
Over the past two years, he’s served as an informal liaison between government and various non-government organizations to help local Dorian victims secure food, clothing, bedding and building materials. And he’s volunteered his time with a variety of grass roots community initiatives.
Though he’s beginning in his own district, Mr. Dawkins believes this neighbourhood co-op work force could serve as a model for the entire country. “We all really need to help each other,” he says.
The Abaco Sun often gets queries from readers (Bahamians and foreigners) asking how they can help with the Dorian recovery effort. If you’re a trained plumber, electrician or carpenter, Mr. Dawkins would like to hear from you. Please give him a call at (242) 445 9877.
And if you’re part of a community or group who’d like to volunteer their labour, please reach out as well. “We’ll take help from anyone, anywhere,” he says.