Thousands of people who escaped death from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas are now struggling to survive in harsh conditions, AP reported on Saturday September 14th.
Jobs are scarce, savings are running low and money is barely trickling in.
"People say, 'You're going to be all right,' but those are mere words," said Edna Gelin, who was the manager of a natural hair store in Freeport on Grand Bahama island that has been closed since being badly damaged by the storm. "It's going to be bad because a lot of businesses were destroyed."
As the north-western Bahamas struggle to recover from Dorian, residents are bracing for newly formed Storm Humberto, which is expected to hit two islands already battered by Dorian, over the weekend. The US National Hurricane Centre said the storm would hit the central and north-western Bahamas with strong winds and heavy rain.
It is not clear how many Bahamians affected by the hurricane have applied for and received unemployment benefits, but the government has pledged to make it easier for those evacuated to gain easy access to state benefits.
"That will be a big relief," Labour Minister Dion Foulkes recently told reporters. "We'd like to stabilise as many families as we can as quickly as possible."
He also said the government would soon announce new measures to help the nearly 5,000 people who were evacuated to New Providence, the most populated island in the Bahamas, from Grand Bahama and the Abaco islands after Dorian.
Carl Swann, an IT technician from Abaco, recently typed up his curriculum vitae on his cellphone after hearing about several job leads in the capital, Nassau: assistant engineer, security guard and electronic salesman. However, he has not secured any interviews yet and worries about his finances because he has nowhere to go and has been staying in a hotel for two weeks.
"I'm wasting my money," he said.
Before the storm hit, the Bahamas had 32,000 people who were self-employed. Among them was Dewitt Henfield, a baker who operated out of his home.
"I'm a bread man," he said as he stood in a line on Friday outside an emergency operations centre in Freeport seeking food, water, building supplies and other materials since the storm took everything he owned.
"I have no money. That's why we have to be in lines like these," he said, "We're wondering where our next meal is coming from." Source: 7D News