Hurricane Dorian Response
Hurricane Dorian was a Category 5 intensity storm that devastated Grand Bahama Island and Abaco Islands on September 1, 2019. This was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Bahamas in modern history. The islands experienced the storm surge and winds for about 3 days and witnessed water levels 20 feet above ground level in some areas. EMI partnered with Samaritan’s Purse (SP) to provide clean water and assess the damage to local water utilities.
EMI sent 6 engineers to assist SP with their WASH efforts in Grand Bahamas and Abaco Islands staggered over two and a half months. Initially, EMI volunteers assessed the damage and using mobile reverse osmosis (RO) treatment units to provide clean water. The Grand Bahama local utility company’s water was from a groundwater source that was contaminated from the storm surge, so the islanders were relying on bottled water and RO treated water provided by NGOs.
Volunteers led a WASH cluster to work with the local government and other NGOs to provide a map of water distribution points and a water delivery truck route throughout Grand Bahama. SP then moved into a long term strategy to rebuild the local RO utility on Sweeting Cay and Grand Bahama. The goal was to assess the needs and empower the local utilities to rebuild after the destruction of Dorian. Today the Bahamas are still rebuilding and SP is still providing clean drinking water. SP is training church leader to be more disaster resilient for future hurricane seasons.