SMITH’S POINT, Grand Bahama — Efforts to protect The Bahamas against coastal erosion is an investment in the country, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie said as he gave the keynote address at the Contract Signing Ceremony for the construction of a Seawall at Smith’s Point, Friday, June 24, 2016.
The Prime Minister said many years ago when he was in Pelican Point, he was told a story about persons being able to picnic in a spot where the sea has now claimed the land.
Stories like this demonstrate that the country is strongly affected by climate change, so the Prime Minister said, “As we listen to the debate internationally about climate change, we have to pay a lot of attention to it.”
He said when world leaders met for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2016, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, spoke out about the record heat in his country where in certain parts they experience about 120 to 130 degrees causing problems for the young and old due to the extreme heat.
Prime Minister Christie noted that other leaders from the Pacific Islands spoke about islands that no longer exist because the sea has claimed them.
“I watched them speak to the possibility of their islands disappearing, and then when it was my time to speak, I told them that we no longer need evidence that the sea will take the land because in Hurricane Joaquin in Long Island, we saw the water come across the land. Settlements were separated one from the other by water.
“So any effort and all efforts that governments make to protect against coastal erosion can be banked up as a major investment in furtherance in protecting the rights of citizens of our country.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, the Hon. Philip Davis; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon. Fred Mitchell; Minister of State for the Ministry of Works, the Hon. Arnold Forbes; Colin Higgs, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Urban Development; Melvin Seymour, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Grand Bahama; Harcourt Brown, Senior Undersecretary, Ministry for Grand Bahama; George Hutchinson, Director of Public Works were also present.