FFTP Provides Solar-Powered Street Lights, Clean Water in the Bahamas

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 1, 2021) Food For The Poor, with the help of generous donors and partners, is providing solar-powered street lights and bringing clean water to areas of the Bahamas still recovering from Hurricane Dorian, which slammed the islands 21 months ago.

The charity provided 150 solar-powered street lights to the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority. The lights are being installed in remote communities on East Grand Bahama including McLean’s Town, Pelican Point, Freetown, High Rock, Sweetings Cay and Deep Water Cay, and in darkened spots on the main highway on the eastern end of the island.

The United Way of Miami-Dade County, United Way of Puerto Rico and Cruise Planners and its nonprofit organization CP Cares provided funds to FTTP for the lights and the installation.

With the 2021 hurricane season under way, Bahamas Sen. Kay Forbes-Smith, who leads the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority, said the solar-powered street lights will improve safety for people traveling back and forth from the eastern end of Grand Bahama.

“I can’t say enough about Food For The Poor and its donors for your patience and diligence in helping us,” said Sen. Forbes-Smith. “We are so appreciative. I know the community appreciates it as well.”

As of the second week in May, about a third of the lights were installed and fully activated, with the rest of the project expected to be completed in June.

Wendell Grant, of the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority, said locations for the solar-powered lights were strategically chosen away from areas with existing street lights.

“We’re really quite pleased with the amount of the illumination that the lights provide,” Grant said. “They are far brighter than any solar lights I’ve seen before.”

FFTP, with the support of United Way agencies in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and Boca Raton Community Church, also is working with partner Water Mission on a new solar-powered water system that will deliver clean water to families in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands, in the Bahamas.

Dorian damaged water infrastructure on Abaco, causing salt water to infiltrate much of the water supply.

Initially, the organizations planned to build a second water system in Treasure Cay. But the scope of the project changed and now, thanks to United Way’s generosity, washing stations and education about water conservation are being provided to six schools island-wide on Abaco. The goal is for the stations to be ready by the start of the school year in September.

Two of the schools, with the capability of storing large amounts of water, will serve as shelters for up to 2,600 residents during future storms.

After the catastrophic Hurricane Dorian slammed Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands in September 2020, donors generously gave money to FFTP to provide critical aid such as food, generators and hygiene kits as well as to cover long-term needs like repairing hundreds of homes in addition to supporting the water projects and solar-powered street lights.

The COVID-19 pandemic added to the recovery challenges.

“The Bahamas has never gone through anything like this and so preparing people for Category 5 storm and making people understand how long recovery takes is a difficult thing,” said Sen. Forbes-Smith. “We’ve done as best we could have, in particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic being on top of Dorian.”

Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine said the generosity of the charity’s donors and the can-do spirit of partners continues to shine, especially during the most difficult of times.

“We’re grateful to them and for partnerships with the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority, Water Mission, United Way, Boca Raton Community Church and Cruise Planners that have allowed us to provide this much-needed support,” Raine said. “It is so important that families have access to potable water to drink and wash stations that are critical in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054