In early May this year a video and pictures surfaced on social media highlighting deplorable conditions at the Marsh Harbour International Port’s bathroom facility on the dock which has currently been out of order for over three years.
Subsequent to the video’s release other issues surfaced, including the roof damage to the ports warehouse on the international side as well as a lack of security at the gate. A new booth is currently being built.
In response to this, Acting Port Controller Captain Cyril Roker issued a statement. He said that the Marsh Harbour Port “has suffered significant hurricane damage, necessitating costly repairs to the bathrooms on both the international and domestic areas, and roofing repairs to the warehouse.”
“The Department has secured proposals from local contractors to address these issues and contracts will be awarded shortly. In addition, a contract has been awarded to a local company to repair the fire alarm system, and work has already commenced on the system,” he said.
Capt. Roker added that “the bathroom in question is not in use for the public, and alternative restroom facilities are available in the same building, as well as in the main building. A contracted janitorial company provides cleaning services to the operational bathrooms.”
Capt. Roker said he “wishes to assure the public that steps have, and will continue to be taken to ensure that the Marsh Harbour Port is properly maintained and operated as a safe and secured facility.”
He said regarding the security issue, “the public is advised that the Port Department has been actively seeking to recruit additional Port Security officers, and Public Service procedures for the appointment of an additional four security officers will be concluded shortly.”
In an article in ‘The Abaconian’ in February of 2014 Minister of Transport and Aviation, Glenys Hanna-Martin noted that the situation then was not good and that the “Ministry of Transport and Aviation is in the process of implementing a number of measures to strengthen the security at the Marsh Harbour port facility and to rehabilitate physical conditions.”
She said at the time these steps include the repair of lighting, installation of CCTV and the addition of a Port Officer with extensive maritime training whose major task will be to ensure ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security) compliance at that facility
Since that time there have been repairs to the fence and lighting and the Port Officer has been in place for over two years.