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WORLD BANK PROVIDES $3.7B FOR DISASTER AND CLIMATE RISK MANAGEMENT

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KINGSTON, July 2(JIS) – The Government has received $3.79 billion (US$30 million) from the World Bank to further boost disaster and climate risk management in Jamaica.

The loan will support the administration’s ongoing programme to reduce the incidence of environmental hazards over a six-year period under the Bank’s Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP).

The DVRP, which will be implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), comprises four components. These target – technical assistance for improved disaster and climate resilience; risk reduction; contingent emergency response; and project administration.

Specific focus will be placed on: disaster response and recovery; creating safer environments for schools; and disaster risk financing and insurance.

Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, and World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, signed a loan agreement at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston, on Friday, July 1.

In welcoming the provision, Mr. Shaw said the Government was appreciative of partnership maintained by the World Bank in disaster vulnerability management and risk reduction, a key focus area of the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan.

He further said the administration looked forward to other “collaborative efforts” that would also support the Plan.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Sotirova said the DVRP represented a major component of the Bank’s country partnership strategy that targets the creation of an enabling environment for inclusive growth.

She noted that disaster risk mitigation was important in maintaining macroeconomic stability and debt management in order to achieve sustainable growth and development.

In this regard, Mrs. Sotirova said DVRP would provide Jamaica with a comprehensive framework for disaster and climate risk management.

 

“The DVRP will help to enhance Jamaica’s resilience to disaster and climate risk by improving the capacity of government agencies to generate and use hazard and risk information to make the national infrastructure more resilient,” she outlined.

This, Mrs. Sotirova further explained, would be achieved through activities such as the training of building professionals in applying the national building code and developing systems to improve the collation of climate risk data and its use in decision making.

Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the agency was ready to administer the DVRP, pointing out that “I think we have the opportunity to do something great to improve the country’s resilience.”

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Caribbean News

National Innovator of the Year Passionate about Technology in Education

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#Jamaica, November 30, 2022 – Educational Technologist, Davia Bryan-Campbell, is the 2022 National Innovator of the Year.

She copped the award for her creation, ‘EduHub Teach’, a platform that enables teachers to access and share resources with each other.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, presented Mrs. Bryan-Campbell with her award during a recent ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Mrs. Bryan-Campbell, who is also a trained teacher, is Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EduHub Company Limited.

Though she says the win was surprising, it was not by chance that her longstanding passion for technology in education has translated into a potentially life-changing innovation.

“I am passionate about information and communications technology (ICT), but I am more passionate about the collaboration between ICT and education. My love is really ‘ed-tech’… not just ICT but technology in education,” she tells JIS News.

Mrs. Bryan-Campbell points out that one of her greatest challenges is that in addition to focusing on the students, she and other teachers had lesson plans, worksheets, projects, PowerPoint presentations, and other administrative engagements to undertake, describing these as overwhelming.

“EduHub Teach was, therefore, designed out of the need to provide greater support to educators across the island, where they can become a part of an online community, [and] where they can collaborate and discover curriculum-specific resources,” she informs.

Mrs. Bryan-Campbell is hopeful that the platform will improve the overall education system, as it enables teachers to focus on “what really matters, which is the students and their learning outcomes”, and reduce their workload.

The talented innovator, who hails from Clarendon, says her interest in ICT became “very pronounced” whilst a student at Edwin Allen High School in the parish.

By the time she matriculated to the Shortwood Teachers’ College in St. Andrew, Mrs. Bryan-Campbell had embraced this interest fully, finding ways to infuse ICT in her lesson plans and instructional delivery to her students.

“When I moved on to [work at] St. George’s College, I used ICT to develop my lessons. I would always use the [audio-visual] AV room, ensuring that ICT was a critical part of teaching and learning,” she highlights.

The innovator also worked with e-Learning Jamaica Limited as a Project Implementation Officer, Training Officer, Training Manager, and Project Manager.  Her attendant engagements allowed her to contribute to national ICT-related programmes, such as the ‘Tablets in Schools’ and ‘Tablets for Teachers’ initiatives.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of South Wales, a Bachelor’s degree in Guidance and Counselling from the Jamaica Theological Seminary, and several certificates in ICT, Instructional Design and Project Management.

A total of 37 entries were received across several categories for this year’s National Innovation Awards.

Chief Adjudicator, Professor Ronald Young, who delivered the judges’ report, pointed out that the submissions were required to have practically demonstrable functionality, perform a function that makes life easier and/or improve the quality of life, display creativity and demonstrate the economic use of materials that are available locally or are indigenous to Jamaica.

This, in addition to being original or a unique adaptation of existing gadgets, equipment, concepts, processes, products or services, with social or economic benefit and realising or at least having the potential for commercialisation while being safe for use and environmentally friendly.

The awards are presented biennially. However, it was last held in 2018, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which cancelled the 2020 staging.

 

BY: MICKELLA ANDERSON

JIS News

Caption: Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz (left), presents Chief Executive Officer/Founder of EduHub Company Limited, Davia Bryan-Campbell, with the 2022 National Innovator of the Year award during a recent ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Yhomo Hutchinson Photo

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Caribbean News

Customers across both Internet Service Providers impacted by freak outage Saturday

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 30, 2022 – Magnetic Media can report, the strange countrywide outage affecting both Flow and Digicel customers over the weekend was a regional issue not just affecting The Turks and Caicos according to the service providers.

Numerous calls and complaints flooded Magnetic Media newsroom on Saturday; angry residents said their internet and mobile services had dropped.

Unusual was that customers of both providers were affected in this simultaneous event, which eventually we learnt had stemmed from beyond TCI shores.

At Digicel, the issues emerged from the night before with a drastic slow-down in speed of its internet services.  Technical staff was able to right the anomaly.

At Flow, the tech team was equally hard at work.  Flow’s serviced dropped completely.

On Monday,  we reached out to Flow and Digicel to find out exactly what caused the national disruption.  Flow Communications Executive Darron Hillaire told us, ““There was a multi-site outage that is still currently being investigated, as far as we know the cause was offshore, and details are still limited at this time.”

Providers in Jamaica confirmed that there were some regional issues that would likely affect countries maybe not in the form of total Internet outages but small drops in service coverage.

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Bahamas News

Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina opens in the Bahamas 

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 30, 2022 – Sterling Global Financial officially opened its Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina on Paradise Island in the Bahamas on Friday, November 25.

The company broke ground for the $250 million redevelopment project in January 2019.

The deep-water floating docks are designed to cater to the needs of superyachts, sports fishers and smaller craft by adjusting to water levels and providing consistent access to vessels.  The company said this will help reduce the likelihood of damage during hurricanes.

While speaking at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Philip Davis praised the Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina, noting that it will add to the island’s vacation profile.

“This 250-million-dollar development is set to revitalize and diversify Paradise Island’s luxury vacation profile.  The entire development has effectively created a downtown district on Paradise Island and includes restaurants, harbourfront residences, professional offices, a food store, a wines and spirits retailer, and other commercial and retail vendors,” Davis said.

Davis also said the marina will boost tourism on Paradise Island.

“This boon is bringing excitement to Paradise Island, adding to the convenience for Paradise Island residents and the experience of visitors at hotels and short-term rentals.  More dining, boating choices, entertainment, and convenient services will serve to augment the overall experience of residents and visitors alike,” the Prime Minister explained.

Adding that: “At the heart of this development is the Sterling Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina capable of hosting the world’s most exclusive superyachts — boats up to 420 feet in length.”

Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said the marina will increase the country’s booking for the next three months.

“These are exciting times for Nassau’s Paradise Island.  These are exciting times for tourism, and we know that our bookings for the next three months are 16 per cent ahead of where they were in 2019,” Cooper said.

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