Nassau, Bahamas, October 23, 2016 – Residents in North Andros who were severely impacted by the powerful Hurricane Matthew almost two weeks ago are beginning to feel some sense of normalcy, as a massive clean-up campaign is almost completed in that Family Island community. On Sunday, October 23, two weeks after the Category 4 storm struck that area, Leonard Dames Jr. assistant administrator of North Andros gave an update of the recovery progress and how residents are coping.
“There is a sense of hope in their eyes as the relief supplies arrive and are given out to the residents. There are smiles on faces, friendly laughter amongst the people s they play cards and dominoes.” Mr. Dames said that the communities rallied together to help clean up their environment. Women used cutlasses to clear fallen trees from pathways. The Men used their pick-up trucks to cart away loads of debris to the waste and landfill site.
The residents are grateful that marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force were able to provide meals from its city container – cooking up to 720 meals a day including breakfast and dinner. Additionally, some 2,4000 gallons of drinking water is being distributed to residents. Bahamas Red Cross personnel on the ground were Deputy Director Diane Turnquest accompanied by Exanne Dormeus, Philip Johnson, Thomas Robinson, Harold McPhee and five volunteers. The team traveled to distribute 120 -50 pound packaged boxes to those mostly impacted by the Category 4 storm when it struck on Thursday, October 6.
A team of 50 Royal Bahamas Defence Force marines participated in a clean-up exercise in the Central Andros community. A drone for an aerial video of the damages was used to determine which areas needed cleaning. Mr. Dames noted that the communities of the North Andros District were traumatized as a result of Hurricane Matthew. But a “ray of hope” beamed over the residents with the arrival of a Bahamasair chartered flight on Saturday 8th October, 2016.
Onboard were the Rt Hon Perry Christie, Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition Dr Hubert Minnis, the Hon Shane Gibson, Minister Responsible for Hurricane Recovery and Restoration, Director of NEMA Captain Stephen Russell and other officials who conducted early assessments to find out immediate needs. This was the beginning of the “Hurricane Relief to the people of North Andros”, Mr. Dames said. Latest statistics show that North Andros has a population of about 3,998 residents.
Hurricane Matthew left in its wake extensive destruction in the settlement of Lowe Sound to 80 percent of homes. The neighboring communities of Nichol’s Town, Morgan’s Bluff, Red Bay’s and Mastic Point also experienced severe damages. Additionally, many homes experienced excessive flooding from storm surge up to 12 feet.
The initial assessment revealed that 238 persons – 134 adults and 104 children – were displaced. A total of 59 families who needed housing – 55 already placed and accommodations are being sought for the remaining 4. Initially, 31 homes were affected – 25 in Lowe Sound, 5 in Mastic Point and 1 in Conch Sound. However daily assessments are ongoing. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, relief supplies of fruit, vegetables, water and hygiene kits were distributed to residents by Defence Force marines and social workers.
Structural assessments were carried out by a team from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, CDEMA of which The Bahamas is one of the 18-member Participating States. At the request of NEMA, the group formed three teams and was deployed in Andros, Grand Bahama and New Providence. The team comprised experts in disaster and emergency management, physical planning, engineering, geospatial data analysis, healthcare, public health and environment. CDEMA is expected to submit an official report of its findings to NEMA, shortly.
Heads of the Methodist Church and the Methodist Habitat lead a team into the area with a view to rendering assistance in the relief, recovery and reconstruction phases. The police station was used as the command centre depot where gallons of bleach, hygienic kits, and pots/dishes, and cooking utensils were distributed to the residents in the communities. In the Lowe Sound area, work crews continued with the clearing of the streets consisting the RBDF advance team and workers from Emile Knowles Construction with the use of a pay loader and two dump trucks.
Volunteers prepared meals and drinks for those in need along with The Lord’s hand ministry, Alma Pratt, a resident of Conch Sound and the Mennonites who distributed fruits, vegetables and water. The Defense Force roll on roll off vessel is also scheduled to set up a site at Morgan’s Bluff to distribute water and food to the residents.
Other officials who also visited the damaged communities were the Hon Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Transport; the Hon V Alfred Gray, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources who also toured the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute – BAMSI, the Hon Hope Strachan, Minister of Financial Services and of Local Government, the Hon Dr Perry Gomez, Minister of Health. Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor-General toured Andros on Friday, October 21, 2016.
Work crews are in the Lowe Sound community daily engaged in the cleanup exercise, Mr. Dames said.
Energy & Utilities Commissioner says new legislation will help to stabilize energy costs in Turks & Caicos Islands
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday, 30th November 2023: The Energy and Utilities Department (EUD) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, today reminds the public that the comprehensive Renewable Energy Legislation is currently before the House of Assembly and that the Legislation not only addresses the existing challenges posed by fuel price volatility but also lays the foundation for a sustainable and resilient energy future for the TCI.
In a recent press release, FortisTCI cited global factors such as production cuts and increased demand for fuel, leading to a surge in market prices. The EUD acknowledging these challenges thanks our power supplier for its proactivity when it comes to informing consumers of any changes in the cost of electricity. Further, the Government of Turks and Caicos wants residents and guests to know that it is committed to taking proactive measures that will transform the energy landscape through robust Renewable Energy Legislation.
In that vein, Delano Arthur, the new Energy and Utilities Commissioner looks forward to working with FortisTCI in the upcoming days to find innovative and collaborative solutions to reduce the cost of Fuel and Energy in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This initiative aims to not only mitigate the impact of volatile fuel prices but also secures a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future for all of us.
Key components of the Renewable Energy Legislation include:
- Integrated Resource Plans: A formal planning process to prioritise renewable energy in addressing evolving energy needs.
- Competitive Tendering Process: Government-run initiatives to promote healthy renewable energy competition, achieve low-cost energy, and meet Paris Agreement goals.
- Administrative and Regulatory Measures: Establishing clear processes and responsibilities for all players who are in the renewable energy market.
- Licensing and Safety Standards: Comprehensive licensing provisions to ensure accountability and safety standards for renewable energy systems.
- Net Billing Program: Allowing building owners to self-generate and sell surplus electricity back to the grid.
The Renewable Energy Legislation serves as a mitigation against volatile fuel prices. By transitioning to cleaner energy sources and fostering a diverse renewable energy infrastructure, these Islands aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The competitive tendering process introduced in the legislation ensures the selection of the most cost-effective renewable energy solutions, contributing to energy affordability and stability.
As the Islands invest in renewable energy, the increased share of clean, locally produced electricity provides a stable alternative to fluctuating fuel prices. The Net Billing Programme further incentivises distributed energy generation, offering a predictable path for building owners to contribute to the grid and receive compensation, thus reducing reliance on traditional fuel sources.
For further information, please contact:
Delano R. Arthur
Energy and Utilities Department
Turks and Caicos Islands Government
CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).
In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”
The priorities stated under the agenda are:
- Curbing emissions to limit global temperature
increase to 1.5 ̊C
- Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and
loss and damage
- Improving access to and delivery of climate finance
for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach
- Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience
- Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,
sustainable and resilient development
- Promoting gender equity and social inclusion
approaches to climate action
- Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as
core to the climate response
- Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered
approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice
The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.
Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
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