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University of the West Indies commissions Well

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Kingston, Jamaica, December 16, 2016 – The University of the West Indies (UWI) should see a reduction in its water bill with the commissioning of the Mona Well at College Commons on December 15.  The institution, through a private partnership, entered into an agreement with North Star Development Limited (NSDL) in 2014 to identify, drill and develop, manage and finance and maintain new sources of potable water on behalf of the UWI, Mona.

With guidance from a hydrologist, the NSDL team successfully discovered potable water at 850 feet.   The availability of the well will enable the university to mitigate the severe water shortage across the campus, especially during the drought period.

In his remarks, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the university has taken a positive move to solve its own water problems.  “The drought in 2008/09 was the most severe drought and I recall the University Hospital of the West Indies and the University of Technology running out of water and water being locked off regularly. It was almost impossible to get, during that six month period, satisfactory water supply to the university,” he said.

Dr. Chang noted that the Water Resources Authority (WRA) was instrumental in this project, as without its approval, this project would not have come to fruition.   Meanwhile, the Minister said the Government is undertaking a programme for the extensive repair of the sewerage system in the Corporate Area, to reduce contamination.   He said this is part of efforts to expand the range of water sources available in the city as well as help resuscitate seven wells which have become contaminated due to the sewerage problems.

For his part, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the UWI, Mona Campus, Professor Archibald McDonald, said in addition to providing a reliable source of water for the campus, the university stands to save $150 million annually from reduced water bills.   “The campus will pay North Star a management fee based on the amount of water consumed and this goes on for a number of years, somewhere between 15 and 20 years, after which that payment will cease,” Professor McDonald said.  He added that there are plans to construct another well, in order to supplement the water that is being provided.

 

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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