#Bahamas, September 7, 2017 – Nassau – *ALERT #21 ON HURRICANE IRMA ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER, 2017 AT 6PM EDT.*
*_….THE CENTER OF EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE IRMA IS VERY NEAR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS AND INAGUA ISLAND…_*
*….HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS TONIGHT….*
*_A HURRICANE WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE ENTIRE BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS._*
*A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE AFFECTING OR CAN AFFECT THE AFOREMENTIONED AREAS WITHIN 36 HOURS.*
*_AT 5PM EDT, THE CENTER OF HURRICANE IRMA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 20.9 DEGREES NORTH AND LONGITUDE 71.1 DEGREES WEST OR ABOUT 40 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, 166 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF MATTHEW TOWN INAGUA, 222 MILES SOUTHEAST OF ACKLINS AND CROOKED ISLAND AND 489 MILES SOUTHEAST OF NEW PROVIDENCE._*
*HURRICANE IRMA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AT ABOUT 16 MPH AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH SOME DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK, THE EYE OF IRMA SHOULD CONTINUE TO MOVE BETWEEN HISPANIOLA AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS THIS EVENING, PASSING OVER LITTLE INAGUA AT MIDNIGHT AND SOUTH OF SALINA POINT, ACKLINS TOMORROW MORNING.*
*_MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 175 MILES PER HOUR WITH HIGHER GUSTS. IRMA IS A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO, BUT IRMA IS FORECAST TO REMAIN A POWERFUL CATEGORY FOUR OR FIVE HURRICANE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS._*
*HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES FROM THE CENTER AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 185 MILES FROM THE CENTER.*
*_HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE ALREADY AFFECTING THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS. TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE BEGINNING TO AFFECT INAGUA, MAYAGUANA, ACKLINS AND CROOKED ISLAND AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH TONIGHT. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS WILL BEGIN TO SPREAD INTO LONG ISLAND, CAT ISLAND, RAGGED ISLAND, RUM CAY, SAN SALVADOR AND THE EXUMAS TOMORROW MORNING._*
*HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY.*
*_EXTENSIVE TO SEVERE FLOODING CAN BE EXPECTED AS IRMA IS FORECAST TO PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES._*
*THE COMBINATION OF DANGEROUS STORM SURGE AND LARGE DESTRUCTIVE WAVES CAN RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 15 TO 20 FEET ABOVE THE NORMAL TIDE. RESIDENTS LIVING NEAR THE COAST ARE ASKED TO MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND INLAND.*
*_SMALL CRAFT OPERATORS THROUGHOUT THE BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS SHOULD HAVE ALREADY SOUGHT SAFE HARBOUR FOR THEIR VESSELS._*
*THE NEXT ALERT ON HURRICANE IRMA WILL BE ISSUED AT 9PM EDT ON THURSDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER 2017.*
National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.
“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.
Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.
Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”
The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.
Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.
Consumer protection, 85 businesses to be put under watch
By Dana Malcolm
February 2, 2023 – Grocery stores and dozens of other businesses will be under the microscope soon as the government begins aggressively enforcing the Consumer Protection Ordinance passed back in 2016 with an all-new Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement (C.A.R.E) Drive.
Carried out by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition the drive aims to “actively educate providers whilst enforcing the main provisions to protect consumers under the Consumer Protection Ordinance,” a press release explained.
Firstly, Consumer Officers charged with protecting the people of the TCI from unfair business practices will be assessing the prices of selected breadbasket items in 23 different stores countrywide each month to see whether price gouging is being carried out by businesses.
Breadbasket items are currently duty-free under the Food and Fuel Tax Break until the end of the financial year in March and all savings from those tax exemptions should be passed on directly to the consumer. After each assessment, which will continue for several months at least a monthly price report will be published on the Department of Trade’s website.
In addition, the Consumer Officers will be monitoring other business activities across the country “to ensure that providers are compliant with their duties to consumers.”
Those responsibilities include:
- Giving customers certain basic information about goods and services being sold;
- Informing consumers about terms and conditions before any payment is made (e.g., warranties, refunds, returns, exchanges, etc.) and;
- Abstaining from misleading and deceptive conduct, false representation and unfair business practices.
The government says they will reach at least 85 businesses with the C.A.R.E. Drive but they did not indicate the process behind how these businesses had been singled out. Non-compliant ones will be fined after a thorough investigation and warnings are issued by the Department of Trade.
With this in mind, business owners are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with their duties under the Ordinance lest they be caught in breach. The government did not say what entities would be assessed and whether that included major retail grocery stores, gasoline dealers, water companies, electricity providers, telecommunications companies and other essential providers of the services that all islanders spend on.
74 Foreign Nationals Convicted in The Magistrate’s Court
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – In Magistrate’s Court #1 today, seventy-two (72) foreign nationals were arraigned before Magistrate Algernon Allen Jr. for various immigration offenses.
Thirty-two (32) Cuban nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) of them were subsequently sentenced to four months in the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDOCS). Thirty (30) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department of Immigration to be deported.
A total of forty (40) Haitian nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) received custodial sentences of three months at BDOCS, and thirty-seven (37) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department to be deported. In addition to the charge of Illegal Landing, one (1) Haitian man was also convicted of Knowingly Attempting to Misleading an Immigration Officer and subsequently sentenced to six months at BDOCS on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Three (3) Haitian nationals were also charged with Overstaying. Two (2) pleaded guilty and were convicted. Respectively they were fined $2,000.00 or, in default of payment, served six months at BDOCS, conditionally discharged, and deported. One (1) Haitian female pleaded not guilty, and the matter was adjourned to a later date. Upon payment of fines, completion of sentences, and discharge, all persons were ordered to be turned over to the Department of Immigration for deportation.
The Department remains committed to executing our mandate to ensure compliance with the Statue Laws of our country.
For more information, call the Public Relations Unit at 1-242-322-7530, visit our website at www.immigration.gov.bs, or call our Investigation hotline anonymously, at 1-242-604-0249.
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