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Residents question TCI Government ‘why no re-construction yet’, South Caicos still a mess after Hurricane Irma



South Caicos, Turks and Caicos – December 13, 2018 – It has been 97 days since the Turks and Caicos Islands felt the ferocity of catastrophic Hurricane Irma, yet parts of the country are still as if the record breaking and history making storm just touched down yesterday.

Magnetic Media has been receiving reports from the Capital, Grand Turk and we have visited South Caicos this week and what we have been told and what we have seen  for ourselves is shocking, disappointing and unacceptable; especially for the residents of these hardest hit communities.

south caicos destruction 3The Regatta Village in South Caicos, which just this past May marked 50 years of the annual South Caicos Regatta, is decimated.  Hurricane Irma did in South Caicos the unimaginable, having zero respect for the decades of history she pulverized with her winds and waves.  The roofs at the site were flattened or have caved in or were blown off and are still rotting mounds of rubble stacking over three feet with nails jutting out.  The debris, which covers the entire site – all these months after the storms – are a significant reminder that reconstruction help has still not arrived.

The three-year-old wooden jetty constructed in time for the 2014 homecoming and South Caicos Regatta is warped and wounded; gaping holes are now characteristics of the structure which was a symbol of a re-surging economy for the island, we call the country’s fishing capital. south caicos destruction 6

Now, that wooden dock appears rickety and storm weary after the lashing of what had to be monstrous surge waves and waters in Hurricane Irma on September 7.

It was reported that all but one building went without damage in Hurricane Irma in South Caicos; the island was so devastated that it was declared to be in a State of Emergency by the Governor.  This declaration got the island and islanders some much needed humanitarian assistance.

The Iris Stubbs Primary School has walls and floors, but for the most part no roofs and ceilings.  Irma tore those off, pushed over signs and damaged classrooms which are now rendered inoperable.  As it was at the school, so it is at the homes of the students, teachers and faculty – utter, heartbreaking loss. south caicos destruction 5

On the school grounds, there is the sound of children playing football, singing Christmas carols, asking curious questions and chatting with their ‘BFFs’; wonderful, refreshing sounds.  However, many would gladly welcome, as an alternative, the racket of noise reconstruction would make.

There are many areas which vex South Caicos natives, despite their gratitude of having survived the killer hurricane.  However, we found the report on the Government owned water tank, disturbing.  The zinc cover is rusty, ripped apart and leaves the stored water exposed to anything and everything.  One resident said there were ‘dead things’ inside the water.  They believe it is unhealthy and polluted.south caicos school

Magnetic Media reached out the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Planning for explanation on what is happening in South Caicos and construction to rebuild, generally.  Minister Goldray Ewing, who leads the Public Works Department shared that on Friday, December 15 he expects that the Budget Supplementary to pay for the massive repairs nationwide will be passed in the House of Assembly.  Hon Ewing said, “…after a supplementary is carried to the House to earmark those monies to prioritise the projects, we plan on embarking upon such repairs and clean up.”

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Government has had to re-organise the 2017-2018 Budget projections to ‘free-up’ money he reminded, this means debate in Grand Turk on Friday (Dec 15, 2017) will not only be pivotal, but interesting as we will get a more complete understanding of what this initial work will cost the country on the road to recovery.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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Bahamas News

Minister Moxey says partnerships for development will help get Grand Bahama going again



#TheBahamas, November 27, 2021 – One means by which Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey plans to utilize every resource at her disposal to get things moving for Grand Bahama again, is to utilize partnerships for development.

“Success with these partnerships on our island are embedded in collaborative efforts between the ministry of Grand Bahama, other government ministries, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson Whampoa Holdings Ltd., industry stakeholders and the business community at large,” explained Minister Moxey.

“We must unite and work together to build alliances for success with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Grand Bahama Island excels.  We are all in this together.”

The Minister’s remarks came during her keynote address at the ninth annual Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort. The event is held to honor Grand Bahamian business owners for their commitment, achievements and dedication to the development of the second city.

Minister Moxey pointed out that this year’s event, under the theme, celebration of excellence, acknowledges and highlights businesses on Grand Bahama that have stayed the course. She added that this kind of recognition is a beacon of hope for local business owners who have faced and overcame some of the most challenging circumstances ever encountered within the island’s history.

“On November first during my contribution on the bill to thank the Governor General for his Speech from the Throne, I pledged to the nation that I would do the people’s business and utilize every resource at my disposal, to get the job done for Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey.

“As a Grand Bahamian and business owner, I can attest to the challenges we have faced over the past decade. The devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which was closely followed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It further strained our already fragile economy. Today’s administration is also well aware of the challenges that Grand Bahama has faced over the past decade. Nevertheless, we will deliver on our commitment to recover, rebuild and revolutionize our island, our economy and usher our people into the new day.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses represented today, that have kept their doors opened and our people employed. To all of the Business Excellence Award nominees, I congratulate you. Remain encouraged and know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“To the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, thank you for being a staple in the business community and for celebrating excellence for the past nine years. Welcome back business excellence awards.”


By Andrew Coakley

Photo Caption: Minister for Grand Bahama, Ginger Moxey (right), along with President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Greg Laroda presents Mrs. Leslie Baptista, of Paint Fair, with the President’s Award, during the ninth annual GB Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort.

(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Caribbean Development Bank to offer solutions for TCI with Sea Defences



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, November 27, 2021 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has committed $600,000 to investigate upgrades to sea defences in the Turks and Caicos Islands, disclosed by the Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Akierra Missick as she sought to reassure residents about the state of the defenses.

Concerns were raised by residents recently when the newly paved Front Street, Grand Turk was severely flooded because the sea wall was unable to hold back massive waves.

Minister Missick acknowledged the concerns but said that the government had been working on upgrades since August of this year. This, she said, had begun with a “holistic review of all of the island’s sea defenses.” It was revealed that this review is being done through an environmental consultancy agency.

The consultancy is set to run for 11 months.

At the end of the consultation period, the government should have what Missick described as shoreline characterization for Grand Turk and Salt Cay as well as designs for measures to break wave strength before it reaches shore and infrastructure upgrade designs for the entire coast of Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

Feasibility studies will be carried out alongside these infrastructure designs to determine their effectiveness.

Meetings between CDB and stakeholders including residents, tourism operators, engineers, coasts resource advisors, and others are set to occur over the 11 month time frame.

A coastal resource and vulnerability analysis is also set to be completed. This, Missick said, is a pre-emptive effort to prevent future problems.

Opposition leader Edwin Astwood spoke out regarding the flooding incident. He said the flooding was caused by faulty engineering of the sea wall rather than drainage along the road. In the House of Assembly on November 22, Astwood claimed the wall, which should have been built with a curve, was built flat.

Missick has not yet responded to the claims but has promised that CDB’s preliminary report should be tabled with Government by Summer 2022.


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Leading revenue earners need to include a boosted Financial Services Sector says Finance Minister Saunders



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, November 27, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos economy has surpassed expectations for revenue by almost $90 million dollars. Finance Minister E.Jay Saunders revealed the top four categories that spearheaded the increase, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the revenue brought into the TCI.

The information was presented at a November 8 press conference where the Finance, Investment and Trade Minister also provided a simplified version of country finances in a Citizens’ Guide to the Budget.

Saunders said, in his presentation, that every single revenue item overachieved, pushing the original $271 million dollar budget to a projected $361 million.

The first category was Work Permits which is projected to have, a near $2 million dollar increase. Next was Accommodation Tax, which is projected to have an almost $15 million dollar increase in revenue, followed by Customs Import Duties with a projected $22 million dollar increase.  Finally, Stamp Duties rounded out the main four with a whopping $34 million projected increase.

He did warn that despite its brilliant performance, the TCI economy must diversify and do so soon. He cited supply chain issues that are currently affecting the global market saying that if even one of the major categories of revenue were to be affected it could be detrimental for the economy.

He said “Over 80% of our revenue comes from four categories…When we talk about diversifying this is one of the reasons why, because of anything happens to say, Customs Import duties it would be a disaster.”

In tandem with this call to diversify that the minister made significant mention of Financial Services as a fifth category for fiscal development. He said that despite the industry still being fairly small that “if the government can manage to grow it just a little bit it would make a huge difference.”

Cayman and the BVI were cited as examples of territories which had managed to build strong financial services sectors. He assured the press that, “The only thing we have to do is modernize our legislation and become more of a competitor…and we don’t need to increase our market share significantly to grab another 50 million dollars.”

In contrast, the biggest expenses were Salaries, Pensions, and Hospital charges with the Ministry of Health getting the bulk of the budget.

While the Finance Minister was pleased with the progress, he also expressed his determination that the TCIG be able to increase their now $360 million budget to $400 or even $500 million.

This, said Saunders, would allow the government to hit their 2040 goals to improve quality of life for TCI citizens.


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