Bahamas Information Services – Matt Maura
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, February 28, 2018 – Caribbean Community leaders discussed a number of topical issues ranging from disaster management, mitigation and recovery to mandatory evacuations for regional citizens during natural disasters during the two days of the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community that ended Tuesday afternoon.
Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield, who took over the Chair as Head of Delegation for The Bahamas on Tuesday following Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis’ departure for New Providence Monday night, said the discussions “went extremely well.”
“I believe the Community is in a position to determine a couple of matters,” Minister Henfield said. “Yesterday, (Monday) we looked at disaster preparedness and response and the Prime Minister (Prime Minister Minnis) made some extremely important interventions where we were able to speak to what we experienced in The Bahamas during the last hurricane cycle where we had to evacuate 1200 Bahamians from MICAL; where we were able to evacuate some 300 from Bimini.”
Minister Henfield said the effects of Climate Change on the region, was also addressed in the wake of the recent Super Storms that wreaked havoc on the Community during the 2017 Hurricane Season.
“We in this region live in the Hurricane Belt. Hurricanes are a part of the natural environment of the Caribbean,” Minister Henfield said. “It is anticipated that with Climate Change, these systems will become more frequent; they will become more ferocious, and so we have to be able to sustain ourselves. We have to be able to respond after they have hit us and we need to put ourselves in a position, as a people, to be able to do most of this ourselves.”
Minister Henfield said discussions also centred on the availability of regional assets to respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes.
“Discussions about what is in the regional arsenal to be able to respond; how many LCU’s (Landing Crafts) we have? How many of these types of vessels are in the region that will be able to respond?
“We also spoke to the importance of CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency) whose officials traveled to The Bahamas and visited Ragged Island following the passage of Maria, and we spoke about shoring-up CDEMA to put it in a position to do its work as we know it’s required to be done.”
Minister Henfield said regional leaders also addressed the possibility of the acquisition of helicopters in order to be able to “move about rather quickly” in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
“When you look at what happened in Dominica, when you look at Barbuda, you know the entire infrastructure was disrupted.”
Regional Ministers also “spent some time in caucus” with CARICOM Heads of Government Monday night (February 26, 2018) at which time they discussed the matter of crime in the region.
“Crime is prevalent throughout the region not only in The Bahamas and we must look at ways to curb this blight on our Tourism economy, potentially, if it is not checked. We also talked about counter-terrorism initiatives,” Minister Henfield said.
“It is my belief that the two are associated in a sense that we have a lot of young people who feel disenfranchised, who feel disassociated from society, who are quite vulnerable to those who would encourage them into a life of criminality.”
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“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.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#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.
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.
Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources
By Sherrica Thompson
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.
Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.
“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.
“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”
Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.
Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.
She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.
There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.
Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
News1 week ago
Frontier Airlines bails on Orlando to PLS connection; gone too soon
Crime1 week ago
Crime Wave just as bad as COVID wave, Residents demanding action
News6 days ago
KB Home Center fined $6,000 for Hiring Haitians illegally
Health6 days ago
New Healthy Sail rules to ensure transparency and safety kick in, but not all Cruise Lines are on board
Bahamas News1 week ago
MP’s Graduate with Parliamentary Governance Certificates
Health6 days ago
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
Health6 days ago
COVID deaths too high, Therapeutics Options too low; TCIG is not following Mother England
Bahamas News6 days ago
Cruising should slow down says PAHO