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BAHAMAS: Potable Water on the Way for Long Island

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#Bahamas, May 14, 2018 – Long Island – The provision of potable water to Long Island will offer relief for the “severe hardship” that residents there have endured for many years.  The Bahamas Government signed a $5.3 million contract Thursday, May 10, 2018 with BHM Company Limited for the installation of 100,000 feet of pipe in north and south Long Island.

Adrian Gibson, executive chairman, Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) and MP for Long Island led a delegation to the island for the ceremony held at Regatta Site, Salt Pond. In attendance were WSC board members and staff including Elwood Donaldson, Acting General Manager; Cyprian Gibson, Assistant General Manager; and Leslie Hutchinson, Senior Engineer/Project Coordinator.  Also witnessing the signing were a cross-section of residents including primary school students.

Mr. Gibson described the event as “historic” for residents who have “suffered” for far too long without a reliable, potable water supply.

“Many Long Islanders are served via tanker, or forced to rely on ground water supplies where the quality of the water is questionable and the reliability of the supply is adversely affected during hurricanes due to power failures and storm surges that bring the seawater inland, directly contaminating the freshwater aquifer,” he said.

A native of Long Island, Mr. Gibson shared his familiarity with drawing and toting water from wells having been raised without piped water, and bathing in water that left a white residue on the skin.

Phase one includes the delivery of two new water tankers, which will service 100 connections extending from Salt Pond to Gray’s.  One of the tankers was damaged in 2017 and has since been replaced.  The second of the three-phase contract will provide service for 100 service connections from Turtle Cove in Stevens to the end of Clarence Town.

BHM will hold an open house on June 12 in Long Island with a view to hiring Long Islanders for positions including machine operators.  Work is expected to begin in six weeks and take 12 months to complete.

Mr. Gibson challenged the contractors, notably Ebbe Saidi, managing director, and Paul Huckle, to hire and involve as many Long Islanders as possible.  He said Long Island has industrious, talented and capable persons who possess the skill sets and are willing to work hard to improve their island: “I encourage you to patronize local vendors to satisfy the needs of your project, including lodging, food and building supplies, etc.  This is a high value contract and we expect the benefits to be felt in the local community,” he said.

The third phase, which will increase the number of customers connected to this system from approximately 80 to over 255, will be implemented through a contract to extend the water supply system to other areas of Long Island including but not limited to the following settlements:  northward, through the settlements of Deal’s, Bunches and Millerton and southward, through Morris and Wemyss, including all side streets from Millerton to Wemyss with occupied homes and businesses.  A doubling of the capacity of the existing Simms desalination plant and a substantial increase in storage will be the result.

Moreover, the Chairman informed that prior to or following the annual June regatta the WSC will embark on a Non-Revenue Water Project to reduce the amount of leakage on the Central Long Island system. Funding options including public-private-partnerships will be sought.

“The Corporation has successfully completed the installation of a (100%) standby power generator in Simms to ensure that in the event of a power failure there will be no interruption in water production/supply to these customers.  A similar system is already in place at our Deadman’s Cay Plant.  This standby power generator has already been commissioned, well in advance of the 2018 Hurricane Season. The disruptions to the Simms Water Supply System would become a thing of the past,” he said.

Further, he noted that estimates and preliminary designs have been prepared to supply piped potable water for the resort communities of Cape Santa Maria and Stella Maris.  He said the future sustainability of the resorts depends on the ability to provide worldclass utilities and services to the present and future homeowners of the communities.

He assured the residents that he will not rest until there is a “sustainable” means of providing potable water to each home and business in Long Island.

 

By: Kathryn Campbell (BIS)

Photo Captions:

Header: From left: Elwood Donaldson, WSC Acting General Manager; Deanne Wallace-Whitfield, WSC Deputy Chairman; Adrian Gibson, WSC Chairman; Ebbe Saidi, Managing Director, BHM and Paul Huckle, BHM.

First Insert: WSC Deputy Chairman Deanne Wallace-Whitfield observes as Adrian Gibson, Chairman, WSC (centre), and Ebbe Saidi, Managing Director, BHM, sign the contract.

Second Insert: Long Island residents listen attentively at the Contract Signing.

Third Insert: Deanne Wallace-Whitfield, Deputy Chairman, WSC Board, and Adrian Gibson, Chairman, WSC (centre), pictured at the ceremony at Salt Pond, Long Island, in which the Bahamas Government signed a $5.3 million contract Thursday, May 10, 2018 with BHM Company Limited for the installation of 100,000 feet of pipe in north and south Long Island to provide potable water.

BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases

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October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

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World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

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RBDF Congratulates Retired Commander Defence Force on National Honour Award 

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#TheBahamas, October 13, 2021 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force congratulates Commodore Retired Leon Livingstone Smith, who was a recipient of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021. 

During a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street, Commodore Smith was presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith. Also in attendance were his daughter, Mrs. Italia Seymour, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King.

Commodore Smith was one of sixteen other deserving individuals recognized on National Heroes Day for the vast contributions they made to the development of the country. The first Bahamian Officer to be appointed as Commander Defence Force, he is the longest-serving Commodore to serve this office from 1983 to 1997.

Throughout his military career, he received numerous awards and accolades, and his career in public life spanned over forty years, and on September 19, 2014, an RBDF Legend Class Vessel bearing his name was commissioned. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is truly grateful for the devoted services of Commodore Smith to the organization and his country.

Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King extends congratulations on his behalf of the members of his Executive Command, Officers, Senior Enlisted, and Junior Enlisted members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, to Commodore Retired Leon Smith, on his great accomplishment.

 

Header:  Commodore Retired Leon Smith being presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

Insert: Commodore Retired Leon Smith along with recipients of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

(RBDF Photos by Able Seaman Paul Rolle II)

 

(For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on FacebookTwitter and view our Youtube channel) 

-rbdf- 

#GuardOurHeritage 

#MarlinSpike 

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