Turks and Caicos DDME at 10-year condemned building, no budget for new home
#Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands – Monday June 25, 2018 – For a decade the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies has occupied a space that is condemned and today the Director of the DDME, Dr. Virginia Clerveaux explained that it is because there continues to be no money allocated to get them out of the structurally unsound building.
While the DDME is tasked with promoting building back better to the nation, the organization is forced to occupy a space that is on paper not fit for use – both in Providenciales and Grand Turk.
The situation is not a new one, but remains a shocking and lingering problem given the litany of catastrophes which are now increasingly possible including over 200 m.p.h. wind hurricanes and earthquakes.
The Appropriations Committee is currently scrutinizing the spending allotted in a $290 million Budget presented by the Premier and Finance Minister a week ago today. The DDME appeared before the Committee, in the Capital Grand Turk, just before lunch.
‘When I got to the building, I met it with an ‘X’ on it,’ said Dr. Virginia Clerveaux in responding to the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Douglas Parnell.
It was also explained by the Director that, “we are far from satisfied and will continue agitating for better…”
It is unclear when “better” will come for the DDME, which has received high commendation for its handling of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and a special Star Award from the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association due to its fortitude in the aftermath of the storms.
It was pointed out during the sitting today that the request has been made for a new home for DDME in Providenciales, still there are no funds allotted to constructing that alternate site.
Quizzed about what will happen if there is a major hurricane for the Turks and Caicos Islands, when it comes to the DDME and its mandatory establishment of a Command Centre in the event of such a weather event; the Director explained that there is a back-up plan.
In Providenciales, the options are to move their operations to the Office of the Premier, Flow or Digicel. In Grand Turk, the option is to take refuge and set-up a Command Centre at the Office of the Deputy Governor.
The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies is under the umbrella of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Telecommunciations.
Millions to come from FSC
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way. It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination.
“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said. He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue. Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders.
“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M. By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M). So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.”
This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors.
Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again. Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
Women’s Health Connectivity and health a study for TCI’S benefit
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – As the country moves toward new fiber optic connectivity, bridging the digital divide could be a game changer for healthcare and other family-friendly services in the TCI.
The power of universal digital connectivity across countries was one of the recurring themes when the United Nations in partnership with the Network of Afro Caribbean Women and the Diaspora recently explored how technology, innovation and education are being used to address women’s health issues.
The session aimed to highlight success stories and explore how those processes can be replicated to help women and girls globally including in The Turks and Caicos.
The UN explained that despite holding a 70 percent majority in healthcare jobs, women are poorly represented in leadership roles and subject to systemic gender inequalities that can make receiving healthcare challenging.
As delegates from Chile and Rwanda, who were also partners in the session, shared the upgrades to their countries’ systems that had significantly improved the level of care available to their women, digital connectivity was a deciding factor.
In Rwanda the health ministries have begun to use drones to deliver medicine, SMS messages to alert about health threats and a completely digitized health care that eliminates paper documents for pregnant women and makes records accessible to any doctor, immediately.
Rwandan delegate, Rose Rwabuhihi shared tips that countries should keep in mind when trying to implement new processes to benefit women and the wider community.
- Partnership and sustainability are key factors to successful programs. She urged governments not to give up on projects or allow their partners to give up on them halfway.
- Education campaigns to introduce residents to the technology: “We need to build skills and deepen the knowledge so they can use the innovations that have been put in place especially in rural areas.
Poor connectivity and technological issues have plagued the TCI for years especially in the islands outside of Providenciales. Government has substantially acknowledged this disparity in communications services and is investing in a new undersea cable to augment services in the Turks and Caicos.
The UNs perspectives can now ignite a fire for even more family friendly, digital services.
In fact,Senator Yasna Provoste Campillay, the Chilean Delegate explained how connectivity and videoconferencing had been used to reach the county’s women in the most rural of areas. Chile is a long country, its landmass spread lengthwise creating unique communication challenges. While healthcare in Chile is separated by length the Turks and Caicos islands are disconnected by the ocean and solutions that prove useful for the South American country could well be worth implementing locally.
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