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BAHAMAS: Minister Thompson says GB is in state of readiness as it braces for Hurricane Dorian



#Freeport, GB, August 29, 2019 – Bahamas – The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in Grand Bahama has been activated, as a potentially category three storm rolls towards the Northern Bahamas.

Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson met with all members of the Grand Bahama Disaster Preparedness Committee, along with representatives from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) on Wednesday afternoon in the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Committee, which consists of representatives from all of the relevant agencies in the country, gave the Minister a report of their readiness as Hurricane Dorian leaves behind a wave of destruction in Puerto Rico and turns its sights on parts of the Northern Bahamas.

“We are in a state of preparedness, getting ready for the effects of what could possibly be a very strong hurricane,” Minister Thompson told members of the media during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon, following the meeting with the Disaster Preparedness Committee.

“This hurricane we must take seriously. We take the attitude that we will pray, but also prepare at the same time. We have met with all of the key stakeholders and we want the public to be in a state of readiness. This storm is not to be taken lightly.

“We want to send the message to the residents of Grand Bahama and to the Northern Bahamas to take special heed to all of the alerts and all of the news relating to the passing of this hurricane. We urge residents to begin preparing their houses and their businesses to ensure that they are secured.”

As to the latest updates, on Wednesday afternoon Hurricane Dorian was passing Puerto Rico and is expected to skirt the Southern Bahamas, as it moved northwest. A turn to the west is expected to take place on Saturday, which will take it right over Abaco and Grand Bahama. During that time, it is expected to be a category 3 hurricane.

“All indications are that the islands of Abaco, Grand Bahama, the Berry Islands and even Bimini will experience strong gale force and hurricane force winds by Sunday morning,” said Shavon Moxey-Bonimy, Chief Meteorologist at the Freeport Weather Office. “Residents in these islands to make sure and prepare now for this hurricane.”

Minister Thompson called on residents to pay close attention and to heed the advice from NEMA and the Royal Bahamas Police Force when it comes to information regarding evacuations. While evacuations in some areas are not mandatory, Minister Thompson noted that those who know that their homes are in flood prone zones should evacuate ahead of the storm passing over Grand Bahama.

“We also want to assure the public that NEMA has been preparing for months and they have been in a state of readiness for months, preparing for this time,” said Minister Thompson.

Administrators in Grand Bahama who were on hand for the press conference urged all Grand Bahama residents to take heed to the warnings given and to do the necessary preparations immediately.

“I want to echo the sentiments of the Minister for Grand Bahama and to say to those who are residents of Grand Bahama and the surrounding Cays, that even though NEMA and the Grand Bahama Disaster Committee have done our part, we need the residents to do their part to ensure their safety,” said Don Cornish, Administrator for Freeport.

“One of the things that we’ve done over the years is we’ve trained persons for these sorts of situations. We’ve trained First Responders and needs assessment responders, as well as shelter management managers.”

Ms. Karen Seymour, Manager for Tourism on Grand Bahama, said that they have already made contact with all of the hotels, resorts and timeshare facilities on the island, keeping them abreast of preparedness plans.

With over 1,000 visitors on the island, Ms. Seymour said that they are in contact with the airlines and the ferry services to help visitors change reservations and leave the island before the storm approaches, as a part of the Ministry’s safety measures for their visitors.

Successive meetings will continue on Thursday and Friday between the Office of the Prime Minister, NEMA and representatives of the GB Disaster Preparedness Committee, as the storm approaches. 

“We have been here before, we have done this before, we have gone through these situations before and we are in a state of readiness, but we want persons to be vigilant and to be prepared,” said Minister Thompson.

“As I said, we will pray for the best, but we will be prepared for the worst.”

By Andrew Coakley

Release: BIS 

Photo Caption: Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson (centre) urged residents of Grand Bahama to begin making all of the necessary tasks to prepare for the passage of hurricane Dorian, during a press conference at the Office on the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon, August 28, 2019.  Before meeting with the press, Minister Thompson met with representatives of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and with members of the Grand Bahama Disaster Preparedness Committee, many of whom accompanied the Minister during the press conference.

(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

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Environmental Health Department Recognizes Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2023



Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands May 12, 2023 – Mosquito Awareness Week is fast approaching, and its an important initiative which was established with the approval of CARICOM in 2014 to raise awareness about the link between mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit and to strengthen initiatives aimed at eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week will be observed this year from May 8th – 14th, 2023 under the theme “Small bite, big threat” and slogan “Beat the buzz: Prevent, Protect, Control”.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is present in the Turks and Caicos Islands, can spread diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.

During the Month of May, the Environmental Health Department will be discussing ways to control vector populations and prevent the spread of diseases. This can include using insect repellent, eliminating breeding grounds, and properly disposing of waste.

Vector Control Awareness Month in the TCI is an extension of Mosquito Awareness Week, recognizing the threat posed by mosquitoes and is a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases. Let’s work together to keep our communities healthy and safe.

For additional information, please contact the Environmental Health Department on 1649-338-2143/44.

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Social Services hosts Special Event for TCI Younger Ladies



By Dana Malcolm

Staff writer



#TurksandCaicos, May 2, 2023 – Another edition of the government’s mentorship program “The Lady in Me” was held this week. This time young ladies in Providenciales were the ones being treated. The program targets at-risk adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.

Photos of the beautiful setup shared with our news team show branded gifts waiting for the girls as they spent the two-day event sponsored by UNICEF focusing on how to cultivate healthy physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.

Students from various schools arrived in uniforms immaculately pressed for the event put on by the Department of Social Services.

Acting Governor Anya Williams was in attendance and expressed faith that the initiative would cause true change.

“It was a pleasure to share with them my insight into the importance of making the right decisions in their youth, which will help to shape their futures and why they should see and value themselves as their greatest asset and to hear from them their goals, aspirations and the challenges that are currently being experienced by our younger generations,” she said.

In introducing the program the Government had said it was aiming to help participants: “examine the adolescence values, competencies, belief systems, inner feelings, motivations, critical thinking, and communication skills,” in order to “build their self-awareness and interpersonal relationships to strengthen their self-esteem— to create a sense of pride and enhance self-respect, self-worth, and self-esteem as they mature and improve personally and professionally.”

The Department said the event was expected to impact 100 girls.

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What’s at LJMMA? President explains snazzy equipment 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Situated on a Cay of its own, the LJM Maritime Academy (LJMMA) is the Bahamas’ only school of its kind and with sponsorships from Campbell Shipping, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Disney Cruises, and more it boasts an extremely well-equipped campus. The Turks and Caicos Community College (TCICC) is now partnering with the LJMMA to bring those amenities to TCI students through TCICC.

Brendamae Cleare, President of the institution, joined in on a maritime stakeholder meeting introducing the partnership to the Turks and Caicos’ residents on Tuesday, March 21, detailing everything that the LJMMA had to offer.

“We have– classrooms, workshops, a bridge simulator room, a crane simulator, an engine simulator and we also have a GMDSS simulator and radar simulator as well,” she explained.

The simulator building was commissioned to the tune of $30 million and is only in phase one. Also included alongside the fancy simulators, which give students hands-on experience with the boat engines and cranes that they will work with in the future, there are temporary administrative offices, libraries, nurse’s stations and more.

Other buildings on the Cay include, a firefighting simulator and the school even has lifeboat simulators, which mimic what it would be like pushing the lifeboat off the side of a huge vessel and maneuvering it in the ocean.

The Maritime Academy was birthed in 2011 when executives at Campbell Shipping including Lowell J. Mortimer (which is the only Bahamian-owned shipping company Cleare says), realized that there were no Bahamians working on their ships and were determined to change that.

“We had the college of the Bahamas, which is now the University of the Bahamas. We had a technical and vocational institution. We had banking and tourism colleges, but nothing like maritime but [we said] why not maritime?”

And the LJMMA so was born, named after its founder Mortimer. In its first year, it fielded over 180 applications and accepted just over 40 students. It is semi-regimented, which means strict rules for students, just as they would have to abide by on vessels.

The institution is accredited by the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas, the Bahamas Maritime Authority, the Institute of Materials, Minerals, Mining and others.

Cleare said the vision of the school was to become a globally recognized institution of excellence, in maritime education and training.

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