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Barbados Prime Minister speaks to country ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian; said country is preparing for 6-12 feet storm surge

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#Barbados, August 25, 2019 — Barbados is preparing for a storm surge of 6 to 12 feet as the fourth named system in the Atlantic Basin is formed and forecast to slam into the  island by Monday evening.

The country, according to its Prime Minister Mia Mottley is on ‘full, high, alert” as one of three Caribbean nations under Tropical Storm warning.  St Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were also put on the warning list today by the National Hurricane Center, based in Miami Florida.

“We expect the surf to be considerable, about 6 to 12 feet, that’s 2.5 to 3.5 metres and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy and Fisheries Division has made arrangements for a haul up to take place at Pile Bay and Bay street and Port Ferdinand and Port St. Charles are prepared to take in vessels this afternoon for safe harbor.”

On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley addressed her country and its visitors in a 36 minute nationally televised press conference on the encroaching hurricane.  Prime Minister Mottley’s focus was on the potential of the storm to evolve quickly, debilitate country operations and cause harm to people and property. 

I want to say to Badians; look, it is Sunday afternoon, it is 2:30, pause if you were sleeping, if you were eating, whatever you were doing focus on just getting yourself ready at home.  The first responsibility for yourself is by you,” with a sense of urgency, Prime Minister Mottley added, “Let us get out of the way, in the next few hours, the clean up around our house and the preparations. 

We do not know if this storm will quicken and if it does, we do not know what you will be able to do in the morning if/when the reconnaissance aircraft it presents a dimmer picture than we currently have.”

At the time of the press conference, she confirmed that meetings had already happened with all key agencies and plans were mobilized for even evacuations to take place.

“The St Lucy District Hospital is being evacuated this afternoon and people will go to the Gordon Cummins Hospital and the Geriatric Hospital from there.  The other place that will be evacuated is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and those persons will go to the psychiatric hospital.”

Some supermarkets agreed to extend their Sunday shopping hours; fishermen were asked to work immediately toward moving their vessels to safe ports and it was confirmed that generators at the hospital are in place and fully functional and established water tanks are full, with three new back-up water bladders preparing to be fast tracked from the harbor and into service as an emergency supply.  

A revised shelters list will be circulated by Barbados Government Information Services and due to school still being closed for the Summer break, Prime Minister Mottley assured that if necessary, capacity can be easily expanded.

“Transport Board buses will remain operational until midnight tonight and will start back at 5 am and obviously we will ask that those who have to work late this evening, that arrangements be put in place to have workers be able to get home.  And let us use the brotherly and sisterly spirit that we need.”

Capacity of buses for Sunday was at 75 in operation, still the Transport Authority was asked to “mobilise and know immediately who are some of the private sector operators who can supplement as we go forward.”

It was shared that the public transportation has a plan in place for after the storm.

Electricity, fuel and heads of departments of Civil Service were other major issues addressed by the Prime Minister.

Hon Mottley expressed that the electricity company, Barbados Light and Power had already addressed an area of concern in Spring Garden over the weekend.

Residents in areas where pumping stations are being outfitted with new generators were advised by PM Mottley to brace for an up to 3-hour interruption in electricity as the new equipment is installed.

“The truth is that we are significantly in a better situation with respect to water generation and water tanks this year than a year ago.”  

Grocery stores open late to allow residents to ready themselves for approaching Tropical Storm Dorian, forecast to hit Barbados with 50mph winds, 2-3 inches of rain. Image from Barbados Today video.

All government Permanent Secretaries, Chief Technical Officers and Heads of Department were scheduled to come in to work on Sunday to secure government equipment and files. 

Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith, at the press conference, assured that the Royal Barbados Police Force will be on duty during the storm and encouraged residents to, from tomorrow, remain indoors and to be on their best behavior.

Prime Minister Mottley added that no one is expected to be out once the ‘shut down’ is given.

Not uncharacteristic for Caribbean countries, a prayer was rendered for the safety of the Barbados.

Seventh Day Adventist Elder, Colin Jordan who is also a Barbados Government, Cabinet Minister prayed in part: “We are happy Father that you have called us to lead and to be responsible citizens in this country. We recognize that while you are in control and while you have promised to protect us, you have also said to us that faith without works is dead.  And so as we prepare for any challenge that may come form Tropical Storm Dorian, we pray that you will give us wisdom, knowledge, understanding and help us to see what needs to be done and help us to treat this matter as one that is important and one that is urgent. We pray that you will protect our country…”

Barbados has a population of 293,131 people according to the CIA World Fact Book.

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Caribbean News

National Innovator of the Year Passionate about Technology in Education

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#Jamaica, November 30, 2022 – Educational Technologist, Davia Bryan-Campbell, is the 2022 National Innovator of the Year.

She copped the award for her creation, ‘EduHub Teach’, a platform that enables teachers to access and share resources with each other.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, presented Mrs. Bryan-Campbell with her award during a recent ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Mrs. Bryan-Campbell, who is also a trained teacher, is Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EduHub Company Limited.

Though she says the win was surprising, it was not by chance that her longstanding passion for technology in education has translated into a potentially life-changing innovation.

“I am passionate about information and communications technology (ICT), but I am more passionate about the collaboration between ICT and education. My love is really ‘ed-tech’… not just ICT but technology in education,” she tells JIS News.

Mrs. Bryan-Campbell points out that one of her greatest challenges is that in addition to focusing on the students, she and other teachers had lesson plans, worksheets, projects, PowerPoint presentations, and other administrative engagements to undertake, describing these as overwhelming.

“EduHub Teach was, therefore, designed out of the need to provide greater support to educators across the island, where they can become a part of an online community, [and] where they can collaborate and discover curriculum-specific resources,” she informs.

Mrs. Bryan-Campbell is hopeful that the platform will improve the overall education system, as it enables teachers to focus on “what really matters, which is the students and their learning outcomes”, and reduce their workload.

The talented innovator, who hails from Clarendon, says her interest in ICT became “very pronounced” whilst a student at Edwin Allen High School in the parish.

By the time she matriculated to the Shortwood Teachers’ College in St. Andrew, Mrs. Bryan-Campbell had embraced this interest fully, finding ways to infuse ICT in her lesson plans and instructional delivery to her students.

“When I moved on to [work at] St. George’s College, I used ICT to develop my lessons. I would always use the [audio-visual] AV room, ensuring that ICT was a critical part of teaching and learning,” she highlights.

The innovator also worked with e-Learning Jamaica Limited as a Project Implementation Officer, Training Officer, Training Manager, and Project Manager.  Her attendant engagements allowed her to contribute to national ICT-related programmes, such as the ‘Tablets in Schools’ and ‘Tablets for Teachers’ initiatives.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of South Wales, a Bachelor’s degree in Guidance and Counselling from the Jamaica Theological Seminary, and several certificates in ICT, Instructional Design and Project Management.

A total of 37 entries were received across several categories for this year’s National Innovation Awards.

Chief Adjudicator, Professor Ronald Young, who delivered the judges’ report, pointed out that the submissions were required to have practically demonstrable functionality, perform a function that makes life easier and/or improve the quality of life, display creativity and demonstrate the economic use of materials that are available locally or are indigenous to Jamaica.

This, in addition to being original or a unique adaptation of existing gadgets, equipment, concepts, processes, products or services, with social or economic benefit and realising or at least having the potential for commercialisation while being safe for use and environmentally friendly.

The awards are presented biennially. However, it was last held in 2018, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which cancelled the 2020 staging.

 

BY: MICKELLA ANDERSON

JIS News

Caption: Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz (left), presents Chief Executive Officer/Founder of EduHub Company Limited, Davia Bryan-Campbell, with the 2022 National Innovator of the Year award during a recent ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Yhomo Hutchinson Photo

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Caribbean News

Customers across both Internet Service Providers impacted by freak outage Saturday

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 30, 2022 – Magnetic Media can report, the strange countrywide outage affecting both Flow and Digicel customers over the weekend was a regional issue not just affecting The Turks and Caicos according to the service providers.

Numerous calls and complaints flooded Magnetic Media newsroom on Saturday; angry residents said their internet and mobile services had dropped.

Unusual was that customers of both providers were affected in this simultaneous event, which eventually we learnt had stemmed from beyond TCI shores.

At Digicel, the issues emerged from the night before with a drastic slow-down in speed of its internet services.  Technical staff was able to right the anomaly.

At Flow, the tech team was equally hard at work.  Flow’s serviced dropped completely.

On Monday,  we reached out to Flow and Digicel to find out exactly what caused the national disruption.  Flow Communications Executive Darron Hillaire told us, ““There was a multi-site outage that is still currently being investigated, as far as we know the cause was offshore, and details are still limited at this time.”

Providers in Jamaica confirmed that there were some regional issues that would likely affect countries maybe not in the form of total Internet outages but small drops in service coverage.

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Bahamas News

Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina opens in the Bahamas 

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 30, 2022 – Sterling Global Financial officially opened its Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina on Paradise Island in the Bahamas on Friday, November 25.

The company broke ground for the $250 million redevelopment project in January 2019.

The deep-water floating docks are designed to cater to the needs of superyachts, sports fishers and smaller craft by adjusting to water levels and providing consistent access to vessels.  The company said this will help reduce the likelihood of damage during hurricanes.

While speaking at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Philip Davis praised the Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina, noting that it will add to the island’s vacation profile.

“This 250-million-dollar development is set to revitalize and diversify Paradise Island’s luxury vacation profile.  The entire development has effectively created a downtown district on Paradise Island and includes restaurants, harbourfront residences, professional offices, a food store, a wines and spirits retailer, and other commercial and retail vendors,” Davis said.

Davis also said the marina will boost tourism on Paradise Island.

“This boon is bringing excitement to Paradise Island, adding to the convenience for Paradise Island residents and the experience of visitors at hotels and short-term rentals.  More dining, boating choices, entertainment, and convenient services will serve to augment the overall experience of residents and visitors alike,” the Prime Minister explained.

Adding that: “At the heart of this development is the Sterling Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina capable of hosting the world’s most exclusive superyachts — boats up to 420 feet in length.”

Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said the marina will increase the country’s booking for the next three months.

“These are exciting times for Nassau’s Paradise Island.  These are exciting times for tourism, and we know that our bookings for the next three months are 16 per cent ahead of where they were in 2019,” Cooper said.

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