Bahamas: Salina Point Primary Project aims to preserve environment, while assisting student who ‘loves to help others’
#SALINA POINT, Acklins – Februray 13, 2020 — School officials and students at the Salina Point Primary School in Salina Point, Acklins, have become great examples of how schools can effect positive change within their communities while also helping to preserve the environment with the launch of a Tyre Recycling/Refurbishment Project.
Taking note of the number of old tyres strewn about the community and within the vicinity of the school’s campus, they decided to do something about it and launched an Art Project aimed at recycling/refurbishing the tyres into decorative pieces of art, while also taking special measures to ensure the tyres would not become homes for mosquitoes.
Students began collecting the old tyres in the community at the beginning of the 2019 school year and have been using paint and varnish, among other measures, to refurbish them into decorative art. So far, the tyres have been used as flowerpots and vegetable gardens among other uses.
The Art Project was also the result of students, administrators, and the staff’s eagerness to assist 11-year old Jada Tatiana Forbes-Lockhart, a sixth-grader and a “budding artist” who was chosen as the school’s Student of the Year nominee in obtaining a scholarship. It has since mushroomed into something much larger – an “all out effort” to help preserve the environment while also combating the environmental and public health issues associated with old tyres becoming habitats for mosquitoes.
“Jada has worked hard to help with beach clean-up and our school beautification,” School Principal Ms. Nicola Williams said. “She is a very hardworking, disciplined student who works independently and is intrinsically motivated. Jada is also a great athlete and loves to explore her artistic talent and read. She has done well academically and has maintained a grade point average of three point and above for her primary years. She has won numerous trophies and certificates at the school and island level. She is an excellent reader and is always willing to help others. She serves as class monitor, lunchroom assistant, and reading buddy.”
It is mainly because of the last three qualities and Jada’s constant willingness to help others that school officials and students decided to pitch in and help with the project.
“The idea of doing a tyre project came as a result of seeing the number of old tyres in the community,” said Jada, a key participant in the project along with her mother, Ms. Mannessa Forbes. “Mrs. (Dawn) Singh, our lower primary school teacher and an artist, showed me a series of beautiful tyre decorations on Facebook and we decided to undertake the Project.”
Principal Williams said the Project has further strengthened the bond between the school and the community. The Project has become so successful that school officials hope to expand the work.
“It is our hope to continue the project to beautify our compound while protecting our environment,” Principal Williams said. “We could even use this as a method to raise funds as community members are interested in purchasing the remodeled tyres and decorate their gates.”
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, along with Minister for the Public Service and National Insurance, the Hon. Brensil A. Rolle, applauded young Jada, school officials and students, and the community of Salina Point for their support of the project.
The two Ministers visited Salina Point Primary – one of six schools in the Acklins and Crooked Island District they visited during a recent Official Trip to the District. Minister Campbell used the opportunity to address school students about his ministry’s initiatives with regards to its child protection efforts, while Minister Rolle challenged the students to be steadfast and focused on education.
“I was fascinated by the quality of the work and pleased to know that it involves an item that would otherwise become not only an eyesore within the community and the school campus, but also an environmental and possible public health threat because of the water the tyres can collect,” Minister Campbell said.
“But because of some inspiration, some sense of innovation coming from a child, that very same item can now positively impact the environment, the aesthetics of the environment, and possibly impact the pocketbook because I am advised that persons in the community have submitted requests to purchase them.”
Minister Campbell also applauded Forbes-Lockhart for her commitment to being the best student possible. Forbes-Lockhart boasts a 3.75 GPA.
“It is not often that you find children of that age knowing exactly what it is they want to do, or working towards what they ultimately want to be,” he said. “Jada is fortunate to have made such a decision and to be receiving the kind of support to make it a worthwhile one and one that offers great hope and potential.
“The entire school is excited about her and she is also fortunate to be benefiting from the support of the administration all the way up to the Principal who is personally involved. I believe that can become contagious and infectious if the story is shared throughout other communities,” Minister Campbell added.
Lead photo caption: Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell (far right standing) and Minister for the Public Service and National Insurance, the Hon. Brensil A. Rolle (far left standing) with students of the Salina Point Primary School who represented their school at the MICAL District Spelling Bee Competition. Pictured (from left) are: Jada Tatiana Forbes- Lockhart; Edlesea Gabrielle Rose and Anna Rebekah Kerr. Also pictured (at back) is Mrs. Miriam Emmanuel, Representative for the MICAL District. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)
BIS story by Matt Maura
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
Why Sargassum Matters
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance.
John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose.
“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”
He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have found use for the weed.
“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.”
He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.
Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.
Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.
“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating.
Lease agreement approved for diaspora office
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.
The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas. Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.
The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February. The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.
It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.
The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home.
Cabinet did not state when the office will open.
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