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Bahamas: Salina Point Primary Project aims to preserve environment, while assisting student who ‘loves to help others’

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#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.

Jada displays a finished product to Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

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.

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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.”

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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

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Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

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Bahamas News

BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

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Bahamas News

Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis pledges to govern in the interests of all Bahamians

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#TheBahamas, September 19, 2021 – During his ceremonial swearing-in today as the nation’s fifth Prime Minister, Hon. Philip Davis pledged to govern in the interests of all Bahamians and to consult widely with the Bahamian people.

The best way to make progress as a nation is to bring people together, said Prime Minister Davis, who was presented with his instruments of Office in ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre, on Saturday 18 September 2021.

Prime Minister Davis was officially sworn in as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Friday 17 September 2021 at the Office of the Governor General.

“We will uphold the constitution and the rule of law, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly, so that it’s not one rule for one set of people, and another for another set of people,” said the Prime Minister.

“There is much work to be done; but I know that by working together we can succeed and build the kind of prosperous, independent Bahamas that our founding fathers dreamed for us.”

Prime Minister Davis said that while there are big challenges ahead for The Bahamas, his team has the right vision and policies to take the country forward.

The Prime Minister said the new administration is coming into office at a time when the Bahamian people are hurting as never before.

The country faces many crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy in decline and deeply concerning challenges in education, said Prime Minister Davis.

If everyone works together towards a common purpose, in the common interest and for the common good, great things are possible for The Bahamas and its people, said the Prime Minister.

But no government can do great things on its own, Prime Minister Davis added.

“I am sure that my government can only succeed if we partner with the Bahamian people,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are going to listen, we are going to consult widely and we are going to bring people together.”

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18 September 2021
Office of the Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Contact: opmcommunications@bahamas.gov.bs
Website: opm.gov.bs

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