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Over $8.3 million in contracts to rebuild Water & Sewerage infrastructure in Abaco post Hurricane Dorian

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#Nassau, The Bahamas – February 19, 2020 — STATEMENT ISSUED FEBRUARY 13 – The Corporation (WSC) can confirm that we have restored normal water supply to our customers in the following settlements on mainland Abaco – Crown Haven, Fox Town, Mount Hope, Wood Cay, Cedar Harbour, Coopers Town, Fire Road, Blackwood, Casaurina, Cherokee, Crossing Rocks and Sandy Point.

File Photo: WSC Staff in October 2019, Abaco

We have experienced some recent challenges with our water supply systems on the islands of Moores Island and Grand Cay and we expect those to be fully rectified in the coming days. The Grand Cay storage tank was destroyed during the hurricane and a contract has been issued for the demolition of that tank and another contract has been issued for a new 125,000 imperial gallon storage tank.

Last week, WSC mobilized a private contractor to assist our team working to complete extensive repairs to our Marsh Harbour distribution system which includes the communities of Marsh Harbour, Spring City, Dundas Town, Murphy Town, Central Pines, Pelican Shores and Eastern Shores. It is expected that these works will continue for the next few months resulting in substantial improvements in the reliability of our Marsh Harbour water supply system.

At the Marsh Harbour pumping station site, WSC will commence major clearance works in the coming days for a new 1,500,000 imperial gallon storage tank that has already been contracted, a new pumping station building and two (2) new solar power fields. New standby generators were also delivered this week for both the new pumping station and another for the wellfields. When completed, our Marsh Harbour pumping station will be our most advanced water pumping station in the Family Islands with sufficient solar capacity to operate our entire wellfield and pumping station along with standby power and BPL power for use when the sunlight is not available.

File Photo, WSC in Abaco post Hurricane Dorian

This week, WSC mobilized a private contractor to assist our team working to complete extensive repairs to our Treasure Cay distribution system which includes the communities of Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay. These works are also expected to continue for the next few months. At the Treasure Cay pumping station, a new standby generator has already been installed and this generator is powering our facilities as no BPL power is available at this location as yet.

The storage tank at this facility was destroyed during the storm and demolition works will be starting in the coming days to remove the collapsed tank and tank slab to make room for a new 750,000 imperial gallon tank that already been contracted.

A contract has also been issued for the repair of the Green Turtle Cay storage tank that was damaged during the hurricane.

Rebuilding of W&S infrastructure started in Abaco, WSC photo

Our Treasure Cay commercial office was destroyed during the hurricane and our Board is expected to approve the commencement of a procurement exercise for several building contracts shortly including a new Treasure Cay commercial and operations center, the new pumping station for Marsh Harbour, two (2) solar power equipment buildings and refurbishment of all of our existing buildings on the mainland and cays.

On Sweetings Cay, which is managed as a part of our Abaco operations, the nongovernmental organization (NGO), WaterMission has provided a standby generator and a desalination plant as the complete water production facility on island was destroyed during the hurricane and the distribution system also experienced substantial damage. The generator and desalination plant are operational and providing water for the remaining residents.

Water Mission on the ground in Abaco assisting restoration and rebuild of water infrastructure; WSC photo

WSC is presently exploring an offer from another NGO to assist with the required distribution system improvement works. Notably, WSC has purchased a plant to replace the plant we lost in Sweetings Cay; at present, it is in Grand Bahama awaiting shipment to Sweetings Cay. Detailed Condition Assessment Reports have been completed for our Treasure Cay and Spring City sewerage systems, both of which incurred substantial damage during the passage of the hurricane.

Our Board is presently reviewing options to commence the required sewerage refurbishment works and it is anticipated that a contract award will be made in the coming weeks.

To support our operational and commercial teams, a fleet of new vehicles and required equipment has been procured. Some items have already been shipped to Abaco and additional items will be shipped in the coming days.

To date, WSC has awarded contracts for vehicles, equipment, new facilities, restoration works & services in excess of $8.3 million and we anticipate another several million dollars in contracts will be awarded in the coming weeks. WSC appreciates the understanding, patience and support of our valued customers in the Abacos as we work to rebuild a stronger, more climate resilient water and sewerage infrastrustructural system.

Bahamas News

Scores of Students Equipped with Supplies to Return to School

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS, AUGUST 13, 2022 – As the new school year approaches, Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Sandals Royal Bahamian have embarked on a back-to-school drive, donating school supplies to local schools and communities in Nassau as part of their commitment to education and community development.

Recently, a team of over 15 volunteers from the resort traveled to Gambier Primary School, where students and teachers were gathered for summer school, and distributed over 40 packages with school supplies that included notebooks, pencils, crayons, pencil cases, erasers, sharpeners, reading books, rulers and glue sticks and warm meals.

Public Relations Manager at Sandals Royal Bahamian, Renee Deleon, shared the impact that these donations will have on families and schools across the island.

“Education is pivotal to the growth of a nation and it is something that we are committed to at Sandals. We know that back to school expenses here like anywhere else in the world can be quite strenuous so we want to play our part in helping to ease the financial burden that this may present to families as schools look to reopen.”

Deleon further added, “Thanks to the support of our guests who packed for a purpose, we were able to collect these items that will allow students to be equipped with the essential tools they need to make a better transition to the classroom when they return to school.”

The gesture was met with song, dance and echoes of ‘thank you’ as the Sandals team made the presentations to the children. Principal Forbes explained how this donation will help to improve the teaching and learning process.

“I am tremendously grateful to the Sandals Foundation and their team members from Sandals Royal Bahamian for gifting my students with school supplies. This donation will go a long way toward allowing teachers to execute lessons and students to participate.”

Forbes also noted that the school has had a longstanding relationship with the Foundation.

“Over the years we’ve had a good relationship with the Sandals Foundation and I am happy that we still have them in our corner.”

In addition to this donation to Gambier Primary School, the Sandals Royal Bahamian team has distributed school supplies to the Community Touch Group. Donations were also made to children at the Nazareth Centre as well as some children from the Okra Hill community. Later this month the Sandals Foundation ambassadors will be giving back to children from the Nassau Village and Grove communities.

 

Photo Captions: 

Header: These Sandals Foundation Ambassadors from Sandals Royal Bahamian were captured with bag packs filled with school supplies moments before they donated the supplies to the Nazareth Centre.

 1st insert: It is always a joyous occasion when Sandals Foundation Ambassadors go out to give back.

 2nd insert: Volunteers from Sandals Royal Bahamian were a picture of joy when they stopped by Gambier Primary School to donate school supplies and issue lunches recently.

 Release: Sandals Resort

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Bahamas News

GBPA Statement from Ian Rolle, President

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Re:  GBPA’s Response to fire in the International Bazaar

 

#TheBahamas, August 10, 2022 – The Grand Bahama Port Authority is aware of the recent fire at the International Bazaar.

The GBPA has engaged, and continues to engage, with operators of the International Bazaar, which include representatives of the Bazaar Association and several property owners, so that we can continue demolition exercises on the dilapidated structures and buildings.

The GBPA is acutely aware of the need to demolish derelict structures within the International Bazaar for the safety of all businesses and visitors. We have performed demolitions in the past at our own cost, most recently in February 2022 when we, in partnership with owners, demolished fire-damaged buildings in the Oriental Section. We have also written to numerous property owners of dilapidated structures over the years to sensitize them to the need to repair or demolish their buildings.

In addition, we have engaged the Government of the Bahamas in advance discussions to approve our requested amendments of the Building and Sanitary bylaws, which would enable GBPA to execute more demolitions in a timely manner and recoup the associated costs.

With the requested bylaw amendments in place, GBPA can continue to make consistent efforts to address the remainder of derelict buildings in the International Bazaar and other dilapidated structures within the city.

The GBPA itself has never owned any part of the International Bazaar but has historically subsidized the Bazaar for many years when owners were no longer maintaining its communal areas.

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Beneath the Waves’ summer camp inspires young Bahamians to become stewards of the environment

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#TheBahamas, August 10, 2022 – While the waters near Great Exuma are renowned for their unmatched beauty, last weekend, more than 40 students spent a day with Beneath the Waves learning the deeper value of the marine ecosystems that surround their islands and act as a bedrock for the Bahamian economy and way of life.

As participants in the non-profit’s summer camp, the young students learned about mangrove and coral reef habitats and the many species that live among them.

They heard about some of Beneath the Waves’ research, including studies of sharks, seagrass and blue carbon, and research methods like underwater video surveys.

Coral Vita Conservancy, which has been working relentlessly to restore coral reefs off Grand Bahama, sent team member Joe Oliver , Director of Restoration Operations, to assist with the camp and provide in-depth information on corals in The Bahamas.

Team ECCO, a North Carolina-based ocean education organization, also provided in-depth lessons on invertebrates and fish.

Long after the taste of ice cream at the end-of-day party has faded, campers will remember learning how to tag a lifelike shark. And they’ll wear their camp t-shirts with pride, remembering this is the day they learned to value the water all around them and what lies beneath the waves.

Eleven-year-old twin sisters Kassidy and Kaylee Burrows described the camp as a highlight of their summer vacation.

“We had a lot of fun,” said Kassidy. “And we learned all about sponges, the water, mangroves, coral reefs — how they protect animals and how they protect the shore — and also about animals themselves, aquatic animals, for example, sea anemones, corals, sponges and sharks.”

Kassidy was especially enthused to share her experience with helping to plant new mangroves.

“We found out how mangrove seeds can actually disperse into the water,” she said.

“And I thought they were going to be small seeds, but, in my opinion, they looked like asparagus kind of.

“We also got to go in the water and plant new mangroves.”

Beneath the Waves’ scientists have been studying The Bahamas’ waters for more than a decade, having helped with the creation and management of conservation policies, including the legislation that made the country’s waters a shark sanctuary in 2011.

The non-governmental organization knows that in continuing efforts to protect The Bahamas’ greatest asset, its natural environment, community buy-in is vital.

And in that context, the value of helping young Bahamians gain these kinds of hands-on experiences and lessons, ones they’ll undoubtedly carry with them through life, can’t be overstated.

Kaylee Burrows is already brainstorming the ways she can apply what she learned in her future career.

While the mangroves piqued her sister’s interest, Kaylee said she was fascinated by coral reefs and the important role they play on a global scale, though she noted they don’t seem to be sufficiently appreciated.

“I learned that The Bahamas has some of the biggest coral reefs in the world,” she said. “We actually put pieces of coral on a pipe to help build a platform for the coral. The reason I chose coral reefs over all of the topics is because we the people of the Bahamas, don’t even recognize how important our islands are. These coral reefs are very beneficial to the whole world.”

Kaylee said she hopes to one day become a veterinarian and an author.

“As a vet, I can help not just land animals, but marine animals too,” she said. “As an author, I can write books on marine biology. I think this experience helped with my future career, and I’m forever grateful.”

Beneath the Waves Managing Director Jamie Fitzgerald said plans are underway to make the camp an annual event.

“We look forward to being able to work more closely with local schools in the islands we frequent, such as Exuma and Nassau, to develop educational materials around sharks and marine science, and to foster opportunities for internships and future careers for any aspiring Bahamian marine biologists,” Fitzgerald said.

 

Photo Captions: 

Header: Hands-on experience – Exuma students planting mangroves with the help of research scientists from Beneath the Waves  — just one of the many memorable moments from the non-profit’s summer camp that was held on July 23. (Photos courtesy of Beneath the Waves)

1st insert: Learning about coral — With the help of experts from Coral Vita, a Grand Bahama-based organization working to restore reefs near the island, students built plaforms for coral. (Photos courtesy of Beneath the Waves)

2nd insert: More to come  – Camp leaders and participants posed with the inflatable shark, as the first of what is hoped to be many Beneath the Waves summer camps came to an end. (Photos courtesy of Beneath the Waves)

 

Release: Beneath the Waves

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