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Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister at UB Sustainable conference

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Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime Minister - The Bahamas

#FREEPORT, The Bahamas –March 12, 2020 — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest said it is imperative for Bahamians to be open to knowledge sharing, given the new realities The Bahamas faces when it comes to catastrophic hurricanes.

As keynote speaker during opening ceremonies of the University of the Bahamas’ second annual Sustainable Grand Bahama Conference at Pelican Bay Resort, March 5-7, 2020 in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Minister Turnquest noted The Bahamas is no stranger to surviving natural disasters.

“We have a long history of withstanding hurricanes, notwithstanding the unprecedented devastation that Hurricane Dorian caused,” said Minister Turnquest.

“Why is that significant?  That means we have a lot of insight to share as well as lots of new learning still to do. We have proven our resilience before, and we will rise to the occasion demanded by Hurricane Dorian to strengthen our institutions, our processes, our disaster management frameworks so that we can continue to demonstrate our resilience well into the future.”

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One of the most important lessons learned by the government, he said, was the importance of strengthening the government’s national framework for response, recovery and reconstruction.  Pointing out that the historic scope of Dorian’s destruction required the government to acknowledge the need for new state structures to serve more effectively.

“We established the new Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction to streamline how we prepare, recover and rebuild in the event of a disaster,” said Minister Turnquest. “We are updating our laws, policies, procedures and state agencies to support this strengthening of the national disaster management mechanism.

“Also, as an Administration, we see where the insurance industry is a ripe area for lessons learned. Flexible insurance policies that allow for tailored coverage are essential for meeting country-specific needs in the region.

“The Bahamas had the benefit of a $12.8M payout from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF). I am proud to say the Minnis Administration pioneered the restructuring of this policy, which allowed us to actually receive a benefit in our time of need.”

Minister Turnquest said another lesson learned from Dorian was the importance of investing for now and the future. He noted that the cost to finance the Hurricane Dorian recovery is quite significant, and has required the government to borrow money.

He added that based on the lessons learned, one of the ways the government is investing these borrowed funds is on strategic investments that will benefit the country now and in the future. The Minister said his government has committed $100 million in IDB loan-financing so far to firmly establish renewable energy initiatives in the Family Islands, over three years, via the Family Islands Solarization Project.

This investment, he said, will facilitate the development of utility-scale and roof-top solar facilities, and help the country to leapfrog the goal set by the Prime Minister’s Office for the country to produce 4.56 percent of its total energy mix from renewable sources by 2021.

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“The last thing I will touch on is the importance of boosting economic activity to support hurricane recovery, and the lessons we learned from Dorian,” said Minister Turnquest.

“The Government unveiled an unprecedented package of tax incentives and concessions as a key part of the establishment of the Special Economic Recovery Zone (SERZ) in the aftermath of Dorian. The SERZ programme represents a pioneering approach to providing direct support and assistance to Bahamians in a way that had never been contemplated before in the history of the country.

“We also tailor-made a suite of small business development programmes specifically for businesses damaged in the Disaster Zones and approved $10 million through the Small Business Development Centre to ensure they get back on their feet quickly and with support.”

Minister Turnquest noted that the current climate crisis and the associated catastrophic risks of natural disasters present a real threat to The Bahamas, with impacts that are uniquely felt by small island developing nations.

“With each passing storm, whether it is at the doorstep of Dominica, the British Virgin Islands or the Islands of The Bahamas, more and more of our vulnerabilities are exposed: not only in terms of our economic resilience and national response, but also at the individual level, for families wondering about their physical safety, and their economic security should they be in the path of the next storm.”

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Bahamas News

$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10 year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time. 

 

This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.

 

The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics. 

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five olympic events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.  The top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 repechage heats and five finals, across those five events.

 

The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’. 

 

In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:

 

In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”

 

Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke. 

 

“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.

 

 Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium. 

 

“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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Bahamas News

Grand Bahama Airport Demolition

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BIS Photo: Lisa Davis

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

TheBahamas#TheGrandBahamaAirportDemolition, April 10, 2024 – The demolition of the Grand Bahama International Airport has begun, to start transformative construction as previously announced by Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Aviation and Investments, Chester Cooper, last month. Cooper says a new state of the art facility will be created to redefine Grand Bahama’s access to global opportunities and meet international standards.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bahamas News

Saxons Brass Section Thanks CWCO for Continued Commitment

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS (April 9th, 2024) Behind the vibrant costumes and electrifying beats of Junkanoo parades are committed members, mentors, and supporters such as Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO). In a heartfelt acknowledgment of years of generous support, the Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited the water supplier to present a plaque of appreciation.

Jeremy Adderley, speaking on behalf of High Voltage Brass, said, “Without CWCO’s support, we would not have had the brass costumes needed to compete and secure our two-straight victory. Their support also helps us as we plan lessons for our young members to enhance their musicianship skills, not just for Junkanoo but for college and beyond.”

Adderley highlighted that the plaque is a token of High Voltage Brass’ immense gratitude for CWCO helping the Saxons Superstars keep culture alive and for being a steadfast partner in developing future leaders.

He added, “Every year, it is a struggle to make it to Bay Street. Many of our members are eager to participate, despite their circumstances, and every year our group continues to grow. Thanks to CWCO’s generosity, we look forward to continuing to grow and succeed alongside their great team and establishment.”

Henderson Cash, CWCO’s General Manager, said, “Receiving this plaque from the Saxons Superstars is a profound honor for us at CWCO. It symbolizes the strong relationship we’ve built over the years, rooted in mutual respect and a shared commitment to preserving Bahamian heritage.

“Our support for the Saxons Superstars’ brass section is emblematic of our broader mission to invest in our community’s vibrancy and the potential of its young people. We are deeply committed to continuing this support and fostering the traditions that make our culture so unique.”

 

Photo Caption: The Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO) to present a plaque of appreciation.

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