#Freeport, Bahamas – March 18, 2020 — The Grand Bahama Utility Company Limited (GBUC) has developed a COVID-19 Contingency Plan and is executing preventive safety measures at local water depot distribution sites island-wide.
Philcher Grant, Director of Group Corporate Affairs & Government Relations said, “Over the last few weeks, the GBUC team has been working hard to develop preventative plans by way of response to the threat of a COVID-19 outbreak in Grand Bahama. We want to share our initial plans with residents and give details about what the GBUC is doing. And, we will share the remainder of our plans over the coming days and weeks.”
The GBUC has embarked on a multi-tiered strategy that targets precautionary measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 at remote water distribution sites, while still implementing the two-part plan to restore potable water island wide post Hurricane Dorian. “We are on track and continue to develop new wells to ensure we bring potable water back by May. We also want to assure you that all of our present potable water sites throughout the island are being maintained and monitored to ensure they are safe. We have also been working with relevant stakeholders” confirmed Geron Turnquest, General Manager of GBUC.
A suspension of any disconnections was stressed to reassure customers. Turnquest stated, “The GBUC will ensure that all persons connected with water will not be disconnected at this time. We want to ensure that everybody has water to take care of their hygiene and other needs.”
The GBUC COVID-19 protocol which ensures the safe distribution of potable water at distribution sites island wide was outlined, these stations are open to the public on a daily basis to provide potable water free of charge to residents. Trevor Simmons, Business Development Officer said, “Water monitors are stationed at each site to handle taps and fixtures for filling. Handwashing stations will be erected at each water distribution site. We also want the public to know that there is no shortage of water.”
In keeping with the Ministry of Health’s suggested methods of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Simmons further asked for the public’s cooperation. “We ask that when at water distribution sites, kindly distance yourself from others, as much as possible, while waiting for your water container to be filled. Also, please follow any instructions given by monitors. If you have symptoms, we ask that you send someone else to collect water for you and avoid the public distribution sites.”
Residents were also reminded that certified water providers are fully operational and open to the public. These companies received their certification by passing two required tests from the Department of Environmental Health (DEH). This confirms that their physical plant has been inspected by DEH and that the water quality meets the standards and guidelines set by the World Health Organization. These companies include Pure Ltd., Bahama Fresh Water & Ice, Crystal Clear H20, Full Oasis Water Center and Sunny Isles.
Ms. Grant added, “We recognize that persons are very concerned. People have understandably expressed fear over COVID-19. I want to assure you; we are going to be with you every step of the way. We are going to do what we have always done as Grand Bahamians, which is to get through this together. One thing I know about this island, we are nothing, if not resilient.”
Grant also cautioned residents against misleading actions of certain persons on social media sites by saying, “We would really like to caution the public at this time about the circulation of false information from unaccredited sources. This is not the time to create mass panic and hysteria. We urge you to follow the relevant, accredited agencies including Ministry of Health, Grand Bahama Port Authority, the World Health Organization and the Centre for Disease Control. We ask that everyone practices safety and responsibility as well.
GBPA PRESS RELEASE, MARCH 17
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
CUBAN MIGRANTS DETAINED ALONG EXUMA CHAIN
Defence Headquarters 28 SEP ’23: HMBS P-45 under the command of Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith detained a group of Cuban migrants in Cistern Cay, Exuma on September 27, 2023, due to information received from a Good Samaritan vessel in the area that handed them over to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
Members of HMBS P-45 retrieved twenty-eight (28) Cuban nationals and transported them to HMBS Coral Harbour in New Providence. All individuals appeared to be in good health and will undergo further processing and assessment by Immigration officials.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage and appreciates the sharing of information and intelligence provided by the boating community to affect migrants and other unlawful interdictions at sea.
(For additional information, contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at www.rbdf.gov.bs. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel).
CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe
#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.
Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.
Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.
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