#NASSAU, The Bahamas – May 13, 2020 – Employees from the ten Urban Renewal Centres in New Providence implemented curbside delivery over the May 1-3 weekend to distribute care packages to senior citizens in those communities in which Urban Centres are located.
The care packages consisted of food items the seniors would need to ensure they had a well-balanced, nutritious meal during the mandatory “lockdown period.”
The curbside delivery of care packages to the seniors was part of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development’s overall plan to provide the greatest amount of social assistance to persons in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic, by maximizing the reach of its human and other resources.
Similar deliveries will be replicated in Grand Bahama, Abaco and the Family Islands in order to be consistent with Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell’s mandate “of not being just New Providence-centric.”
As Essential Service workers, the teams were allowed to perform that essential service to the senior citizens.
The teams collected, packaged and distributed food to senior citizens in the Fort Charlotte, Bain Town, Flamingo Gardens, Fox Hill, Free Town, Englerston, Pinewood, Centreville, Nassau Village and St. Barnabas urban communities, all the while strictly following all of the safeguards and protocols set out by the Ministry of Health in the fight to contain the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and in order to ensure the safety of team members and the general public they serve.
“We were mandated by Minister of Social Service and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, to ensure that food is not an issue for persons in need of food assistance, particularly those in the inner-city communities, during the mandatory lockdown period,” Mr. Kellen Russell, Director, Urban Renewal said.
“During this distribution we targeted the senior citizens of the inner city to ensure that the precious pearls were lacking nothing.”
Director Russell said the implementation of curbside delivery service and other services, is part of Urban Renewal’s mandate to transform lives using “innovative measures.”
“Urban Renewal is all about being that beacon of light to those in need in the inner-city. While we are unable to host our seniors and our children at our ten centres throughout New Providence because of the pandemic, we are working to make our presence felt among them through innovative ways — virtually and now through feeding.
“No matter what happens, Urban will stay on the ground working to carry out our mandate which is to transform lives one community at a time,” Director Russell added.
Residents can contact the Commission Office at 502-4450 for any concerns or issues within the communities.
National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.
“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.
Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.
Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”
The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.
Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.
Consumer protection, 85 businesses to be put under watch
By Dana Malcolm
February 2, 2023 – Grocery stores and dozens of other businesses will be under the microscope soon as the government begins aggressively enforcing the Consumer Protection Ordinance passed back in 2016 with an all-new Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement (C.A.R.E) Drive.
Carried out by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition the drive aims to “actively educate providers whilst enforcing the main provisions to protect consumers under the Consumer Protection Ordinance,” a press release explained.
Firstly, Consumer Officers charged with protecting the people of the TCI from unfair business practices will be assessing the prices of selected breadbasket items in 23 different stores countrywide each month to see whether price gouging is being carried out by businesses.
Breadbasket items are currently duty-free under the Food and Fuel Tax Break until the end of the financial year in March and all savings from those tax exemptions should be passed on directly to the consumer. After each assessment, which will continue for several months at least a monthly price report will be published on the Department of Trade’s website.
In addition, the Consumer Officers will be monitoring other business activities across the country “to ensure that providers are compliant with their duties to consumers.”
Those responsibilities include:
- Giving customers certain basic information about goods and services being sold;
- Informing consumers about terms and conditions before any payment is made (e.g., warranties, refunds, returns, exchanges, etc.) and;
- Abstaining from misleading and deceptive conduct, false representation and unfair business practices.
The government says they will reach at least 85 businesses with the C.A.R.E. Drive but they did not indicate the process behind how these businesses had been singled out. Non-compliant ones will be fined after a thorough investigation and warnings are issued by the Department of Trade.
With this in mind, business owners are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with their duties under the Ordinance lest they be caught in breach. The government did not say what entities would be assessed and whether that included major retail grocery stores, gasoline dealers, water companies, electricity providers, telecommunications companies and other essential providers of the services that all islanders spend on.
74 Foreign Nationals Convicted in The Magistrate’s Court
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – In Magistrate’s Court #1 today, seventy-two (72) foreign nationals were arraigned before Magistrate Algernon Allen Jr. for various immigration offenses.
Thirty-two (32) Cuban nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) of them were subsequently sentenced to four months in the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDOCS). Thirty (30) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department of Immigration to be deported.
A total of forty (40) Haitian nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) received custodial sentences of three months at BDOCS, and thirty-seven (37) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department to be deported. In addition to the charge of Illegal Landing, one (1) Haitian man was also convicted of Knowingly Attempting to Misleading an Immigration Officer and subsequently sentenced to six months at BDOCS on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Three (3) Haitian nationals were also charged with Overstaying. Two (2) pleaded guilty and were convicted. Respectively they were fined $2,000.00 or, in default of payment, served six months at BDOCS, conditionally discharged, and deported. One (1) Haitian female pleaded not guilty, and the matter was adjourned to a later date. Upon payment of fines, completion of sentences, and discharge, all persons were ordered to be turned over to the Department of Immigration for deportation.
The Department remains committed to executing our mandate to ensure compliance with the Statue Laws of our country.
For more information, call the Public Relations Unit at 1-242-322-7530, visit our website at www.immigration.gov.bs, or call our Investigation hotline anonymously, at 1-242-604-0249.
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