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Bahamas: We Are One’ Neighbourhood Watch Campaign Launched



#NASSAU, The Bahamas – November 18, 2020 — Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames said, on November 16, 2020, that it was over two years ago since the National Neighborhood Watch Council programme was birthed with “community minded individuals who wanted to make a lasting difference in their respective neighborhoods.”

“Their vision was to collaborate with their neighbors to solve community safety challenges in partnership with law enforcement,” Minister Dames said, during the during the Official Launch Ceremony of the National Neighbourhood Watch Council (NNWC) / South Central “We Are One” Campaign, held at the Edmund Moxey Community Center.

“But, most importantly, they wanted to enrich, uplift and inspire a renewed sense of national pride within the hearts and minds of all Bahamians, throughout the communities in which they lived.”


Among those present were Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis; Permanent Secretary Marco Rolle; Leader of the Official Opposition representative and Member of Parliament Picewell Forbes; Deputy Commissioner of Police Ismella Davis-Delancy; President of the Bahamas Christian Council Bishop Delton Fernander; Superintendent and NNWC National Coordinator Wilton Johnson; NNWC Co-Chairs Alesha Hart and Keno Wong; Chairman of the Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beach Authority and Member of Parliament Shanendon Cartwright; Pastor Mario Moxey; President of the Ridgeland Park Community Association and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the NNWC / South Central “We Are One” Campaign Shelly Lewis; and other Government and civil society stakeholders.

Minister Dames noted that, since that start more than two years earlier, the National Neighborhood Watch Council had morphed into one of the fastest growing and successful community programs that The Bahamas had ever seen.

Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security – The Bahamas

“With nearly 150 neighborhood watch groups which span over New Providence, Grand Bahama, and several of our Family Islands, the NNWC has modernized the traditional style of community engagement to one of community empowerment,” he said.

Minister Dames pointed out that, under the leadership of the National Coordinator and two distinguished community leaders who both serve as co-chairs, supported by the Ministry of National Security, the NNWC continued to make a positive impact on community safety and bridge the gap between local law enforcement and members of the public. The evidence of the NNWC’s success is both quantitative and qualitative, he added.

“The quantitative evidence is compelling as, during the past two years, members have targeted various property crimes that were impacting the quality of life and safety within some communities throughout The Bahamas — including burglary, housebreaking, and stolen vehicles,” Minister Dames said.

“As a result of the strategies employed by law enforcement and partnerships with the residents through the NNWC, these offences all shown a noticeable decrease.”

“From a qualitative aspect, the NNWC has been successful in promoting a better quality of life, a greater sense of security, responsibility, and personal control, and the strengthening of community pride and unity among citizens and residents, alike,” he added.

We Are One neighbourhood watch program launched in The Bahamas; speaking Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis

“NNWC members are building and sustaining a nationwide culture of prevention that is focused on safety awareness, and observation which draws on the compassion of our citizens and residents, enabling them to lend a hand to their neighbors whenever and wherever the need arises.”

Minister Dames said that stakeholders were especially grateful to Prime Minister Minnis for having proclaimed November 16, 2020 through December 18, 2020: “We Are One” — Unity and Healing in the Midst of Crisis.

“Our nation is built on the strength and resilience of our citizens,” he said.

“If there is one thing that Hurricane Dorian of September 2019 and the global pandemic of 2020 declared in March 2020, has taught us, is that we all need each other to survive.

“The ‘We Are One’ National Campaign is filled with a series of exciting community-building events that are geared toward building unity, healing, lending a helping hand, and changing lives throughout our nation.”


Some of the upcoming events that are a part of the Campaign include a National Clean-Up Day in partnership with the Department of Environmental Health Services on November 21, 2020; Thanksgiving Day Luncheon on November 26; National Neighborhood Day on November 28; “Give Thanks” Church Service on November 29; a National T-Shirt Day on December 4; Communities Pilot Project Day on December 5; and “12 Days of Christmas” commencing on December 8, 2020.

“All Bahamians throughout the length and breath of The Bahamas are encouraged to support and participate in the activities,” Minister Dames said. He also congratulated the “hard-working” organizing team under the leadership of Ms. Shelly Lewis and Lakel Johnson for “putting together an impressive lineup of events which provides all Bahamians with an opportunity to restore hope; happiness; and togetherness as we battle some of the most challenging times that our country has ever been faced with”.

“I also congratulate Mrs. Cheryl Darville, Under Secretary; Supt. Johnson, National Coordinator; our Permanent Secretary Mr. Marco Rolle; Ms. Sylvia Lightbourn, Finance Officer; Mrs. Chavasse Turnquest, Chief Executive Officer; and Mr. Kent Minnis, Manager, BIS & his Team for their unstinting support in making this Campaign a reality – in addition to the co-chairs who are with us here today,” Minister Dames added.

BIS News by Eric Rose

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Bahamas News

TCI & Bahamas and over 20 other countries put at higher risk by CDC, Residents say DIVERSIFY



#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – ‘We need to diversify!’ is the main call from residents of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas after the recent bumping of their countries to a level 4 in the US, Centres for Disease Control’s Travel Health Notice index. The Turks and Caicos Islands along with the Bahamas, Cayman, Bonaire, Curaçao Trinidad and Tobago and 16 other countries were officially added to the CDC’s level 4 list on Tuesday.

Jamaica was also moved up to level three.

Level 4 is the highest level of risk according to the CDC and non-essential travel, including vacations, to countries listed as such is not advised by the organization.

Despite a record breaking year for arrivals, one TCI resident said, “Maybe now the PNP will put something credible into place to go with their words about diversifying the economy.”

A Bahamian resident added his views from Grand Bahama.

“Tourism is running the whole country, which is ridiculous because every time something goes down in the rest of the world tourism is the first thing that drops off.  With Covid you think they would have learned a lesson, no, they’re still using Tourism as a base for everything.”

This is a blow for all the Caribbean countries listed, who are still trying to rebound from 2020’s economic shocks due to the freeze on travel and tourism when the Coronavirus Pandemic first started.

It is especially difficult for the Turks and Caicos which mandates that travelers must have travel insurance to vacation on the islands as level 4 ratings makes that security more difficult to procure.

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Bahamas News

Back to the Bush, Traditional Remedies make a Come-back



By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer



You may know it as the Wild Hyssop; American blue verbena, mosquito plant, holy herb or simpler’s joy. You may even know it because of its rich purple colour or its tiny and delicate leaves and five-petaled blossoms. But what you really need to know is that Vervain has several healing properties; it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving).

Among its purported benefits, vervain is used to treat headaches, other aches and pain, insomnia, digestive dysfunction, depression and anxiety, and upper respiratory tract infections.

This means it’s perfect for the time we live in now as the coronavirus infamously attacks respiratory systems.



Neem – the tree for solving global problems grows “almost anywhere” in the lowland tropics.

So, if you don’t already have the broad-leaved evergreens in your backyard, it’s not too late to start growing it.

Every part of the Neem tree is beneficial: the bark, leaves, seed, fruit, and twigs. It has over 130 biologically active compounds that can keep viral and bacterial diseases at bay. It is also a powerful immune stimulant.

Yes, it is bitter and has a garlic, nutty aroma but that is a sign that it is good for your body but not so good if you are trying to become pregnant, according to experts on the plant.

Neem is “A” class, which means it is antiviral (inhibits the growth of viruses), antifungal (inhibits the growth of fungi), antibacterial (destroys the growth of bacteria), analgesic (provides pain relief), anti-inflammatory (reduces certain signs of inflammation, swelling or tenderness), antimicrobial (destroys the growth of microorganisms) and it is age-defying.



As everyone is in survival mode, Moringa, the survival food, which contains all the nutritional elements may be just what you need.

moringa leaf and powder capsule on a wooden background

Moringa has protein, calcium, eight of the nine essential amino acids, iron, Vitamin C and A minerals and more. The best part is that all parts of the Moringa plant have their unique health properties and you have different ways to use the plant.

Moringa leaves can be dried and grounded in powder form or as supplements. You can also use it to make an essential oil as well as a delicious drink from fresh leaves.

To improve both health, cure digestive disorders, protect your heart and cardiovascular system, reduce blood sugar levels, boost energy levels and immunity, try Moringa.



“Go home Elena, go home Elena, go boil Cerasee fi yuh belly” – This Caribbean folk song was loved more than the plant itself. But if your grandmother could not convince you enough, COVID-19 is here to remind you that your body needs to remain healthy and Cerasee can add to your body that renewed look and feel. The fruit, leaves, and seeds of the bitter melon plant have medicinal properties and are used as traditional medicine in many parts of the world. The herb is a natural detoxifier, containing vitamins A and C, as well as phosphorus and iron.

It is mostly used to make a hot beverage to calm symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, liver problems, fever, and constipation.



Miracles still happen and if you do not believe, have a nice warm tea or a cool blended drink made from the Leaf of Life. You can also enjoy the raw plant. The tall, erect, succulent perennial herb is native to Madagascar and has become naturalised in tropical and subtropical areas.

It is used as a herbal remedy to treat respiratory conditions like asthma, colds, coughs, shortness of breath and bronchitis. The Life plant has several health and beauty benefits and the good news is, you can even have it as a houseplant.



Aloe for the hair, aloe for the skin, and aloe is also for the immune system.

The Aloe Vera plant is packed full of immune-boosting polysaccharides, just what you need now to strengthen your body and build resistance against harmful bacteria and viruses. Along with being used in cosmetics, the thick, short-stemmed plant has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

It also enhances insulin sensitivity and helps improve blood sugar management, so if you are diabetic, it is good to add Aloe Vera to your medicinal list.



A single papaya contains more than 200% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, another booster for your immune system.

Papaya trees are almost everywhere on the island, so you have no excuses. Moreover, the nutrition filled fruit is not only a healthy choice, it’s a tasty one too.

Add papaya to your fruit salad, scoop the raw fruit with a spoon, blend the seeds into a creamy salad dressing and don’t forget to add the green fruit to your meat pot.

As you enjoy the juiciness and freshness of the fruit, it will help your body to reduce stress, prevent cholesterol build-up, arthritis, and ageing.  The leaves are also proven to be helpful in preventing cancer.

Papaya is also one of nature’s natural contraceptives, they say.



This tall grass-like herb has a fresh, clean, lemony scent.

Lemongrass or Fever grass is commonly taken orally, applied directly to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy.

It contains substances that can relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and it has antioxidant properties.

A hot cup of lemongrass tea every morning can significantly improve your health.

Also, the leaves and the oil are used to make medicine. So what better way to enjoy the benefits of this herb than to grab it fresh from your backyard and enjoy the pure scent and the soothing taste?


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