#TurksandCaicosIslands – DECEMBER 9, 2020 – The Long Bay Primary school in Long Bay, Providenciales is very, very near completion and when it opens to students as the fourth public primary school on the island, it will be named for a veteran educator; Thelma Lightbourne.
In a November 9 ministerial statement, Karen Malcolm, the Minister of Education announced that the school, constructed with financial support from the European Union would be named in honor of the retired teacher.
“During 2020, we were able to accomplish the following: o Completed construction of a New Primary School on Providenciales. This school will be renamed the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School. A virtually opening and celebration will be announced shortly,” she said on November 9 in the House of Assembly.
Cabinet in October agreed to the renaming, which is one of the many new and newly refurbished public service buildings which have been named to honour Turks and Caicos citizens who have made valuable contributions.
Just days before this presentation was made in the House of Assembly by Minister Malcolm, the government agreed to the Grand Turk Wellness Center with the new title: Sylvia C. Melhado; the National Stadium will to be called the Corena Walkin National Stadium and several early childhood learning centers are recognize education sector heroes. The contributions of Justina Delancy, Cecily Ewing and Marjorie Bassett will be immortalized at the Ianthe Pratt, Oseta Jolly and Tender Loving Care primary schools, respectively.
When the Salt Cay airport resurfacing work was completed, Henry Leon Wilson aka “Papa”, a native of the islands was there for the renaming of the airport to honour his long standing work in the aviation industry. Mr. Wilson was also acknowledged for his contribution to parliamentary democracy in the Turks and Caicos as the youngest elected representative in the country’s history.
An unveiling and opening of the airport, which had been closed for the refurbishment work, was held in Salt Cay on October 30, 2020.
The Long Bay High school is also set to be renamed.
According to Cabinet, it will be called the Louise Garland Junior High School; remembering the beloved education officer, posthumously.
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year. In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.
In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“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.
Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources
By Sherrica Thompson
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.
Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.
“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.
“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”
Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.
Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.
She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.
There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.
Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.
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