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TCI: Sandals Foundation Strengthens Schools’ Reopening with Sanitation Conveniences and Back to School Aide



L to R: Tianna, Tiara and Rushane pose with General Manager at Beaches TCI, James McAnally.

PRESS RELEASE (April 21, 2021): Some one thousand students at the Ianthe Pratt Primary School and Clement Howell High Schools will benefit from brand new handwashing stations and improved sanitization conveniences thanks to an investment of just under US $12,000 from the Sandals Foundation.

On Monday, April 12, hundreds of students began a phased return to “in person” classes for the first time in over a year. The philanthropic organization was keen to help strengthen the health and safety measures within the learning institutions to meet the hygienic needs of students, parents and educators alike.

“We are very delighted to see the phased return of students to the physical classrooms but we are also very cognizant that there will be need for enhanced sanitation facilities to help ease the anxieties that may come along with that,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation, “These newly added resources, we hope, will help bring a sense of comfort to the minds of parents as they will be assured their children are able to access the necessary facilities to practice proper hygiene”.

CHHS Student, Matthew McCoy at the Handwashing station

With the Ministry of Works partnering to conduct the installations, the Ianthe Pratt Primary School saw the injection of 3 pedal and 3 knee operated handwashing stations, 10 sanitizers and 6 soap dispensers. While at the Clement Howell High School, students will now have access to 5 pedal operated hand wash stations, 5 soap dispensers and 35 sanitizers.

Principal at the Ianthe Pratt Primary School, Ms. Neekimo King in commenting on the impact of the new infrastructure stated, “This contribution by the Sandals Foundation has helped to create a feeling of comfort around the school compound. The installations of these sanitizations fixtures make it more convenient for our staff and students to practice good hygiene which is essential in the fight against Covid-19”.

Ms. Kadean Cunningham, Principal at the Clement Howell High School, says the new sanitation infrastructure will help to enhance the COVID-19 protocols on the school compound for both staff and students now that they are fully returned to face to face classes.

L to R: Public Relations Manager Zhavargo Jolly, Projects Manager Wendy Fae Rodriguez, Ken Javier, Matthew McCoy, Principal of CHHS Kadean Cunningham,  Yulenny Walkin and General Manager James McAnally pose at one of 5 pedal operated hand wash stations installed at the school to help with sanitation needs as students return to face to face classes.

“The staff and students now have the option of washing hands in different areas on the compound and sanitizing throughout the day as all rooms now have sanitizing machines.  At Clement Howell High, we promote the mantra during this time that safety is our number one priority and we are elated that Sandals Foundation has partnered with us, yet again, to continue to fulfil this goal. We are profoundly grateful and look forward to more collaboration as we strengthen our programmes and initiatives as we journey to excellence,” stated Ms. Cunningham.

In the meantime, and as part of its continued investment into the island’s education infrastructure, the Sandals Foundation also helped to supply nearly 100 children with new school supplies in time for the new school term.

Sandals Foundation ambassadors from Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort donated ninety-one fully stacked backpacks to students on April 10 to help with bring relief to back to school expenses.

Ninety-one students received fully stacked backpacks on April 10 at the Lower Bight Basketball Courts in the Bight community from Sandals Foundation ambassadors at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort.

General Manager at Beaches TCI, James McAnally says the activity was aimed at helping to relieve parents of what can sometimes be overwhelming costs associated with the start of a new school term.

“This has been a tough year for families right across the world and for us, as a Caribbean company, we knew there would be areas of need that we could support. It is our duty to do what we can to mobilize our resources as we all navigate these unique times,” said McAnally.

In March, the Sandals Foundation celebrated 12 years of service, investing in the region’s communities, education and the environment.

L to R: James McAnally, General Manager at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort poses with Ianthe Pratt Primary School students Tekhaii Hall, Kandice Gibson, Quintero Cartwright and Sandals Foundation Ambassador, Wendy Fae Rodriguez at one of 6 new handwashing stations installed by the Sandals Foundation

Press Release: Sandals Foundation

Header: A few of the recipients along with the Sandals Foundation ambassadors and the General Manager of Beaches Turks and Caicos James McAnally.

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Cuban Nationals Apprehended in Bahamian waters



#TheBahamas, June 24, 2021 – A group of Cuban Nationals are currently being detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Center after they were apprehended in the south west Bahamas by a US Coast Guard vessel earlier this week.

The fifteen individuals were captured after being sighted on Anguilla Cay on Tuesday 22 June. They were taken aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter, CHARLES SEXTON, and handed over shortly after 7:00 pm to the Defence Force patrol craft, HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Jataro McDonald.

The Cubans were subsequently brought into the capital early Thursday morning, where they were handed over to the relevant authorities. The Cuban Embassy has since been notified. 

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to maintain a vigilant presence while patrolling and protecting the territorial waters of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and working with other law enforcement agencies.

Photos shows: Cuban nationals shortly after their arrival at the Defence Force Base, Coral Harbour on Thursday June 24, 2021. (RBDF Photo by Petty Officer Al Rahming)

 (For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website:, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and view our Youtube channel)




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Governor Albert Bryan Jr. cites concerns around unvaccinated cruise passengers arriving in the Caribbean

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (June 11, 2021) – Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands Albert Bryan Jr. has made a plea to his Florida colleague, Governor Ron DeSantis, to honor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and reconsider the state’s legislation, which could impact the health and wellbeing of millions of Caribbean residents when cruises to the region resume.
As increasing numbers of Americans receive COVID-19 vaccinations, Governor Bryan believes that ensuring the cruise industry reopens with vaccinated passengers is essential to the tourism economies of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean.
Congratulating the Florida governor for his commitment to health, civil liberties and economic revitalization, Governor Bryan called for an exception – one that would enable vaccination checks for outbound passengers on cruise ships, which do most of their business on the open seas and directly impact the multiple Caribbean islands they visit.

“The bill you signed into law (which goes into effect July 1, 2021) may negatively impact the United States Virgin Islands and other port of call destinations in the Caribbean region,” said Governor Bryan, who highlighted CDC approvals for cruise ships to begin sailing this summer from U.S. ports with strict health and safety guidelines, such as the vaccination of 95% of passengers and crew members

With Florida serving as the nucleus and biggest embarkation point for cruises in the United States that dock in the U.S. Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean, the Governor indicated that “our ports … are in direct line of fire,” adding that while the two hospitals in the U.S. Virgin Islands are equipped to care for the Territory’s residents, they lack the resources to address a potentially larger public health crisis. “The lack of infrastructure puts us at a disadvantage for any crisis – health or mother nature. This is true of not only the Virgin Islands but most of the countries in the region,” the Governor penned.
With this reality, the governor expressed his concern for all citizens in the Caribbean region: “This is why I implore you to reconsider with a lens to the negative impact that your legislation may have on residents in the Caribbean … the cruise line and tourism employees, many of whom are of Caribbean descent, are now almost fully vaccinated and ready to get back to work.” 

“Please consider the exemption proposed above so … Caribbean (destinations) can feel safe on arrival and disembarkation of cruise passengers and crew. This will be a big win for the people of the Caribbean and the Caribbean expatriates that live in your state. It is my hope that you can assist us in moving in the same direction while respecting regional health liberties,” he affirmed. Governor Bryan has also shared a communiqué with the leadership of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) inviting support from regional leaders to work with the USVI in finding an agreeable path forward to welcoming cruise ships and their passengers back to the islands in as safe a way as possible.
About the U.S. Virgin IslandsFor more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and Twitter (@usvitourism), and become a fan on Facebook ( When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.

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Turquoise Gold; how TCI’s slice of the Atlantic Ocean does more than boost Tourism



#TurksandCaicos, May 18, 2021 – Dig ten feet down and you will find turquoise gold!  Hidden in the porous limestone bedrock of Providenciales is same stuff which has rocketed Turks and Caicos Islands to superstar status when it comes to luxury tourism.  It may surprise Provo residents that the enveloping commodity and pristine natural resource serves another practical purpose; it is the same safe, tasty, reliable drinking water flowing from our taps.

Turks and Caicos’ slice of the Atlantic Ocean is also the life sustaining water used to clean, cook, drink and grow gardens thanks to Provo Water Company, which has been supplying city water since 1997.

As the company commemorated its 10th year of Drinking Water Week, executives agreed to a throw-back to a decade ago with Magnetic Media and it is a refreshing story.

“Ten years ago we had probably 120 miles of pipeline, currently we have 136 miles and there is additional pipeline scheduled for the next two to three years in various areas. Communities like Five Cays, Blue Hills, Chalk Sound – just about everywhere and that is just additional pipeline that we’re putting in to make sure we can connect new customers,” said Robert C. Hall, the personable Managing Director of Provo Water Company.

Mr. Hall, during the interview, often referenced the company’s 20-year development plan; a plan which embraces the liberties of being wholly, a privately owned company. 

Just under a decade ago, Provo Water Company bought the Turks and Caicos Islands government’s 46 per cent stake in the water company for a reported $7.5 million; today it is a healthy set-up which in 2018 peaked at distribution of two million gallons of water in a single day.   

“We are looking at how we are going to supply the islands for the next 20 years and the major component of that plan is a second water plant on the northwest side of the island,” explained Mr. Hall at the Provo Water Company’s accredited laboratory overlooking western Leeward Highway. 

The 20 year plan obviously does more than look at expansion, it also considers contingency.

“The objective is to be able to supply the island from either director if that need arises.  So if we had a catastrophe in Grace Bay, we would be able to supply the island from northwest end and vice versa,” said Mr. Hall, who is an engineer by profession.

Ten years ago there were 3,500 consumers in the system; today there are 5,500 and technology is helping to manage these customers in Providenciales.  Provo Water Company does not tally per recipient of the service; they count their consumers by how many subscribers are signed onto the service.  Which means, there are far more households and businesses than reflected in 2021cumulative customer figure.

“We are able to produce just under four million gallons of water per day.  Currently we are using about – in this particular time – 1.1 to 1.2 million gallons per day.  So we’ve got built in capacity obviously to accommodate any growth in the short to medium term.”

Reverse osmosis of the salty ocean water is the process used to transform our turquoise gold into nourishing, drinking water; a process which requires its own story.  Suffice it to say, what is produced by source and sister company: Turks and Caicos Water, would be meaningless if there was nowhere to store it.

Right now, there are 2.5 million gallons stored at the plant in Grace Bay.  Another one million gallons is held at the storage tank near FortisTCI, the electricity supplier, off Leeward Highway.

“We are currently the owners of the land on the roundabout near CIBC, and there are some additional storage and pumping facilities that will be built there very shortly; we are hoping to start that this year. So that is a part of the project of trying to get water to and from both ends of the island.

We always have to be ahead of the curve, because the demand will always be there and the capacity to supply that demand has to always be ahead.”

In our series, we explore more advancements in the past ten years; including the biggest splash for Provo Water Company:  the introduction of artificial intelligence and technology.

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