#TurksandCaicos, July 22, 2021 – The breakdown of essential communications is one of the most widely shared characteristics of all disasters. Whether partial or complete, the failure of telecommunications infrastructure leads to preventable loss of life and damage to property, by causing delays and errors in emergency response and disaster relief efforts.
The adverse effect of Hurricanes Ike and Hanna in 2008 severely damaged the emergency communications infrastructure in Grand Turk, South Caicos and Providenciales. In 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the Turks and Caicos Islands and brought extensive destruction to the still-recovering emergency communications infrastructure.
Investments in modern telecommunications infrastructure have provided powerful and flexible tools to enable the Turks and Caicos Government to cope with crisis, and quickly relocate and restore displaced or disrupted communications capabilities.
Today we can begin to phase away from the traditional methods of mounting antennas on lamp poles and on the sides of building structures to obtain the required height and positions. The conventional Antenna Towers are not ideal for our geographical location since they are fixed to the ground and are unable to be moved before a storm, hence they sustained severe damage during past hurricanes.
Based on lessons learnt, three Mobile Antenna Towers were procured from Aluma Tower Company to enhance the emergency communication operations of the National Emergency Operations Center. The official handover and commissioning ceremony for these mobile antenna towers took place on Monday 19th July 2021, at the DDME Providenciales Office.
Acting Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams reflected on Hurricane Irma disruption to communication across the Islands in 2017. She highlighted the importance that emergency communications play in disaster preparedness and response and commended the DDME for the accomplishments made towards enhancing emergency communications in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
These retractable mobile towers are critical assets that reduce the impact of physical destruction to DDMEs emergency communication infrastructure during a disaster. It allows seamless preservation and swift restoration of emergency communications after a storm/hurricane.
During the ceremony, the Honourable Arlington Musgrove, Minister with the responsibility for Disaster Management delivered remarks and stated that he is proud of this strategic investment.
“While there is much more work that needs to be done in the future, I am confident that we are building the foundation to develop a robust and reliable Emergency Communications System with the required redundancies in the Turks & Caicos Islands. During this first phase, three mobile antenna towers were procured and stationed on Providenciales, South Caicos and Grand Turk. For the second phase, we will purchase an additional three (3) mobile antenna towers to place on North Caicos, Middles Caicos and Salt Cay.”
He went on to encourage other Departments, and Private Sector agencies, to invest in mitigation and preparedness throughout their organizations.
This positive development is a major achievement for the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies and by extension the Turks and Caicos Government.
Director (Actg.) Mike Clerveaux concluded that the “…DDME in our quest to build and foster investments in Disaster Management will continue to pursue further innovation to build a resilient future for these islands.”
Grants for farmers
#TurksandCaicos, January 31, 2023 – Good Morning to my colleagues in government, I recognize……..and most importantly good morning to the farmers. It is my pleasure today to have you here at this award ceremony. For the very first time in Turks and Caicos, farmers are getting relief for hurricane damage.
This shows that the government is committed to ensuring that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands have access to a constant and nutritious supply of food, reduce the food import bill and retain money in the local economy. Food Security is the foundation of all human needs. Given the threat to the global supply chain and growing inaccessibility to enough nutritious food, the Government is committed to supporting the farmers to produce local food, to supplement the food requirement of the country. My government’s priority is to provide an enabling environment, to facilitate local investment within the Agriculture Sector as outlined in the People’s Plan for Empowerment
In February last year (2022) my government launched the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro-Grant Incentive). This Finance Support Program for farmers is the first program of this kind in the Turks and Caicos Islands and shows Government’s mandate is to invest heavily in local food production through providing financial support. My government has allocated US$250,000.00 in this first year to promote agriculture development. This Finance Program has 3 areas of support
- Improvement Programmes – to upgrade farms, Existing registered farmers who wish to perform farm upgrades can receive a maximum of $20,000
- New Farm Start Up/Young Entrepreneurs– For new or younger farmers between the ages of 18-25 years can receive a maximum of $15,000
- Disaster Relief – this is specifically in response to National Natural Disasters “Acts of Nature” inclusive of earthquake, hurricane and storms and other approved natural disasters. The value of this grant will be 10% of the assessed damages (up to a maximum of $20,000 USD
To date 12 farmers have received grants in the first 2 categories. Today we are here to give disaster relief to those registered farmers who would have suffered from losses due to the passage of hurricane Fiona in September last year.
Government knows that Farming is an expensive business, farmers livelihood depends on the investment they make on their farms. We live in a small island state that is vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricane. These disasters can have devastating effects on farms, destroying years of productive work and effort farmers would have put in.
Government in recognizing the important contribution farmers make to Food security and the vulnerabilities they face has moved into action to provide much needed support towards the rebuilding of the farms. Today 15 registered will be receiving funds for disaster relief to assist with their rebuilding efforts. This monies I know will be used for the purposes granted.
I want to thank my Cabinet colleagues and Premier for supporting the continued efforts to grow the Agriculture Sector.
My department of Agriculture recognizes farming is dynamic and as such has lobbied Cabinet for continued support. I am pleased to say that in August last year through a Cabinet Paper, government had approved amending the Agriculture Policy to provide full exemption of import duties for farm vehicles registered farmers can now apply through the department for this support. At that meeting we also agreed for the Department of Agriculture to develop a comprehensive Agro-Incentive Program to support farming in the TCI.
Once again I would like to commend the farmers who are benefiting today for their hard work and dedication and look forward to serving you as your minister
U.S. Supports the RBPF With Additional Crime Fighting Vehicles on The Bahamas’ “Road to 50”
#TheBahamas, January 31, 2023 – Since 1973, the United States and The Bahamas have enjoyed a long-lasting security partnership. To mark this valued friendship, the United States Government, on January 31, 2023, renewed its support for the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) with 20 new Ford Police Inceptor Hybrid SUVs valuing nearly $1.4 million. The United States’ Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts; Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis; Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne Munroe and RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander were on hand for the donation at RBPF East Hill Street Headquarters.
The 20 hybrid vehicles will be added to the 32 vehicles previously donated to the RBPF by the US government to help replace crucial infrastructure lost during Hurricane Dorian. Recovering from a hurricane is an arduous process that requires support at many levels, from roads and housing to mental health services. The U.S. government hopes these vehicles will contribute to one key step in the process: citizen security. These vehicles will not only assist the RBPF’s efforts to combat crime but will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the islands.
In her remarks Chargé Pitts noted, “these vehicles are just one example of the United States’ continued efforts to help for The Bahamas’ keep its citizens and visitors safe.”
Prime Minister Philip Davis showed his appreciation for this timely vehicle donation as it will assist with added capacity and increased saturation patrols on the streets. The Prime Minister added that residents will notice an increased police presence and the police will have new capacity to respond quickly to any criminal activity.
RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander highlighted that “we have noticeably taken more illegal firearms and ammunition off our streets in 2022. We have also seized more illegal drugs including marijuana and marijuana plants than in [previous] years. Suffice to say, we have efficiently utilized all 32 vehicles previously donated by the U.S. government in our crime fighting efforts.”
In recent years, the U.S. Government, through U.S. Embassy Nassau, has delivered more than $25 million to assist The Bahamas with efforts to fight crime. On behalf of the Bahamian people, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe extended his gratitude for the U.S. government’s assistance noting “It seems that when we’re together there [is] always an occasion where they [U.S. government] have helped us and assisted us substantially.”
Captions: Credited to U.S. Embassy Nassau
Minister of Health & Wellness thanks Cuban nurses for their service during the COVID-19 Pandemic
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
Health1 week ago
PAHO platform brings health monitoring of chronic diseases to remote populations
Caribbean News1 week ago
Trinidad and Tobago gets a new president, the second woman to be elected to the position
Caribbean News7 days ago
Building community, economic, and environmental resilience through the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Covid-19 recovery
Caribbean News1 week ago
Long Stay Tourist Arrivals Up over 40% says TCIAA
Bahamas News1 week ago
The first IHOP in the Caribbean to open its doors in February; destination Bahamas
Bahamas News1 week ago
BBSQ and EU officials discuss national quality infrastructure advancements under Standby Facility project
Education1 week ago
Transformative math opportunity for TCI; Singapore style is coming
Caribbean News7 days ago
Usain Bolt and 30 others to get FBI Help in massive fraud case at SSL Jamaica