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Works Minister inspired by construction of Little Abaco Bridge

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By Kathryn Campbell

 

#TheBahamas, December 22, 2021 – The new Little Abaco bridge will safely facilitate the flow of vehicles between Great and Little Abaco and create new habitats for marine life.

On a recent visit, the Hon. Alfred Sears Minister of Works and Utilities, and a team of engineers, viewed the bridge destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and presently under construction.

“We went to the north of Abaco and visited the bridge which connects to Little Abaco,” said Minister Sears. “It’s good to see the ingenuity and competence of the contractor Stefan Knowles, a young engineer from a construction family. To see him and his brother Mark, and the excellent work being done on the bridge designed by Robert Mouzas, Deputy Director. To see the application, the assemblage and quality of the work by the contractor was very inspiring to me.

“It will not only provide a mode of transport for vehicles and pedestrians across the creek, but it also protects the environment because the creek will be able to breathe and flow beneath the bridge, as well as boats will be able to navigate under the bridge.”

Mr. Knowles, a Bahamian engineer of SJK Engineering and Construction Ltd., believes the bridge is much needed for Abaco.

“Abaco needs it. Abaco is a growing island and it has a very vibrant economy. Despite Dorian, it is coming back very quickly,” he said.

“That’s one of the things that will create growth. People can get across from island to island very easily and make it accessible.

“The main function of the bridge is to open the waterway. Whenever the two islands got connected – 70-80 years ago, perhaps when they did the logging throughout The Bahamas of the Abaco pine, they probably filled in the creek so they could transport logs from one end to the next. This is going to be the first time in generations that the creek is going to be actually open for water to flow from the bank side to the ocean side.

“Blocking that creek back in the day obstructed the flow [of water] and obstructed the flow of marine life. The fish could not go from one end to the next. That is going to create a huge revamp of the eco-system with all the fish coming through – more birds, turtles and snakes.”

He describes the bridge as “very robust.”

“It is elevated 13 feet above high-water mark. You have to have at least a 13 feet surge above high-water mark in order for that to reach the bottom of the bridge.

“You would have to have another Dorian or worse in order for water to overtop the bridge.”

Mr. Knowles anticipates that the bridge will be completed in mid-February, 2022.

 

Press Release: BIS

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UB Statement: Portia M. Smith Building Under Assessment

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#The Bahamas, January 27, 2023 – In response to concerns expressed, University of The Bahamas released a notification on Thursday 26th January 2023 that effective immediately the Portia M. Smith Building at the Oakes Field Campus is closed until further notice as a precautionary measure.

Immediate steps have been taken to engage the Ministry of Environmental Health to conduct a thorough assessment of the building. In the interim, personnel assigned to Portia M. Smith have been instructed to work remotely to maintain the continuity of operations. A further communication will be issued once the assessment has been completed as we continue to provide timely updates.

Please be assured that the health, safety, and welfare of members of the University community and the general public are paramount and we are working with urgency to address this matter.

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Statement From The Ministry  of Foreign Affairs – On Order  For All Bahamians  To Leave Haiti

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#TheBahamas, January 26, 2023 – The Prime Minister  has ordered an immediate involuntary  departure from Haiti  of all diplomatic  personnel or as soon as security conditions  permit.Up to this time, there was a voluntary departure order in place and all staff at the embassy  chose to stay.  Per the new instructions, they are to leave for home as soon as conditions  permit.  This is only a temporary  measure in light of recent developments  which require a corporate  security and intelligence  assessment  and restaging.This morning  the Chargè  reported that they had been stopped by Haitian police and relieved of their vehicle and weapons. This is part of a protest by the Haitian National Police against  their own authorities.All of our diplomats are personally  safe.There also is a report  of 5 Bahamians from Bahamasair who landed at Port Au Prince Airport who were unable to leave the environs of the airport.  They are all safe and well.  The security situation  appears less stable over the past three days in the country, and we are taking steps out of an abundance  of caution.The pattern of security concerns is one of ebb and flow and these withdrawals are sometimes  necessary  to regroup.  The Security Forces  in our country have been alerted to these developments.  As soon as conditions  permit a team will be sent back into Haiti without further announcement.PLQ
Courtesy of BIS

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Bahamas takes in 396 Haitian migrants; shocking interception

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

 

#TheBahamas, January 25, 2023 – In what is being described by Bahamian officials as one of the largest human smuggling incidents in the region, 394 Haitian migrants were intercepted by the United States Coast Guard near Cay Sal Island on Saturday, January 21.

According to immigration officials in The Bahamas, the migrants will be processed on the island of Inagua and later repatriated.

US Coast Guard spokeswoman Nicole Groll described the condition of the intercepted boat to the Associated Press on Monday. She said, “it was grossly overloaded and very much unsafe.”

The officials did not provide any further information on the matter.

The recent apprehension brings the total number of Haitian migrants intercepted in Bahamian waters since the start of the year to just over five hundred (500) persons.

Due to the worsening humanitarian, a surge in gang violence and deepening political instability in Haiti, thousands of Haitians are fleeing their country in search of a better life for themselves and family.

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