Connect with us


Wind Direction saves thousands from toxic plumes created by BEASTLY fire at the Dump



By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff


#TurksandCaicos, July 15, 2022 – Years of calling on various government administrations to “fix” the haunting situation at the Wheeland Dump culminated in a massive blaze on Monday, June 11th. It took firefighters three days to get the smoldering fire under control but by Thursday night, the PNP Administration’s lead on Solid Waste Management in the country reported the beast was dead.

Kyle Knowles, is also the Member of Parliament for Wheeland where the Providenciales Landfill is located.  Knowles reported regularly to a worrying public about the fire, which seemed to spontaneously combust in the sweltering weather conditions charted of late.  He said water trucks, The Turks and Caicos Regiment, the Department of Environmental Health and Jamell Robinson, Minister of Health were all on site Monday night to show support for the firefighters, which came from both the domestic and airport units.

Knowles once again said they would be “brainstorming ways of ensuring stringent security measures are in place, protocols are enforced to avoid another fire.”

The member of parliament, who fielded concerns from thousands of nervous residents was also grateful that the winds which had been brisk over the period of the fire, did not shift; remaining southeast and south which kept every major residential community out of the path of the smoke.

The huge plumes of menacing looking smoke dwarfed the single fire truck initially sent to extinguish the fire. Thankfully, that domestic truck was joined by airport firefighters which are larger, better resourced and more ideally designed to fight a blaze of the height and scale of the one now put to rest.

Knowles was quick to respond saying he was “In discussions with [officials]to ascertain the cause of the fire.”

The billowing smoke could be seen from as far away as Grace Bay Beach.  Several photographers on site informed, their drones were capturing the fire from as high up as fifty feet, the smoke was well above that height.  Interested residents flooded the area from all around, reporting they were drawn to the scene due to the rare and frightening size of the fire which thankfully, and despite its size never raged out of control.

After the first night, the fire was 90 percent contained, reported the Department of Environmental Health.

Residents were warned to stay away from the blaze but truth be told, residents just wanted the fire to stay far away from them.  Thousands of homes, a major resort, vacation villas, businesses, schools, eco-sites and apartment complexes were under threat.

It was a “tire fire” originally but drone video revealed that it spread rapidly to the other mounds of garbage and debris congregated at the landfill.

While the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority was criticised by some for assigning the airport trucks to help with putting out the Wheeland Landfill fire, others called it a necessary move and the TCIAA issued a statement of commendation.

“Our ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting) team is comprised of first responders of the highest caliber.  Each day they report to work dedicated to giving the best of themselves to keep air travellers safe.  Yesterday’s display proves that such dedication is not confined to those spaces under the remit of the TCIAA.  Their dedication certainly is to country,” said Godfrey Smith, CEO of the TCIAA on Tuesday.

The ARFF continued its service beyond Monday; using slower intervals at the Providenciales International Airport to race out to the fire at the landfill, offering some hours of assistance which eventually helped to tame the beast.

While there was tremendous anxiety; no properties were damaged, no lives lost and no injuries were reported as a result of Monday’s fire.  An investigation into the cause is ongoing.


Statement on Incident Involving Visitor on 2nd October 2022



#TurksandCaicos, October 4, 2022 – The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) regrets the unfortunate incident involving the death of a visitor to our islands on 2nd October 2022.  The incident which occurred was accidental and not one in which the victim was targeted.  While the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police force (RTCIPF) continues their investigations, we wish to reassure the public (citizens, residents, and visitors alike) that the safety and security of all, is our top priority.

The TCI has long established itself as a safe destination for visitors from around the world.  Evidence of this can be seen in the countless awards the destination has won, most recently at the World Travel Awards.  Our commitment to providing safety to residents and visitors is unwavering.  The government will continue to work with local authorities including the RTCIPF and our partners in the international community to protect residents and visitors alike.

The incident which occurred on the date mentioned above is one that is rare and does not reflect who we are as a people.  On behalf of the government and people of these islands, we extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the victim.

As this matter is now an on-going police investigation, further statements will be referred to RTCIPF.

The TCI remains a safe destination and the government is working assiduously for it to remain as such.

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

Continue Reading


Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.

The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’

The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year.  Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.

While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home.  So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.

In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg.  The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.

Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.

This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Continue Reading