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Ministry of Health and Wellness hosts climate change town meetings in Grand Bahama  

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By LEDEDRA MARCHE

Bahamas Information Services

 

#GrandBahama, The Bahamas, October 29, 2022 – The Ministry of Health and Wellness hosted two-days of town hall meetings on Grand Bahama this week in its quest to develop a more climate-resilient health system for The Bahamas.

The first was held for residents in West Grand Bahama on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Eight Mile Rock, and the second was staged on Wednesday, October 26, at the City of Life for residents in East and Central Grand Bahama and came hot on the heels of the two meetings held in Abaco.

As both islands were devastatingly impacted by Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the climate change and health project team thought it necessary to begin its series of town hall meetings in those communities to gather information through surveys and listen to the concerns of the residents.

As part of its climate change and health study, the ministry launched its Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) Survey on Monday, October 3, 2022 as a means of identifying the knowledge, attitude and behavioral gaps that exist.

Senior Medical Officer and Project Coordinator Dr. Calae Philippe stressed the importance of community engagement and hearing from the people about the solutions they have for their own communities.

The goal of the team is to work with the residents and make those solutions become reality.

“Phase I is what we call the qualitative; we’re counting numbers, we want to know what do people believe about climate change and what they do in terms of climate change,” Dr. Philippe said.

Phase II is a concentration on focus groups where experts conduct in-depth discussion with vulnerable groups, and Phase III deals with data analysis: “Looking at the analysis from the data, what people tell us from Abaco, Grand Bahama and New Providence; and then sharing with people what we’ve learned from them and what they think are the next steps,” she said.

“We are going to be onboarding a consultant who will be developing a curriculum from the information that we gain from people to test out an educational program which will involve healthcare providers and community leaders — to come up with ideas or programs to reduce greenhouse gases or programs to adapt.”

That, Dr. Philippe revealed, will allow the team to write its next iteration of the green climate readiness proposal to request additional monies, and so present those programs as climate action and put them into practice.

The team will be in New Providence at the Mall At Marathon on Friday, October 28, 2022 and encourages residents to participate in the KAP Survey.

Dr. Philippe pointed out that while Nassau was not hit by Hurricane Dorian, there are those who were impacted who now reside in the capital after relocating from Grand Bahama or Abaco three years ago.

 

Photo Captions:

Header: Senior Medical Officer and Project Coordinator Dr. Calae Philippe leads the climate change and health project team as they host two town hall meetings in Grand Bahama, October 26-27, 2022.

Insert: Residents in Grand Bahama gathered at the City of Life on Wednesday, October 26th to attend the Ministry of Health and Wellness town hall meeting, as part of its climate change and health study.

 

BIS Photos/Lisa Davis

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Scores of residents attend GB Entrepreneurial Expo 2024 

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By LEDEDRA MARCHE
Bahamas Information Services
GRAND BAHAMA, The Bahamas – The Ministry for Grand Bahama hosted its second entrepreneurial Expo 2024 this month, this time at the Foster B. Pestaina Hall, Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King on February 21, 2024 where scores of budding entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses in Freeport gained valuable insight for their ventures from representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, the Tourism Development Corporation of The Bahamas, Bahamas Development Bank, Access Accelerator, Inland Revenue, Small Businesses Development Centre, Bank of The Bahamas, Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, and UB Ignite.
Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper and Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey encouraged attendees to take full advantage of the wealth of resources being made available at the Expo to empower them along their business journey.
Also in attendance were Parliamentary Secretary Kingsley Smith; Senators James Turner, Kirk Russell and Randy Rolle and Permanent Secretary Joel Lewis.
The West Grand Bahama Entrepreneurial Expo, the first for the year, was held on February 1 at St. Mary Magdalene Parish Hall in West Grand Bahama.
(BIS Photos/Lisa Davis)

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Bahamas Development Bank and Food and Agriculture Organization Partner to Empower Women-Led Businesses 

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Nassau Bahamas, 29 February 2024- The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) are excited to announce the signing of a groundbreaking contract aimed at advancing the Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund’s Building Back Equal project.

The initiative is jointly led by UN Women, FAO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It will support women-led businesses in the agriculture, creative, and tourism industries, and will serve as a regional pilot for best practices in gender equitable financing in advancing small island developing states (SIDS).

Gavin Christie, the Bahamas Development Bank’s Deputy Chairman, said, “This partnership signifies a significant step forward for BDB, FAO, and the nation at large. It underscores BDB’s dedication to driving inclusive economic development and gender equality, aligning with the sustainable development goals. As we support and empower women-led businesses, we are fostering social growth and sustainability in The Bahamas.”

Nicholas Higgs, the Bahamas Development Bank’s Managing Director, added, “The collaboration with FAO underlines our commitment to not only bolster the economy but to also ensure that women entrepreneurs are at the forefront of this advancement. By providing these targeted funds, we aim to catalyze a transformation in the industries that help form the backbone of our economy. This initiative is not just about financial investment, but also about investing in the skills and capabilities of women-led enterprises. The empowerment of women is a cornerstone for resilient and sustainable economies, and BDB is proud to lead by example. Through these efforts, we aspire to create a ripple effect that will not only uplift women within The Bahamas but also set a precedent for gender equity in funding across the region and globe.”

BDB is the national coordinating authority on the Joint SDG Fund and has played a crucial role in shaping the project’s design and implementation. The total contract allocation to BDB for the FAO-funded section of the project is $186,000. The proposed blended financing instrument is a collaboration between BDB and FAO, and will combine capital from the Bahamas Development Bank with non-reimbursable funding from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The strategic partnership will provide women-led businesses with access to low-cost capital after undergoing technical capacity development. A portion of the funds will also be allocated to a grants program.

BDB will also sign a similar agreement with UN Women, which will add a further $100,000 to the fund for women-led businesses and further showcase its commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs in diverse sectors.

The Bahamas Development Bank is implementing a streamlined approach to its adjudication process to facilitate a faster decision-making process, ultimately ensuring expedited access to funding for women-led beneficiaries in the program. An announcement regarding applications will be announced in March.

 

Photo Caption: Standing from left to right are the Bahamas Development Bank’s (BDB) Deputy Managing Director, Dave Munroe; United Nations Country Representative, Aneesah Abdullah; BDB Deputy Chairman, Gavin Christie; Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Representative, Alexis Bonte; FAO Bahamas Representative, Precious Fortune-Thompson; BDB Board Member, Kyron Strachan; BDB Strategic Development and Initiatives Manager, Sumayyah Cargill and FAO Bahamas National Correspondent, Keith Phillipe.

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Storm Chasers Gear Up !

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 27th, 2024 – In the unfortunate event of a hurricane when most people are huddled in bed there’s a group of around 287 people across The Bahamas and soon to come, the Turks and Caicos islands who are in the storm working keenly to provide invaluable insight to meteorologists about the real life impact and intensity of weather events.  This is already benefiting The Bahamas department of meteorology, and very soon the Turks and Caicos Islands will also stand to gain.  The origin group is Stormwatch Bahamas, which is moving assertively now to hatching Stormwatch Turks and Caicos. We spoke to Craig Lowe, Founder and Storm Rescue Unit Captain for The Bahamas.

 

“It’s all about growing the weather community and protecting the public.” he explained.

 

That depends on much needed partnerships with locally emergency agencies. This weekend for the first time a Skywarn Instructor from the National Weather Service will be training both teams to take on the huge task of becoming a Storm Chaser. TCI is already equipped with the president and several volunteers but Lowe says they are always accepting more.

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