By Deandrea Hamilton
#TurksandCaicos, September 2, 2023 – The projects toward a more sustainable energy future for the Turks and Caicos Islands have now been identified in partnership with RESEMBID; the European Union’s arm which supports renewable energy interventions in overseas territories.
For the TCI, five health facilities will be made more resilient and less reliant on fossil fuel generated electricity. Project officer in the islands is Zepherinus Norbert and he named the public sites to benefit.
“There are four components to the project. Component one is we are going to be installing the solar PV systems. That is roof top, solar PV systems at four clinics: the Blue Hills Clinic in Providenciales; the Bottle Creek Clinic, in North Caicos, the Middle Caicos clinic and the South Caicos Clinic will receive solar PV systems. Also, the Wellness Center in Grand Turk.”
Solar power or Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems will be added to the facilities by December 2023, cutting costs to government and creating energy efficiency and resiliency for the benefit of the public.
“We have gone through procurement and we have secured a contractor and that is Green Revolutions limited, they were the successful bidders.”
Mr. Norbert confirmed that the size of the systems will allow for partial solar electricity, not full. He called this first component a pilot project which will be monitored by both RESEMBID and the TCI Government through the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“The long-term goal is for everyone in TCI [to go green] because on every rooftop there is a free source of energy,” said Norbert in a one on one with Magnetic Media in August (2023), “so the goal is to provide the necessary policies and regulatory framework to facilitate this transition. Create the public awareness so that people know where to go, how can I actually participate in this program and then there is the capacity building through training.”
The EU is funding this transition which will also include training and the RESEMBID team explained this means a transfer of skills to benefit the islands long into the future.
“This month (August) is when we will be rolling out the NABCEP training. NABCEP is the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and this training will be online.”
Ten candidates from the community will get this training free; it will make them certified Solar PV installers and designers.
“We are also going to be rolling out the SEI, Solar Energy International programme for ten of the public servants – including the Community College – to be involved and certified in the area of solar design and installation.”
Damian Dickenson, a Turks and Caicos native is the project assistant, commenting that is a full on support for the RESEMBID mission and pleased at the response of islanders.
“We’ve seen a large amount of the public’s willingness to transition, not only the elderly citizens but also the kids. Everyone really has this passion that you don’t really see too often to transition towards green energy, not just with solar but maybe with Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTECH) or wind power as well.”
In the new year, attentions will shift to the next component for RESEMBID and Home Affairs; a strategic street lighting programme.
“Solar street lights will be installed in Providenciales to assist with areas where there are challenges in terms of safety concerns and the whole idea of ensuring that the areas are populated and we demonstrate that it can be done through the use of renewable energy as well.”
RESEMBID has one year to complete the entire project.
Misick announces Longer terms in Office, Bi-Partisan Constitutional Changes
#TurksandCaicos, February 19, 2024 – Magnetic Media SOTS23 COVERAGE: Premier WASHINGTON MISICK announced that there is bi-partisan agreement on the CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES which the people of the Turks and Caicos can expect including a FIVE YEAR term for the elected Government.
The House of Assembly will finally leave the HJ Robinson High Auditorium to return home at the NJS Francis building and when it does, it will be called a PARLIAMENT with only ELECTED MEMBERS; (as reported) ending the four year term and ending the APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS for a truly democratic composition of the house of representatives.
The State of the State Address, a creation of the Progressive National Party Administration, was carried live from Yellow Man and Sons Auditorium in Grand Turk, tonight February 19 which is also the three-year anniversary of the Misick-led government.
#TCIPremier #WashingtonMisick #SOTS2023 #TurksandCaicosParliament #tcinews
How to protect against HIV
#TurksandCaicos, February 15, 2024 – HIV/AIDS has killed more than 40 million people globally since it first appeared in the human population in 1959 according to the World Health Organization WHO and even though there are effective treatments there is no cure making prevention practices a top priority for vulnerable groups.
In recent months claims have emerged of rising cases locally creating concern in some Turks and Caicos residents. The Ministry of Health has remained silent on the issue and has not published relevant statistics despite repeated queries from Magnetic Media.
Given the continued presence of the virus, individuals are still at risk from infection. In fact the WHO says in 2022, when 630,000 people died from HIV-related causes and 1.3 million people acquired HIV.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus behind AIDS, the most advanced form of HIV.
The virus spreads through the body fluids of an infected person, including blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal fluids. It is not spread by kisses, hugs or sharing food.
With this in mind there are several steps that residents can take to protect themselves including
- Using condoms during sex
- Limiting sexual partners
- Being tested regularly
- avoiding sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
- Using personal protective gear when dealing with bodily fluids
Vulnerable populations can be administered Pre Exposure Prophylaxis which work to prevent infection and Post Exposure Prophylaxis which can prevent the virus from taking hold.
An HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence. In 2024 HIV can be treated and prevented with antiretroviral therapy (ART). These drugs strengthen the immune system which HIV weakens significantly.
Still the WHO encourages residents to take preventative action.
CARPHA: Take Action to Avoid the Harmful Effects of Saharan Dust
February 16, 2024 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is urging persons to protect themselves against adverse health effects of a Saharan dust plume, which has covered many parts of the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in a Dust Bulletin dated February 9th, 2024 stated, “it is highly likely that particulate matter levels will be above the 24-hour outdoor air quality guidelines” as established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA, explained “Saharan dust worsens air quality and increases the levels of particulate matter in the air. This can be hazardous, especially to small children, older adults and people with underlying lung conditions and chronic cardiopulmonary diseases”. Dr St John added, “Saharan dust can also worsen the health symptoms of those who suffer from asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)”.
In light of the poor air quality levels, CARPHA is encouraging persons to take steps to avoid the harmful effects of Saharan dust. These include:
- Stay indoors as much as possible and when outdoors, wear a dust mask (eg. KN95)
- Utilise a HEPA filter indoors to purify air in individual rooms
- Persons who use medications for pulmonary conditions should carry them at all times and use as prescribed
- At the first sign of difficulty while breathing, seek professional medical advice immediately
- For less severe symptoms, standard allergy medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays may alleviate symptoms
For more information, please see excerpts from the attached CIMH Dust Bulletin.
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