By Deandrea Hamilton
#TurksandCaicos, November 14, 2023 – Fire hydrants are right now being installed in the Wheeland District of Providenciales and Kyle Knowles, Member of Parliament for the area says the underground infrastructure is key to combatting the fires which have, for years, plagued the island’s landfill or dump site.
“The fire hydrants are necessary. As you know, in order to extinguish a fire, the necessary water or the amount of water needed will be quite significant so we are doing this in partnership with the Provo Water Company,” said Knowles on camera.
In an informational video, released on Wednesday November 15, Knowles allows viewers to see the ongoing work first hand.
“What you would see behind me is the current installation of 1,000 plus feet of waterline that will aide in the mitigation works, so the current works being carried out today is just phase one in the consultation works being done through the CDB consultants.”
It was on October 31, 2023 during an RTC radio talk show that Hon Knowles unveiled a $500k plan aimed at making the noxious odors and threatening fires of the landfill in Providenciales a thing of the past.
Consultants from the Caribbean Development Bank, (CDB) had been approved since 2016 and on that episode of First Edition with hosts Cherylann Foreman and Zhavargo Jolly, Knowles explained that since the start of the year, the CDB consultants had “hit the ground running.”
“One of the things that we realized is that the dump has a significant amount of ground or underlying fires. One would say, well just go out there and excavate it and deal with it. So what we have done from the consultants is taken a more strategic approach and I am glad to say that as of today, we have been able to attain some access to $500k to eradicate or extinguish I should say, the fires at the dump.”
The update on the ‘dump’ is a key progress report for this member in particular, as his election bid was hinged on solving the issue and because he is the PNP Administration’s appointed chairman of the Solid Waste Task Force; the remit including not only solid waste challenges in Providenciales, but countrywide.
“After having meetings with the Task Force, we’ve put together a strategy that should take about two to three months to eradicate all of those fires.
Another major announcement by Knowles last month was that the Providenciales dump, after having no management was getting a dedicated overseer.
“We are in the process of confirming the new contractor. What we’ve done as a government is we’re getting value for dollar. It’s a more comprehensive contract, one that will be managed properly with the necessary technical aspects in place. One that will also have the proper machinery in place. You hear about: incinerator, you hear about tire shredders, you hear about wood chippers well those are some of the things which are a pre-requisite.”
Knowles adds that a Public Awareness campaign is also planned as the landfill in Providenciales gets new management, a departure from being overseen by the employees at the Department of Environmental Health.
Today, Kyle Knowles said, “this is my promise being fulfilled to you. It has taken some time but the work has begun.”
Two more phases are coming, said Knowles, in the Ministry of Health and Human Services sponsored video.
Energy & Utilities Commissioner says new legislation will help to stabilize energy costs in Turks & Caicos Islands
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday, 30th November 2023: The Energy and Utilities Department (EUD) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, today reminds the public that the comprehensive Renewable Energy Legislation is currently before the House of Assembly and that the Legislation not only addresses the existing challenges posed by fuel price volatility but also lays the foundation for a sustainable and resilient energy future for the TCI.
In a recent press release, FortisTCI cited global factors such as production cuts and increased demand for fuel, leading to a surge in market prices. The EUD acknowledging these challenges thanks our power supplier for its proactivity when it comes to informing consumers of any changes in the cost of electricity. Further, the Government of Turks and Caicos wants residents and guests to know that it is committed to taking proactive measures that will transform the energy landscape through robust Renewable Energy Legislation.
In that vein, Delano Arthur, the new Energy and Utilities Commissioner looks forward to working with FortisTCI in the upcoming days to find innovative and collaborative solutions to reduce the cost of Fuel and Energy in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This initiative aims to not only mitigate the impact of volatile fuel prices but also secures a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future for all of us.
Key components of the Renewable Energy Legislation include:
- Integrated Resource Plans: A formal planning process to prioritise renewable energy in addressing evolving energy needs.
- Competitive Tendering Process: Government-run initiatives to promote healthy renewable energy competition, achieve low-cost energy, and meet Paris Agreement goals.
- Administrative and Regulatory Measures: Establishing clear processes and responsibilities for all players who are in the renewable energy market.
- Licensing and Safety Standards: Comprehensive licensing provisions to ensure accountability and safety standards for renewable energy systems.
- Net Billing Program: Allowing building owners to self-generate and sell surplus electricity back to the grid.
The Renewable Energy Legislation serves as a mitigation against volatile fuel prices. By transitioning to cleaner energy sources and fostering a diverse renewable energy infrastructure, these Islands aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The competitive tendering process introduced in the legislation ensures the selection of the most cost-effective renewable energy solutions, contributing to energy affordability and stability.
As the Islands invest in renewable energy, the increased share of clean, locally produced electricity provides a stable alternative to fluctuating fuel prices. The Net Billing Programme further incentivises distributed energy generation, offering a predictable path for building owners to contribute to the grid and receive compensation, thus reducing reliance on traditional fuel sources.
For further information, please contact:
Delano R. Arthur
Energy and Utilities Department
Turks and Caicos Islands Government
CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).
In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”
The priorities stated under the agenda are:
- Curbing emissions to limit global temperature
increase to 1.5 ̊C
- Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and
loss and damage
- Improving access to and delivery of climate finance
for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach
- Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience
- Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,
sustainable and resilient development
- Promoting gender equity and social inclusion
approaches to climate action
- Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as
core to the climate response
- Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered
approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice
The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.
Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
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