Saturday, July 4, 2020

242NewsBahamas - Enjoy the Beach, but Don’t Trash it! - Plus Other News

Enjoy the Beach, but Don’t Trash it!

Dear Readers,

I love to walk the beach, and it reminds me of walking on Holiday Inn beach with my Grandmother to go and feed the fish. It is also a beautiful way to start the day. It reminds me too why I and we as Bahamians are so blessed to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with blue waters that change each day from dark to light and wash ashore almost white sand scattered with shells.

This week our beaches were finally opened, and on the first day, I was able to step back on to our sandy paradise, and it was so beautiful and clean, and sadly still pretty empty. My dog swam in the sea, I saw nurse sharks in the bay, and I found a gorgeous baby conch shell too. So imagine my anger when I returned the next day to find that same beach littered with trash. I was appalled, I was mad, and I was so very disappointed!

Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis
COVID-19 Update Press Conference
Thursday 2 July 2020

Good afternoon,

Here is the latest update on COVID-19 in The Bahamas. Today we are very pleased to report that there were no new COVID-19 cases reported. It has been 18 days since a new case of COVID-19 has been recorded in The Bahamas.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remains at 104. Of that number, 82 are in New Providence, 8 in Grand Bahama, 13 in Bimini and 1 in Cat Cay. The number of recovered cases is at 89. We are down to 4 active cases. Deaths remain at 11. There are no hospitalized cases.
Campbell Takes Social Assistance Reform ‘Personally’

NASSAU, The Bahamas – A personal experience almost forty years ago is one of the factors driving Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell’s push for digital and other reform in the delivery of social assistance in The Bahamas.

“In the 1970s I was a student at the William Gordon Primary School and for some reason I had to utilize the School Lunch Programme. After the third day, I refused to go back because they placed the sandwich in brown paper and they gave you a Borden’s Drink and so everybody knew that you got lunch from the Lunch Programme and kids were cruel and they teased me,” Minister Campbell said.

“When I came to this Ministry, I thought that experience may have been preparing me for this. We have a group of persons, who for various reasons, find themselves vulnerable, find themselves in need of assistance.
Government Making a Mockery of Public Consultation

It has come to our attention that on Monday, June 29, the Ministry of Environmental Health quietly distributed draft Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations to a handful of environmentalists who were given only until the end of the week to make recommendations.

Save the Bays is deeply disturbed by this miserably poor effort at public consultation on a matter of such vital importance to each and every Bahamian. We are convinced that the government’s aim is to ram this dreadful draft through under the noses of the unsuspecting public.

Firstly, a mere five days for public consultation on any matter of national significance is a farce. It is totally unacceptable and makes a mockery of the very idea of public consultation. The standard for around the world is 30 days.
BRCS/GBPA Kick-Off Entrepreneurial Training for SBR Grant Recipients

Entrepreneurial training for 32 successful recipients of the Small Business Recovery (SBR) grant program began last week in a virtual classroom. The partnership initiative between The Bahamas Red Cross Society (BRCS) and The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) grants up to $6,000 in funding and business support for Grand Bahama micro-businesses impacted by Hurricane Dorian. The assistance comes at a very critical time for businesses struggling to recover from Dorian and now realizing the effects of COVID-19.

Although funding is the primary focus of the program, BRCS Director-General Sean Brennan explained that mandatory business training was particularly critical to re-building a more resilient small business sector for the island. 
Agreements Signed for Beta Testing of Digital Wallets/Coupons

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Officials of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and the Department of Social Services, along with representatives from three, private local companies, signed Agreements (Tuesday, June 23, 2020) formalizing the Beta Testing for the use of Digital Wallets and Digital Coupons in the delivery of social assistance to Bahamians.

The signings took place just days after Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, announced during an Official Visit to Freeport, Grand Bahama, June 18-19 that Beta Testing for the Digital Wallets and Digital Coupons in the delivery of social assistance would commence at the “end of this month.”

The Beta Test exercise is expected to complement the ProMIS Web Application initiative to further expand the Ministry’s digitization and modernization process with the introduction of digital wallets and digital coupons. The implementation of ProMIS incorporates a MIS System and online social assistance application process and online management.
Prominent Bahamian accountant to Deliver UB Virtual Commencement Address

A prominent Bahamian accountant and well-known banker, Mr. Gowon N.G. Bowe is no stranger to providing quality insight and commentary on some of the nation’s most pressing economic issues. Now, the (former) College of The Bahamas graduate is poised to deliver a historic contribution to his alma mater by delivering the Commencement Address for the University of The Bahamas’ (UB) first ever virtual commencement exercise on Monday, 29th June, 2020.
Mr. Bowe’s myriad accomplishments, experience, and general fiscal savvy has distinguished him as a leading voice on economic and financial issues. He will seek to use that elevated status and economic know-how to impart key pointers and tips for success to approximately 500 UB graduates, most, if not all of whom will undoubtedly be expected to survive and contribute meaningfully to both a local and global economy reeling in the wake of the crippling COVID-19 pandemic.

Grand Bahamians Can Look Forward to More Capital Works This Year

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- “Grand Bahama is still poised for take-off,” said Prime Minister of the Bahamas, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis. “Once one business is successful, we know that it tend to attract other businesses and we are confident that once the ITM and Royal Caribbean begin their work, it will attract other successful businesses and investors.”

The Prime Minister’s remarks came following the official opening of the Fishing Hole Causeway in Grand Bahama on Friday, June 26, 2020. During his address, the Prime Minister spoke about a number of capital works that are taking place or poised to begin in Grand Bahama, which should provide jobs and revive the economy of Grand Bahama.
University of The Bahamas and One Eleuthera Foundation Sign MOU for New Educational Opportunities

Providing new educational opportunities aimed at increasing the intellectual capacity of present and future University of The Bahamas (UB) students is the driving force behind a key partnership between UB and the One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF).

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been forged which facilitates access to resources, facilities and faculty.

During a virtual press conference and signing on Friday, 26th June 2020 officials acknowledged the timeliness of the partnership and shared values in teaching, learning and innovative development in curricula and relevant resources.

One Eleuthera Foundation CEO Mr. Shaun Ingraham said the new partnership with UB will further enhance the organization’s quest to not only promote a thirst for change amongst Eleuthera residents, but support the introduction of new methodologies in areas of sustainability, transformative practices, and aggressive educational opportunities that will provide the necessary tools to enable them to confront embedded beliefs that often sabotage progress and futuristic possibilities.
PM Tours Rand Memorial Hospital Renovations

Following the official opening of the Fishing Hole Causeway on Friday, June 26, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, accompanied by other cabinet ministers, toured the Rand Memorial Hospital.

The hospital was damaged in September 2019 because of devastation by Hurricane Dorian, and renovation has been underway for the past several months.

Led by Hospital Administrator Sharon Williams, the Prime Minister toured along with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest; Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson; Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, the Hon. Iram Lewis along with other senior government officials, including Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Harcourt Brown and Managing Director of Public Health Authority, Katherine Weech.
The Prime Minister, who currently serves as the Minister of Health, wanted to get a firsthand view of the situation.

It is expected that the wards, pediatrics, and ICU should be completed in approximately three months; however, the Prime Minister voiced some concern that the maternity section is still being housed at Sunrise Medical Centre.

Welcome Back to Experience Nature

We know you’ve missed exploring your national parks, and we’re excited to have you visit. You need fresh air and open natural spaces to feel good again. National parks can give this to you.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to visit the places you love and enjoy nature again through attractions and recreation in parks.
Phased reopening of your parks.

Unfortunately, we cannot open all national parks at once, but we’re working towards reopening more places as soon as we can. If your favorite park is not included in the initial phase of reopening, you can explore national parks virtually.
Prime Minister Minnis: Gov’t. Will Not Grant Approval for Free-Trade Zone on Andros or Sell Off Large Tracts of Land

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis said his administration will not grant approval for a free-trade zone on the island of Andros, nor will it alienate or sell-off vast tracts of land in The Bahamas.

The Prime Minister was addressing published reports on a draft proposal for Andros, which included concepts for the development of half a million acres of land, aragonite harvesting, medical research facilities, air and seaports, and other developments.

On Monday 22 June the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement acknowledging that the draft proposal was submitted.

The statement noted that the proposal has not been formally analyzed nor reviewed to determine its viability, nor has it been presented to the National Economic Council for consideration.

“I have been disappointed to see how this issue has been misused by the Opposition to sow confusion in our country,” the Prime Minister said on Sunday 28 June during a live National Address.
Bahamians and Residents Urged Not to Travel Abroad Unless Absolutely Necessary

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis made an urgent plea to Bahamians and residents to refrain from traveling abroad unless absolutely necessary.

The appeal comes days before The Bahamas will open its borders to international commercial travel, on Wednesday 1 July.

“I want to make a very strong plea to Bahamians and residents considering or planning to travel overseas for nonessential travel -- to not go overseas at this time,” said the Prime Minister during a live National Address on Sunday 28 June.

“If you are thinking of travelling for non-essential or non-emergency reasons, please, I beg you, stay at home at this time. Please stay at home!”

Prime Minister Minnis noted that a number of the cities and areas Bahamians and residents like to frequent in neighboring countries and cities are experiencing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Bahamas - Virtual Events

  • 2 July: Maintaining robust governance on cash-flow and pandemic expenditures, KPMG Website
  • 4 July: Deep Drop Fishing Tournament, Green Parrot, 6pm
  • 4 July: 2020 Vision Board Party, 7pm
  • 8 July: Creating a glidepath to economic recovery: attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and mitigating Supply Chain Dynamics, KPMG Website
  • 11 July: 9th Annual Fun Run Walk 6am, Fidelity
  • 15 July: P3 Contract Reconfiguration, KPMG Website
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