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Family Island News
Deputy PM updates on action of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation in the wake of Hurricane Joaquin
Submitted by BIS   
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 07:37

Hon. Philip E. Davis, Q.C., M.P.
Deputy Prime Minister/Minister

Recent media commentary constrains the following statement by my Ministry in respect of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC).

In early October, Hurricane Joaquin caused significant damage to BEC’s infrastructure on several Family Islands including San Salvador, Crooked Island, Mayaguana, Rum Cay, Long Cay, and Long Island. Within hours of the storm’s passage, BEC commenced assessment and repair work; however, in many of the islands, there was a need for additional manpower and resources to complete that work.

By the end of October, all of the affected islands’ electricity was restored, with the exception of Crooked Island and south Long Island, where there was large-scale damage. On of both these islands, localised flooding weeks after the storm made it extremely difficult to access certain communities. In fact, in Crooked Island, the storm destroyed roads and completely decimated BEC’s infrastructure. The infrastructure had to be rebuilt in order to restore electricity service to residences and businesses there.

At the end of November, repairs were complete on all islands. Service was restored to all customers that were able to connect to BEC’s grids. It is important to note, though, that the storm caused severe damage to a number of homes and businesses on the island making them uninhabitable and/or unable to receive supply from BEC. BEC crews in the Family Islands and teams from New Providence have conducted assessments and informed available property owners why they were unable to reconnect to BEC’s grid. Once repairs were made, BEC teams were able to restore supply to some of these affected structures.

National Disaster Reconstruction Committee to provide support to hurricane damaged islands
Written by BIS   
Monday, 07 December 2015 09:55

From left Captain Stephen Russell of the National Emergency Management Agency, Nat Beneby, Chairman of the NDRC and Gowan Bowe, committee member inspect the regatta site in Long Island. (BIS photo/Patrick Hanna)LONG ISLAND, Bahamas – The business community throughout the settlements of Long Island were among the hardest hit as a result of the devastation of Hurricane Joaquin.

A recent visit to the island provided members of the recently appointed National Disaster Reconstruction Committee an opportunity to inspect businesses, meet with owners, and see face-to-face the impact of the hurricane that ravaged the southern Bahamas in early October.

Committee chairman Nat Beneby said although residents have begun self-help efforts, the greatest opportunity that presently exists is to “jump start” businesses; and the solution to restoration is through public/private partnership.

“Unfortunately, a number of small and medium size businesses did not have hurricane insurance. With the loss of property, inventory and having to rebuild it’s very challenging. Progress is being made. In our discussions with business folks they have already begun that restoration slowly, on a small scale, but you can see some support is needed, he said.

“We will continue to collaborate with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and collectively see how best we can provide that support for the businesses in Long Island.”

Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina ready to start 'Great Hammerhead Weeks' dive encounters
Submitted by John Bell   
Monday, 07 December 2015 08:13

ALICE TOWN, Bimini — A bucket list diver opportunity to encounter the usually elusive Great Hammerhead shark starts next week—December 11-18— when Bimini Big Game Club Divers kicks off its Great Hammerhead Weeks program.

The endangered and elusive Great Hammerhead—the second largest predatory shark in the ocean—frequent the waters surrounding North and South Bimini in the winter months with cooler water temperatures and abundant sea life.

Great Hammerhead encounters are considered the pinnacle of shark diving in the Bahamas, and Bimini is one of only two places in the world where you will find a congregation of these elusive animals, which can grow to 20 feet or more.

Bimini Big Game Divers will operate two Great Hammerhead dives daily for designated weeks of December 11-18, 2015, and January 1-8, February 5-12 and March 8-18, 2016.

Considered “shark diving central”, Bimini has more species of sharks closer to the docks than anywhere else in the Bahamas. According to the Bimini Biological Field Station, the Great Hammerhead Shark joins 12 other species of sharks found in the shallow water off Bimini. These species include Lemon, Caribbean Reef, Tiger, Blacktip, Nurse, Bull, Blacknose, Atlantic/Caribbean Sharpnose, Mako, Spiny Dogfish and Bigeye Thresher and Smooth Hound.

New mobile homes for Crooked Island and Long Island
Written by BIS   
Thursday, 03 December 2015 07:58

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- NEMA and Social Services earmark four RV Mobile Homes for Crooked Island to assist persons whose homes were completely destroyed by Hurricane Joaquin; and three trailer homes for families in Long Island.

The trailers are expected to leave by mailboat on Thursday and to be in the designated Islands by the weekend.

Touring the RVs were Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA, and Barbara Burrows, National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit.

Touring the Trailers Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA, Barbara Burrows, National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit and Don Gray, Director of Logistics for NEMA.

New homes on the horizon for hurricane devastated islands
Written by BIS   
Thursday, 03 December 2015 07:56

LONG ISLAND, The Bahamas – Approximately 60 new one-, two- and three- bedroom homes are on the drawing board for residents in the southeast islands wiped out as a result of Hurricane Joaquin. Most of the new homes will be constructed in Long Island, the island with the largest population impacted the most in terms of number of homes, and Crooked Island, the island hardest hit in terms of impact of devastation.

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According to Jack Thompson, administrator of the Government’s recently- formed National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (NRRU), the second phase is construction of new homes.

“While the priority is to deal with roof repairs and eventually a lesser extent windows, doors, sheet rock, we will move in short order to new homes. We’ve identified approximately 56 homes in the islands which were totally destroyed or which make no sense putting in capital for. We’ve identified the plans, the persons and the material listing,” he stated.

Minister Griffin officially opens Exuma Women's Backyard Farming Workshop 2015
Written by BIS   
Monday, 30 November 2015 08:05

EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Dozens of Exumians joined the Women’s Bureau of the Ministry of Social Services and Community Development in a Women’s Backyard Farming Workshop on November 27 in the Kettel Centre of the Exuma Foundation in George Town. The theme of the workshop was “Women and the Environment: Creating Partnerships for Sustainable Development.”

The workshop was part of “National Women’s Week” and one of a number of activities presented over the past week by the Bureau of Women’s Affairs of the Ministry of Social Services. The Women’s Bureau organized the Backyard Farming Workshop in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation (BAIC).

Social Services Minister, Melanie Griffin, set out to speak to Exuma's women involved with the environment, who also love working with their hands. Minister Griffin said that women should be able to pass on skills to the next generation what we learned as children.

"Although farming is knew to Nassau, it's not new to residents in the Family Islands," said Minister Griffin.

"Backyard Farming is more than planting seeds. It's about taking control of your health and combating poverty."

Exuma residents donate $5,500 towards hurricane relief
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 26 November 2015 06:59

NASSAU, The Bahamas – A group of concerned residents of Exuma donated $5,500 towards the Hurricane Joaquin Relief effort, to assist residents in the Central and Southeast Bahamas impacted by the Category 4 storm in October. The funds came from the Exuma Christian Disaster Community Relief Fund, Member of Parliament for Exuma the Hon. Anthony Moss, and the Stuart Manor Curtis Alexander Association. On Monday, November 23, 2015, representatives presented the National Emergency Management Agency with a cheque at NEMA’s office on Gladstone Road and NEMA’s Way. Pictured from left are Mr. Moss, Captain Stephen Russell, Director NEMA; Rev Franklyn McKenzie, President of Remnant of Hope, and Pastor Reginald McKenzie. (Photo/NEMA)

BTO-Atlanta holds tradeshow for travel agents and announces new Family Islands flights
Submitted by Earnestine Moxyz   
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:54

Pictured from left to right are travel agent winner of Valentine’s Resort & getaway, Mrs. Carolyn Parrish of Harvest Your Dream Travel, Edward Archer, and Illianna Spychalla, Sales and Marketing Manager, Valentine’s Resort & Marina. ATLANTA, Georgia -- The Bahamas Tourist Office in Atlanta, Georgia recently hosted more than 115 of the top travel agents to a trade show and dinner reception at the Ivy Hall & Roswell Mill Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The event, which showcased various Resorts in The Bahamas also served to announce Delta Airlines new non stop services into The Bahamas commencing in December, making accessibility to The Bahamas’ destination, much easier.

Commencing December 19, 2015, Delta will fly twice weekly into Marsh Harbour, Abaco and North Eleuthera, from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport; Tuesdays and Saturdays into Marsh Harbour, Abaco and Wednesdays and Saturdays into North Eleuthera.

In addition to this, Delta will also boost its existing services into Georgetown, Exuma and will commence daily service from Atlanta. All of the new routes and flights will use 65-seater EV-CJ7 jet services.

Edward Archer, General Manager of the Bahamas Tourist Office Atlanta said, “interest in the Islands of The Bahamas from the Georgia market has steadily increased over the past two years. We are excited about the addition of these new air services into Abaco, Eleuthera and Exuma which will not only make The Bahamas even more accessible and appealing to our visitors, but will also fulfill a much-needed void. Additionally, these services now provide us with endless growth and promotional opportunities to showcase The Bahamas’ unique multi-islands brand,” he said.

“To partner with a reputable and successful airline giant like Delta Airlines, which dominates the airline industry, particularly in this major feeder market, is truly fantastic, especially as we continue to reengage and reconnect with our travel trade partners on developing and providing sound partnerships that are mutually beneficial, effective and successful,” he said.

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