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poverty

Poverty on the rise in Barbados – survey

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sep. 14, CMC  – A new study has found that poverty is on the rise in Barbados with  17.5 percent of the population living in poverty, up from 15.1 percent in 2010.

The findings of the Barbados Survey of Living Conditions 2016-2017, were officially released on Wednesday.

povertyThe survey was carried out among 7,100 Barbadians from 2,500 households in 11 parishes.

However the study found that the number of Barbadians living in extreme poverty has fallen by almost half from 6.8 percent in 2010 – when the last survey was conducted to 3.6 per cent in 2016, while those living in non-extreme poverty more than tripled from 3.8 percent to 13.8 percent.

The survey, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and undertaken in collaboration with the Barbados Statistical Service between February 2016 and January 2017, also showed that Barbadians were generally more vulnerable to poverty, as that category of persons increased from 10.4 per cent to 11 per cent.

IDB Project Leader Diether Beuermann Mendoza  who presented the findings during a Skype presentation said that a significant gender gap also exists.

He said  not only do women head 57 percent of households in Barbados, they also account for a significant percentage of the island’s poor when compared to men.

The study also revealed that the rich households have smaller families and a link was made between poverty and low-quality dwellings, such as those without flush toilets, running water and electricity.

CMC/kb/2017

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The medical team prepares to board the Cayman Airways flight to Anguilla, which was chartered for the humanitarian mission. Two nurses from Health City Cayman Islands joined the group of medical professionals from the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority on the relief effort.

Health City Cayman Islands joins hurricane Irma relief effort

 

by Sarah Munn

The medical team prepares to board the Cayman Airways flight to Anguilla, which was chartered for the humanitarian mission. Two nurses from Health City Cayman Islands joined the group of medical professionals from the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority on the relief effort.

CAYMAN ISLANDS (September 13, 2017) – Health City Cayman Islands is part of a relief effort being coordinated by the Cayman Islands Government to send supplies, medicines and medical staff to Anguilla, a fellow British Overseas Territory.

Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO and Medical Director of the Caribbean tertiary care hospital, said that Health City and the Cayman Islands community are shocked and saddened at the level of devastation in the northeastern Caribbean.

“We want to send our support to our Caribbean family who have been impacted by Hurricane Irma,” said Dr. Abraham, who added that the Caymanian community is being mobilized to provide aid and relief to help the affected islands in their recovery efforts.

Health City Cayman Islands staff load boxes of much-needed medicines for transport to Anguilla as part of a relief mission led by the Cayman Islands Government.

Dr. Abraham explained that medical relief efforts will center first on the critically ill and injured in Anguilla, where one person is known to have died as a result of Hurricane Irma. Housing and infrastructure have also been severely damaged there.

Health City has sent three staff members and more than US$30,000 in medicines to the hurricane-ravaged island. The Health City personnel have joined with staff from the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the Department of Environmental Health to form the relief mission.

A Cayman Airways flight loaded with relief supplies, medical and disaster management staff, medicines, water and non-perishable foods departed Grand Cayman for Anguilla on Tuesday, September 12 at 11 a.m.

Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin announced the government-led relief mission on Monday, September 11, the 13th anniversary of the landfall of Category 5 Hurricane Ivan in the Cayman Islands in 2004. The island of Grand Cayman was severely damaged by that storm.

Premier McLaughlin said: “Most of us know too well the devastation and despair that arises in the wake of a hurricane, especially those of us who lived through our own catastrophic storms of Ivan in 2004 and Paloma in 2008. We know well it was our neighbors from the region and our families and friends who ensured that we got much-needed supplies. It is time for us to pay it forward.”

The relief team from the Cayman Islands is scheduled to remain in Anguilla for two weeks.

The Cayman Islands Government has also provided post-Irma assistance to fellow British Overseas Territories, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the form of police equipment and staff. 

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Trinidad and Tobago to send helicopter and crew to Antigua and Barbuda

Trinidad and Tobago to send helicopter and crew to Antigua and Barbuda

by STAFF WRITER

Trinidad, Sept. 7, CMC  – The Trinidad and Tobago Government has announced plans to send a helicopter and crew to Antigua and Barbuda to assist the twin island state in relief efforts following the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Barbuda devestation

On the island of Barbuda, over 90 percent of the buildings have been destroyed.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne who toured the island late yesterday, declared Barbuda a disaster zone and implemented a state of emergency.

In a statement on Thursday, the Office of the Prime Minister here said the Keith Rowley led government has been communicating with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda with respect to the devastation suffered.

”The Government has agreed to provide assistance to Antigua and Barbuda by providing a helicopter and crew for the period of a week to directly contribute to the provision of relief and aid for Barbuda,” the statement said.

It added that the government “has carefully considered the current difficult economic circumstances and despite these difficulties, because it recognizes the responsibility of helping our CARICOM (Caribbean Community) neighbour in this time of disaster and need, it has agreed to provide this specific assistance”.

Meanwhile, the powerful storm, on Thursday morning plunged over one million residents of Puerto Rico into darkness when it passed to the north of the island.

Irma is expected to graze the Dominican Republic before targeting the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands on Friday.

The Miami based National Hurricane Centre in its advisory on Thursday afternoon said the distinct eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 20.7 North, longitude 70.4 West.

Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days with some decrease in forward speed.

On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move between Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands by Thursday  afternoon.

The hurricane will then move across the southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening, and then be near the central Bahamas by Friday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts.

Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).

 

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uk assist

UK to assist victims of Hurricane Irma in Caribbean

by STAFF WRITER

LONDON, Sept. 7, CMC  – The British Government has announced plans to send a military vessel to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

In a statement to Parliament, a junior foreign minister, Alan Duncan said a military vessel will be sent to the region and US$15.7 million in aid has been assigned.

“We are pulling out all the stops to make sure that we can do our utmost to bring urgent assistance,” Duncan said.

RFA Mounts Bay

The British fleet auxiliary boat RFA Mounts Bay is already in the Caribbean and “should reach the affected territories later today,” Duncan added.

He also said that the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign Office were on “full alert” and doing their “utmost” with a “great wealth of expertise to deploy on this”.

He also said that charter flights tasked with delivering additional supplies as appropriate also stand ready.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to respond to the “catastrophic damage” caused by Irma.

“What we will be doing now is making an urgent assessment of the further needs of communities in the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla to see what more can be done in terms of financial and humanitarian assistance,” he said.

Prime Minister Theresa May also held a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, during which they agreed to coordinate their responses.

“They agreed to cooperate closely, including with the Dutch, to understand the extent of the damage and to coordinate our relief efforts,” a spokesman for the premier’s office said.

Hurricane Irma one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record has severely hit the Caribbeans, claiming at least ten lives and devastating the islands of Barbuda and St Marteen .

 

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Hurricane Irma leaves at least 10 dead and thousands without power in Caribbean

Kyra Gurney and David Ovalle
 

At least eight people were killed and 23 injured in French Caribbean island territories, France’s interior minister reported on Twitter. A 2-year-old child was killed in Barbuda, where some 95 percent of the houses suffered serious damage and roughly 60 percent of residents were left homeless, Prime Minister Gaston Browne told The Associated Press. One death was also reported on the island of Anguilla.

With rescue teams just beginning to inspect the battered Caribbean islands, there could be more victims, France’s interior minister said.

On Saint Barthelemy, the damage along the waterfront in Gustavia was extensive. Miami prosecutor Frank Ledee, whose family owns a string of beachfront villas, said the storm wrecked 18-inch walls and blew out doors and windows.

“The damage is astronomical,” said Ledee, who has been communicating with family via U.S. cellphone text messages.

The devastation was even worse in St. Martin, where Ledee’s relatives live and own businesses. Their homes there were destroyed, as was a liquor-distribution warehouse.

“The roof of the building popped off and walls collapsed into the warehouse,” Ledee said. “We ended up with looters.”

His family survived unscathed, but badly shaken. “We took a very bad beating on the islands,” said Ledee, of Broward County.

Princess Juliana International Airport on the Dutch side of St. Martin was pummeled by the storm. Images posted to the Twitter account of an airport webcam site showed a badly damaged airport roof and debris and sand strewn on the tarmac.

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Barbuda devestation

Trinidad and Tobago to send helicopter and crew to Antigua and Barbuda

by STAFF WRITER

Trinidad, Sept. 7, CMC  – The Trinidad and Tobago Government has announced plans to send a helicopter and crew to Antigua and Barbuda to assist the twin island state in relief efforts following the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Barbuda devestation

On the island of Barbuda, over 90 percent of the buildings have been destroyed.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne who toured the island late yesterday, declared Barbuda a disaster zone and implemented a state of emergency.

In a statement on Thursday, the Office of the Prime Minister here said the Keith Rowley led government has been communicating with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda with respect to the devastation suffered.

”The Government has agreed to provide assistance to Antigua and Barbuda by providing a helicopter and crew for the period of a week to directly contribute to the provision of relief and aid for Barbuda,” the statement said.

It added that the government “has carefully considered the current difficult economic circumstances and despite these difficulties, because it recognizes the responsibility of helping our CARICOM (Caribbean Community) neighbour in this time of disaster and need, it has agreed to provide this specific assistance”.

Meanwhile, the powerful storm, on Thursday morning plunged over one million residents of Puerto Rico into darkness when it passed to the north of the island.

Irma is expected to graze the Dominican Republic before targeting the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands on Friday.

The Miami based National Hurricane Centre in its advisory on Thursday afternoon said the distinct eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 20.7 North, longitude 70.4 West.

Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days with some decrease in forward speed.

On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move between Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands by Thursday  afternoon.

The hurricane will then move across the southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening, and then be near the central Bahamas by Friday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts.

Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).

 

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drones

Barbados imposes ban on importation of drones until 2018

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 4, CMC – Barbados Monday announced a continued ban on the importation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones, until March 31, next year.

dronesIn a brief statement, the authorities said a temporary exemption will be considered on a case by case basis for drones which are imported and exported immediately after usage.

“Over the years, a significant number of RPAS for commercial and recreational use have been allowed entry into the country. This has contributed to the unregulated increased usage of drones and the inability of the regulatory authorities to ascertain the total in operation.

“Concerns have been raised here and internationally about the potential for their misuse and the risks posed to safety, security and privacy by their unregulated use,” the government statement noted.

It said this prohibition on drones, which took effect on April 1, 2016, was implemented to allow the authorities to complete a legal framework, which is now at an advanced stage, to govern the use of these devices and determine the number in operation in Barbados.

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hurricane_irma4

Hurricane Irma turns westward with 120-mph winds

 
   
By Caribbean News Now contributor
September 2, 2017
TMR: Be prepared is key – Get as much knowledgeable information from all around

MIAMI, USA — Adapted: Hurricane Irma maintained its category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale on Friday and is forecast to remain a powerful hurricane for days, as it turned westwards as expected.According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT on Friday the centre of Irma was located about 1,495 miles (2,405 km) east of the Leeward Islands, moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h). A turn toward the west-southwest is expected on Saturday. Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts.

Fluctuations in strength, up or down, are possible during the next few days, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through the weekend. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).

Tropical weather outlook. NHC graphic

Meanwhile, a tropical wave located over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa is producing disorganized cloudiness and showers. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development, and this system could become a tropical depression after the weekend while it moves westward at 15 mph over the tropical Atlantic.

The chance of a tropical cyclone forming within the next five days is estimated to be medium (60 percent).

 

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Sinkhole at Rendezvous Bluff is expanding at the top

Sinkhole at Rendezvous Bluff is expanding at the top

Little if anything had been heard of the sinkhole that was discovered on the north-western bluff of Montserrat beyond Rendezvous bluff on February 17, 2016. But this past week Montserrat Volcano Observatory Director Rod Stewart reported that the hole has doubled in size since it was last examined.

The director according to a ZJBNews report says the sinkhole is now approximately ten meters in diameter compared to five meters when it was first discovered in February last year.

Stewart is now warning as he reminds, “the sinkhole is in a dangerous area… it’s clearly not an area that people should be visiting.”

He tol d to ZJBNews: “When we looked at it carefully it looks as if the enlargement is only at the top of the sinkhole… collapsing from the top which is normal when you’ve got a really steep slope.”

He explains, “If it had been enlarged from the bottom that would sort of, may be an indicator of further collapses to come, so although it’s got bigger it’s a natural phenomenon and it doesn’t indicate there’s going to be any great collapses.”

Stewart also explained the size of the hole has only opened at the top. “In fact we left some steel bars next to the sinkhole and they’ve gone, and we suspect they’ve fallen into the sinkhole,” emphasising, “so it’s clearly not an area that people should be visiting.”

Last year February when the sink hole was discovered, the MVO scientist had said, “It is certainly not linked to the eruption at the volcano.”

pics: sink hole taken from different angles on top the bluff

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weather

CDB grant to build regional capacity for climate forecasting

BRIDGETOWN,Barbados,  Jul. 26, CMC  –  The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has  approved EUR773,000 (US$900,264) in grant funding to enhance regional resilience to climate variability and change.

The grant will be provided to the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), and will be used to strengthen national and regional institutional capacity for weather and climate forecasting.

weather According to Cheryl DIxon, the Coordinator in the CDB’s Environmental Sustainability unit, severe weather events produce some of the most significant negative socio-economic impacts in the region and climate change is predicted to increase both the frequency and intensity of these events.

“Without appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures, these events will continue to hamper the development of the region. Equipping policy-planners and the most vulnerable communities with early climate/weather information and advisories to anticipate climate-related shocks and changes is crucial to inform planning for climate resilience and disaster risk management,” she said.

CIMH has been using a Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Platform to provide weather predictions for the Caribbean.

The project will provide training for regional stakeholders in using the WRF platform, as well as training in marine forecasting.

The project will also facilitate the development of climate early warning systems for regional public health sectors.

Climate variability is a significant driver of mosquito borne diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya and zika, as the Aedes aegypti mosquito has been shown to increase in numbers during warmer and wetter weather conditions.

The CDB says early predictions will assist health sector planning to reduce the occurrences of infection.

Funding is being provided under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank Natural Disaster Risk Management (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM) Programme.

The ACP-EU-CDB NDRM Programme is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, funded by the European Union. It supports disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation activities in the CARIFORUM countries.

The project also aligns with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development.

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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