Minister of the Environment & Housing, the Hon. Romauld Ferreira announced, November 20, that the public is invited to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) and proposal requests for potential investment and management services to provide the deconstruction, remediation, and operation of the New Providence Sanitary Landfill, located on Tonique Williams Darling Highway. He made the announcement in a press conference at the Ministry, giving the timeline set to privatize the daily operations of the landfill. Minister Ferreira said: “On 27th January 2014, the previous government entered into an agreement with ‘Renew Bahamas Limited’ to operate the New Providence Sanitary Landfill. The company officially took over 1st August 2014, but its management was replete with challenges. “The previous government found itself rescuing ‘Renew’ from its woes, by putting out fires, paying contractors and providing a loan to ‘Renew’ to pay its Bahamian staff and service providers to keep the landfill in operation.” After explaining the financial struggle Renew encountered while initiating the failed waste management business plan, Minister Ferreira reminded the public of a significant Act of God detail that delivered the final death blow to the company, making matters worse. “You would recall that Hurricane Matthew hit The Bahamas on 6th October 2016. This increased the waste at the landfill exponentially. However, by 11th October 2016, Renew Bahamas Limited advised the previous government that it could no longer fulfill its obligations under the contract, and pulled out of The Bahamas,” said Minister Ferreira. “On the 31st October 2016, the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) assumed responsibility for the landfill. This left the Department of Environmental Services to manage and operate the activities at the New Providence Sanitary Landfill.”

    In addition, he addressed the downward spiral of regression DEHS encountered, in a period of one year, as their workers reverted to the retroactive culture of waste management practices that remained the only available solution at their disposal to control the overwhelming surge in waste accumulation, including impacted combustibles. “It is no secret that the New Providence Landfill has been plagued with intermittent fires. However, the event that sparked great public outcry, transpired on 5th March 2017, when a massive fire broke out at the landfill that burned for approximately three weeks. The fire caused an evacuation order and displacement of Jubilee Garden residents. It came close to nearby gas companies, caused the closure of neighbouring businesses and schools, challenged fire fighters, and utilized much of the resources of the Bahamian people,” said Minister Ferreira. He also explained the effort the Bahamas Government, at the time, made to correct dangerous situation. A preliminary assessment was conducted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) during 4th – 7th April, 2017. “Commencing the 13th April 2017, the previous administration published a ‘Notice Request for Proposals for the Potential Investment and Management Services Relating to the Remediation and Operation of the Harold Road Landfill’ in the newspapers. Interested firms were requested to submit a proposal within two weeks. The Tenders Board at the Ministry of Finance received only two proposals. On 27th April 2017, one day after the RFP was closed, the Ministry of the Environment and Housing received the PAHO Preliminary Assessment of the New Providence Landfill outlining potential environmental and health impacts of the recent fire,” said Minister Ferreira.

    Consequently, the Minister added: “you would recall that a press statement was released on 1st June 2017, that conveyed the short and long-term goals of the government to address the challenges and remediate the landfill.” He defined that one of the short-term goals of the government was to issue a new RFP for the management of the entire site, so Bahamians would also have an opportunity to compete in commencing remedies for the landfill’s proper management. “Today, I am happy to report that commencing 16th November 2017, ‘Invitations for Expressions of Interest for the Potential Investment and Management Services Relating to the Deconstruction, Remediation and Operation of the New Providence Sanitary Landfill at Tonique Williams Darling Highway’ was published in the daily newspapers. All interested persons can obtain a copy of the Expression of Interest from the Receptionist’s Desk at the Ministry of the Environment and Housing between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. I am to advise the public that the EOI is a prequalification stage for the submission of a Request for Proposals from suitably qualified private sector providers, with the technical and financial ability to manage and operate the landfill,” said Minister Ferreira.

    “The goal of the proposal is to provide for an environmentally sound management system for solid waste management at the landfill.” Minister Ferreira pinpointed the successful criteria identified in a short list for the public to read and understand.

    “The principal goals of the potential investment and management services relating to the deconstruction, remediation and operation of the landfill are as follows:

    • To provide the requisite financing needed to sustain operations;

    • To provide technical support in all project phases—from inception to construction of landfill improvements;

    • To deconstruct and remediate the landfill facility; and

    • To make the overall configuration more attractive, while developing a sustainable system.

    The potential investor will be responsible for carrying out the following assignments at the landfill:

    • Financing waste management operations;

    • Operation of the landfill site;

    • Sustaining waste management upgrades and extending coverage to mitigate fires and reduce the rodent population;

    • Generation of revenue from waste management services;

    • Stakeholder relationship management;

    • Assisting the government with the acquisition of waste management capacity, in relation to the scale of operations and desired service levels; and

    • Effective risk mitigation strategies in operating the landfill site with the assurance that no liabilities would originate for the government or any other interested party.”

    Minister Ferreira advised the press that once the EOIs have been received by the Tenders Board, they will be opened at its 19th December 2017 meeting at 10:00 a.m. “The EOI’s will be evaluated by the Review/Selection Team recommended by the Cabinet of the Bahamas, and a shortlist of investors will be prepared. The successful interests will receive the terms and conditions of the RFP upon payment of a non-refundable registration fee of $10,000.00, and are expected to submit technical and financial proposals to the Tenders Board at the Ministry of Finance by 28th February 2018,” said Minister Ferreira. He concluded with the explanation “that these proposals will then be evaluated by the Review/Selection Team, and a preferred bidder will be selected by 15th March 2018.” In addition to that, all unsuccessful participants will be informed of their status, and the process is expected to close by 30th April 2018. “Once the government is informed of the results, I shall come back to report to the public which firm the Government has selected to enter into an agreement to manage, deconstruct and operate the New Providence Sanitary Landfill,” said Minister Ferreira.







    The Department of Marine Resources wishes to advise the general public of the fixed dates of closure of fishing of the Nassau Grouper from December 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018. The Department of Marine Resources wishes to further advise that to take, land, process, sell and to offer for sale the Nassau Grouper is strictly prohibited. The general public is to note that the ban is only for the Nassau Grouper species, and one is able to capture and purchase any of the remaining species of groupers in The Bahamas.

    All groupers are to be landed head and tail intact to assist in the identification of the species of grouper. The identification of the Nassau Grouper species is exhibited in this characteristic: the Nassau Grouper is the only grouper species with a black band or saddle near its tail. The Department of Marine Resources requests the cooperation of the general public in adhering to the fisheries laws of The Bahamas. Persons found violating the fisheries laws will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.




    The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Mission Team paid a courtesy call on Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration the Hon. Brent Symonette, November 20, 2017 at the Ministry's Offices. Pictured are Minister Symonette and IDB Country Representative Mrs. Florencia Attademo-Hirt. In group photo, Minister Symonette and Mrs. Attademo-Hirt are accompanied by Ministry officials including Permanent Secretary Sherylee Smith (fourth left), and Financial Services Unit Project Manager Tanya Murray (second left). From the IDB are, l-r: Florencia Cabral (first left), Miguel Porrua (third left), Mrs. Attademo-Hirt (centre right), Juan Vieyra, Alexandre Veyrat-Pontet (Bahamas Office), Mario Castaneda (Bahamas Office), and Alejandro Pareja.




    National Sports Hall of Fame Courtesy Call and Induction Ceremony at Government House on Friday evening.




    Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling on Friday, November 17, 2017 welcomed Members of the Senate to Government House in a courtesy call at which they thanked her for the Reading of the Speech from the Throne. Pictured from left: JoBeth Coleby-Davis, Dr. Jasmin Turner-Dareus, H.E. Dame Marguerite Pindling and Ranard Henfield.




    The press has an essential role to play in promoting good governance, transparency and accountability, especially on matters of public policy. Addressing the Third Annual Bahamas Press Club Banquet (held Saturday, November 18 at the British Colonial Hilton) Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said the aforementioned can be accomplished by “pressing public officials for accurate and timely information.”

    Prime Minister Minnis was named the Bahamas Press Club’s Person of The Year for 2017. “By pressing public officials for accurate and timely information, the press helps citizens to learn about the decisions being made by a government on their behalf,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “But in addition to the sometimes heated moments or events of the day, there is much more that the press may report on, especially on matters of public policy. There has been a tendency by political journalists to mostly report on the clashes and drama of politics. Such reporting is fairly easy and exciting. Still, while there is news in such events, there is considerably more, much more when reporting on politics and the working of government. “Some in the press often miss important and more consequential stories on important public policy questions,” Prime Minister Minnis added.

    Prime Minister Minnis said while drama “undeniably excites viewers are readers” the media has an obligation to report on policy matters that will have greater impact than some stories that are less substantial. “The Government of the day is committed to creating a new culture when it comes to official corruption. We are instituting a number of measures to promote cleaner government and to stem corruption,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “This would be a good moment for the media and certainly for an enterprising reporter to research and report on the clean government and anti-corruption regimes of other jurisdictions. “Likewise, on other matters of public policy, it would be useful for the media to give their readers and viewers a more global perspective – in both senses of the word – on issues being debated in The Bahamas. “Good journalists, like good public servants, have a broader, more global horizon,” Prime Minister Minnis said, “the best journalism criticizes, celebrates and inspires. I believe that it is the great task and wonderful responsibility of all of us in the public domain – including political leaders and journalists – to build hope and not merely to criticize the status quo. May we use our platform in journalism and government to nurture imagination.”




    Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis Friday urged officials at Baha Mar to ensure that additional ways are found to further weave Bahamian art and culture and the Bahamian experience into the resort experience. He was addressing the Official Opening of SLS Baha Mar. SLS is a signature, world-class destination that will welcome luxury travellers to The Bahamas and adds to the collection of global brands at Baha Mar including Grand Hyatt and Rosewood, in addition to 30 luxury retail outlets. “Even as SLS brings its signature vision and principles to The Bahamas, I trust that the company may also appreciate what The Bahamas may impart to, and add to their brand,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “I note, for example, the rich collection of Bahamian art at Baha Mar. This artistry represents some of the spirit of the Bahamian and Caribbean Imagination, helping visitors to experience some of our cultural heritage. “I imagine this collection will continue to grow, including at SLS, helping to feature the extraordinary talent and diversity of Bahamian artists at home and abroad,” Prime Minister Minnis added. Managing the art collection throughout the resort is noted Bahamian artist, Creative Art Director John Cox.

    Prime Minister Minnis encouraged a similar pattern in the area of the resort’s culinary arts, nightlife and entertainment sectors. “I am sure that Bahamian talent is also being showcased in the Culinary Arts and in the nightlife and entertainment at all hotels at Baha Mar,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “A Bahamian visitor to one of the Cafés at Baha Mar was delighted to discover guava duff ice cream and sky juice ice cream. These added touches help to highlight the food heritage of The Bahamas,” Prime Minister Minnis added. The Prime Minister urged officials at the Resort to provide opportunities for their guests to get a taste of the Bahamian experience outside of their doors, even as they move to create a Bahamian experience within. “Even as visitors experience the delights of Baha Mar, there should be opportunities to venture beyond the resort to experience our culture and heritage including through heritage tours.” This, Prime Minister Minnis said, would produce opportunities for tour drivers and local shopping.

    The call is part of Prime Minister Minnis’ push to take advantage of all opportunities for wealth and job creation in all areas of business and industry for Bahamians both at home and across the Bahamian Diaspora. It is a further goal of the Minnis Administration to ensure that Bahamians of various skill levels have the opportunity to benefit from the “multiple dimensions of tourism” as administration officials further believe that there is even more “extraordinary diversification” that can still be gained within tourism industry, and have designed a number of plans to drive the Bahamian economy through tourism-related initiatives.

    Prime Minister Minnis has said that tourism is the platform from which the country can boost and launch a network of inter-related businesses.




    In a powerful statement about the community’s belief in the transformational impact of higher education, the University of The Bahamas President’s Gala Soirée has exceeded the anticipated fundraising target. The inaugural event was the institution’s first major fundraiser since transitioning to University. The Soirée paired excellence with elegance as sponsors and donors joined the UB community at the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre. It was a celebration of student talent and potential. The occasion also commemorated the first anniversary of UB, chartered on 10th November 2016. UB President Dr. Rodney D. Smith, who also observed the first anniversary of his inauguration as UB President, thanked the many corporate sponsors, donors, friends, alumni and UB constituents who helped to make the fundraiser overwhelmingly successful. “We have exceeded the goal of $500,000 in cash and pledges for the endowed scholarship fund to support first-generation University students. These funds will benefit and change the lives of thousands of students, and by extension, families and entire communities. This is the beginning of the next phase in the growth and development of the Bahamian people, through access to education,” noted Dr. Smith.

    Major sponsors for the Gala included Aliv, Sharon Wilson & Co., IL Cares, Doctors Hospital, Ernst & Young, Credit Suisse and New Providence Development Company Ltd. While celebrating the success of the Soirée, President Smith nonetheless invited private and corporate donors to continue supporting UB. “The University still needs the generous support of all corporate donors. Our goal is to raise this endowed fund to well over $5M. We cannot do this without the annual contributions of alumni, sponsors, donors and the many friends of the University. Please continue to give to the University and give as generously as you can. One donation will change a life and a community,” Dr. Smith pointed out. Student Government Association (SGA) President Stuart Hanna was also pleased that corporate and private donors are supporting student scholarships. “As a result of a successful Soirée, capable young Bahamians will be given an opportunity to obtain tertiary education at University of The Bahamas. These kinds of fundraising events bring immeasurable value to the advancement of the University, its students and the Bahamian society at large and show that the University is moving in the right direction,” said Mr. Hanna.

    Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Affairs Ms. Davinia Blair said that the level of partnership and support from corporate Bahamas for the Soirée was encouraging as the institution becomes a stronger University. “The overwhelming demonstration of support by faculty, staff, alumni, corporate partners and friends at the Gala truly touched the hearts of many, in particular our students, who will benefit from the endowment. I am grateful for the stellar partnership with Fusion IMC and Events by Alexandra to accomplish this feat. Also, I am thankful to all of our donors and am confident of a promising path ahead for our nation,” Ms. Blair asserted. The Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre was transformed for the Soirée into an enchanted and elegant enclave featuring the UB Concert Choir and Band, exceptional students who served as ambassadors at the event and a live art demonstration by UB student Minolta Butler who used wine to create a captivating painting. The band Ambasah also provided entertainment, and exquisite cuisine and beverages, including the signature Blue Scholar cocktail, were served. For posterity, commemorative brochures were given to guests as mementos.




    Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames on Wednesday thanked the organisers and sponsors of the 3rd Annual Stan Patrol User Group (SPUG) Meeting, and associated events and all of the presenters and participants whom, over the following two days “will have the opportunity to discuss and share experiences in the operation and maintenance of these vessels that play a pivotal role in the execution of our individual and collective mandates, in maritime law enforcement, search and rescue of lives at sea and disaster relief and recovery, to name a few.” “My government remains committed to safeguarding the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and this is evidenced through a number of initiatives including the procurement of more than nine patrol craft since 2014; continued development and improvement of military bases here on the island of New Providence, Matthew Town Inagua, and Gun Point, Ragged Island,” Minister Dames noted, at the Official Opening Ceremony, held at the Paul H. Farquharson Conference Centre. Among those present for the Opening were Commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Commodore Tellis Bethel, Director of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Captain Stephen Russell, and Conference Chairperson Captain Adrian Chriswell. Taking part in the two-day meeting were representatives from the following: Barbados Defence Force; Belize Defence Force; Canadian Coast Guard; Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard; Ecuador's Armada del Ecuador; Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard; Mexico's Secretaria de Marina; Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard; other Officers, Warrant Officers and Senior Rates of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force; and Conference Sponsors – Damen, Pon Power Caterpillar and Alphatron Marine.

    Minister Dames said that he was pleased to note the inclusion of The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency at that edition of SPUG, as the lead agency in The Bahamas for the coordination of disaster preparation, relief and recovery. “NEMA works closely with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and regional and international agencies in the coordination and execution of pre-, peri- and post- disaster relief efforts,” he said. As an archipelagic nation, Minister Dames pointed out, The Bahamas relies heavily on maritime assets to enhance the interconnectivity of the islands. “To provide a bit of historical background, on March 31, 1980, the RBDF was created to patrol and guard over 100,000 square miles and 2,000 rocks and cays of territorial boundaries initially monitored and guarded by the Royal Navy prior before our Independence in 1973,” he said. “Since the inception of the RBDF over 37 years ago, the Force has grown and transitioned into an inclusive sea, air and land based military with a modernised fleet of vessels,” Minister Dames added. “With a primary mission to defend the sovereignty of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and an encompassing mission of assisting other law enforcement agencies as required, the RBDF is also mandated to perform humanitarian tasks, at home and abroad.” With the requirement to expand the operations of the RBDF into the Family Islands, Minister Dames said, The Bahamas Government approved the capital investment for the Sandy Bottom Project in 2014 with the Dutch shipbuilding company, Damen, and the Dutch Dredging company, Van Oord. Nine of the vessels built by Damen had been delivered, he continued, eight of which have been commissioned into service; and the dredging works and quay wall construction projects by Van Oord Bahamas were nearing completion.

    Minister Dames said that he was advised that the first User Conference was initiated by the Coast Guard for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean (KWCARIB) three years ago in Curacao, and was attended by seven countries - Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, The Bahamas, Barbados, the USA and the KWCARIB. “Their exchanges and shared experiences on the use of their larger patrol vessels was significant and the conference has continued to grow, with some 13 member countries, nine of which are represented today,” he said. The objective of that initial meeting was to subsequently transfer knowledge concerning operations, maintenance, engineering, design, logistics and customer relations between Damen vessel owners to further enhance the reliability of the Stan Patrol vessels, Minister Dames said. “Initiator KWCARIB is one of the oldest users of this type of vessel,” he noted. “Damen – design, build, Pon Power Caterpillar – engines and powerplant – and Alphatron Marine – bridge components – supported the discussions. The intention is to hold this conference annually, alternating between the national Coastguards, Defence Forces, Navies, and now, with the addition of Montserrat to the group, Police Marine Units.” It was not fortuitous that The Bahamas had consented to co-hosting the current event for several reasons, Minister Dames noted. “Firstly, our newly acquired fleet of vessels are all Damen built and are powered by Caterpillar and Alphatron Marine components; secondly, and unfortunately, during the past three years, The Bahamas has not been spared the wrath of disastrous Hurricanes Joaquin, Matthew and Irma, of which each individually caused extensive damage to some part of the archipelago, inclusive of New Providence in 2016 which suffered significant damage, including the RBDF Coral Harbour Base, resulting in the cancellation of this event at that juncture,” Minister Dames said. “Thus, the second iteration of this event was successfully hosted by Mexico instead, for which we were grateful.”

    Minister Dames pointed out that, in 2015, the most impactful of those storms to The Bahamas, Joaquin, propelled the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to deploy its Container City, which is a system of Containerized Equipment and Facilities designed to self-sustain troops in a disaster area whilst they effect clean-up, provide humanitarian aid and conduct needed assessments required for recovery and rebuilding. “This equipment was initially transported utilizing multiple private chartered vessels at significant cost to Government; however, the following year, with the delivery and commissioning of a Damen-built roll-on/roll-off platform HMBS Lawrence Major, the Defence Force realized the capacity to mobilize this equipment, and regrettably had need to, following Hurricane Matthew – which caused extensive damage in the Central Bahamas,” he stated. “This year, as we continuously forge the way ahead, the RBDF, along with local, regional and international partners, has deployed HMBS Lawrence Major – along with several components of the Container City to the Eastern Caribbean – providing needed humanitarian aid in cooperation with Jamaica and other CARICOM members to our brothers and sisters in Dominica, following the ravages of Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” Minister Dames said. Minister Dames re-iterated that disaster relief and recovery is heavily dependent on the maritime environment to be facilitated, especially in small island nations, as, following hurricanes, airports are sometimes mostly inaccessible due to infrastructural damage and flooding, and require assessments prior to re-establishing air traffic. “Maritime assets close this gap by allowing for bulk transport of supplies, man-power, and other required assistance, in an effort to restore normalcy in the shortest possible time,” he said. “Utilising even the smallest of these Damen platforms, the RBDF has been able to provide assistance in the form of establishing communication hubs, and the provision of potable water and food and medical supplies to residents immediately following the passage of a hurricane.”

    Minister Dames said that having the ability to deploy assets simultaneously to multiple affected areas is key to responding in the aftermath of a disastrous storm. NEMA, as well, had established storage facilities in north, central and southern Bahamas, making the required emergency relief supplies available at multiple locations for ease of transshipment, regardless of which islands are affected, he added. “Continuing to have these maritime assets Fully Mission Capable, with the ability to respond quickly to provide needed assistance, therefore, is paramount,” Minister Dames said. “This is achievable with a sustained and proactive approach to maintenance, training and operation, to increase longevity, functionality and utilization of these assets.” “I am advised that Damen has offered The Bahamas a package which includes a controlled version of maintenance which will enable the RBDF through training to balance attrition of skilled personnel with the development of new technicians, who will ensure that these current assets achieve maximum service life, and beyond,” he added. “As this is our ultimate goal I can assure you that it will receive my government’s full attention.” Minister Dames said that he was also advised that resulting from previous SPUG conferences were joint training opportunities that assist in lowering the cost for professional technical training for the operators and maintainers of these vessels to be conducted regionally. “SPUG is a good example of how Defense, KWCARIB and the Dutch industry can help units in the region to deploy more efficiently and cost effectively in the joint fight against transnational threats, as well as to assist in times of disaster,” he said.

    Minister Dames stated that The Government of The Bahamas acknowledged the significance in being a part of those information and experience sharing sessions as beneficial to planning when it does return to “the drawing board” to design more vessels and procure equipment for our particular needs. “I welcome you all again to The Bahamas and look forward to hearing of your individual experiences with the Stan Patrol Craft,” he said. “I believe it is important for us to engage in such forums to identify trends and common threads of challenges that we all face, and to be enlightened on how we individually and collectively solve these issues. “Think-tanks like these, with focus group discussions play a key role in solving global issues, or at least make them known, so that solutions can be found.” “Finally, as you are here in The Bahamas, do not allow the seriousness of your discussions to dampen the opportunity to partake of the Bahamian hospitality, which you will undoubtedly find all around you,” he added.



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