Samples of Press Releases
The weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Nassau opened virtually this week with a special presentation from MIYA Bahamas Project Manager Mario Tavera. Despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, MIYA Bahamas has stepped up its efforts to maintain the island’s water efficiency management and conservation standards, efforts which have been praised by both the IDB and the Government of The Bahamas.
“In dealing with COVID-19 we had to rely more heavily on technology to help us closely monitor and track water pressure levels and daily flow across New Providence. This was especially helpful in cases where in-person teams were restricted by Emergency Orders”, explained Tavera.
Since MIYA began its work in collaboration with the Water & Sewerage Corporation (WSC) more than 8 years ago the company has virtually reversed the issue of Non-Revenue Water (NRW). According to Tavera, non-revenue water levels are determined by how much revenue is lost to the WSC due to water loss brought on by leaks and other shortfalls.
The project funded by the IDB has facilitated the introduction and use of cutting-edge equipment that replaced and upgraded thousands of faulty, illegal, and dormant connections which had for years, put undue strain on the island’s utilities.
“Once we had completed our initial assessments, we went ahead and implemented proactive leak detection strategies,” explained Tavera to the Rotarians. “From rapid repair protocols, to pressure zones and district metered areas, to the design and implementation and a series of system optimizations that included the use of GIS updating, SCADA, and the introduction of data management hardware and software” he noted.
The upgrades and protocols had an almost immediate impact on the efficiency of the water supply system which Nassauvians now receive, reducing NRW levels by as much as 71% in simultaneously increasing revenue water intake significantly by the year 2017.
“In addition,” Tavera explained, “the 50 million dollar agreement with the IDB also aims to a major training initiative which will allow Bahamians to become fully trained to manage operations once our contract ends, which happens in approximately one year. We have full confidence that the team we have built and trained will absolutely be able to continue the work we started.”
Tavera further credits the use of a performance-based contract to aid the company in meeting the deadlines and objectives set at the start of the program; creating an environment of accountability that MIYA Bahamas employees have acceded to and even surpassed.
As the company winds down its work on the years-long contract, Tavera told Rotarians that he is immensely proud of the work done and the team that will eventually take over the operation.
During a vibrant question and answer segment, Tavera also fielded questions from Rotarians the future and continuation of the project.
“We have invested heavily in the necessary training,” said Tavera. “That training” he noted “is currently ongoing, and so we have every confidence that once completed and the official handover is made, this competent team of Bahamian employees will be in a position to continue the work and that the operation will be in good hands”.
In the interim, Tavera says the company will continue to meet its commitments to the WSC and the government and work to maintain the standard which has been set. As Rotary continues efforts to encourage social distancing they are encouraging future guests to participate with them virtually by reaching out to coordinator Chantel Nesbitt at email@example.com.
New Providence, The Bahamas – For five-year-old Jay McCoy, the sound of the Bahamas Waste garbage truck making its way through his neighborhood is always less about the trash and definitely all about the experience. The home-schooler was declared the winner of the recent Bahamas Waste (BW) #SnapAndWin promotion helping parents secure a VIP collection service from the waste management company.
Just weeks after launching its COVID safety truck, the company set out to find a new way to engage its customers and show appreciation for their continued support. “With everything that has been going on around us, we really just wanted to find something fun and lighthearted to engage our customers, and further incentivize the services we already offer,” explained BW Operation’s Manager Ethelyn Davis.
Early this year, Bahamas Waste launched the initiative which required customers to take a picture of themselves with a waste truck,a branded collection bin, or any signage around the island of New Providence. Some great submissions were received, but young Jay’s submission stood out the most. “Jay is obsessed with garbage trucks,” said his mother Chrystonia McCoy. “In fact,” she explained, “trash pickup day has become a full-scale event for our family, complete with costume changes to welcome the drivers each week.”
Once she got wind of the Bahamas Waste promotion, McCoy knew immediately that her boys would want to enter the contest. The winning photos featured Jay as the newest little ‘Bahamas Waste Helper’ complete with a toddler-sized recycle bin of his own.
As a winner of the contest, Jay and his family, who have been longtime customers of Bahamas Waste will receive access to a free month of VIP white-glove services for 3 months and a new 45 gallon bin too. For the mother of two, however, the real prize was the lesson she was able to teach her young boys. “This was just another great opportunity for my husband and I to teach our boys about the importance of proper trash disposal and the need to keep our environment clean – and it helps that the drivers are always so friendly and that they indulge Jay and his brother by honking their horns and making them feel special. For me, that’s the best part.”
Despite the challenges of the last year, Miya Bahamas is pleased to announce that they have successfully executed their water efficiency strategies last year. Thankfully they were granted status as an essential service at the onset of the global health pandemic, and with the help of its dedicated employees and the Water & Sewerage Corporation, the company navigated the ever-evolving COVID environment and successfully attain its 2020 commitments, although its annual targets have been affected due to the unprecedented pandemic.
“This year was a difficult one for everyone,” explained Miya Bahamas Project Manager, Mario Tavera. “We experienced some challenges in securing equipment due to border closures and a host of other logistical issues, however, through increased communication with WSC we were able to get the job done.”
For the past 9 years, the Miya team has been instrumental in the reversal of non-revenue water losses across the island of NP. The use of a performance-based Service Level Agreement (SLA) to track their efforts resulted in savings of 69 million dollars and public recognition from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2019 and 2020 respectively of their success.
“The COVID 19 pandemic and the resultant financial impact on the government and people of The Bahamas has presented the most significant challenge for WSC in its history,” said WSC Executive Chairman, Hon. Adrian Gibson, MP.
“It is absolutely essential that our water supply remains
uninterrupted during this period to ensure our residents and the visitors to our shores have ready access to proper sanitation at all times,” he continued. “WSC is indeed grateful for the dedication of our staff and our various public-private partners (PPPs) such as our New Providence Non-Revenue Water Contractor, MIYA Bahamas Ltd., who have assisted us in meeting this objective during the pandemic.”
As part of its efforts to adhere to newly established COVID protocols, the company utilized cutting edge technologies to help remote work teams monitor and control the water supply, performing proactive leak detection surveys and keep the most efficient pressure management actions on a daily basis. “We were able to come up with a new workflow strategy that provided greater flexibility for our employees; which created a hybrid environment that allowed for socially distant office work and in fieldwork as well,” noted Tavera. “As a result, Miya Bahamas was able to maintain full employment over 2020, and these meant employee benefits were not impacted as well. We are most proud of the commitment shown by our staff,” he continued. “They truly rose to the occasion in the face of the pandemic and have exceeded our expectations.”
Now in 2021, the company enters the final phase of the IDB sponsored contract and is already working toward topping the records broken in previous years. “As COVID-19 restrictions ease, we are looking forward to continuing the success of this project, with WSC,” said Tavera. “Our success here, has helped us lead to other work in the Caribbean, including a US$13 million water works improvement with Jamaica’s National Water Commission (NWC) for a similar Non-Revenue Water (NRW) Reduction Programme.
Miya Bahamas is moving steadily toward future phases despite the COVID-19 threat to the country and hopes that it will continue to support Water & Sewerage Corporation as well as maintain the huge non-revenue water losses for the Bahamian Government. The company is also under new ownership, as Antin Infrastructure Partners acquired Miya from Bridgepoint late last year.
Nassau, Bahamas – Starting a new business in the midst of a pandemic can be quite a daunting task, but doing so at the age of 18 raises the difficulty level ten-fold. For promising young stylist Leah Macara however, those challenges have only fueled her drive to succeed. In addition to traveling on her own to the capital from her hometown of Eleuthera, she is now running her own hair-styling business.
Starting out as a salon apprentice, Leah quickly ascended to the role stylist with a specialty for dreadlocks. From Starter Locs, Loc ReTwists, and countless other styles, Leah’s work has already made a name for itself, garnering the budding ‘loctician’ a growing list of local clientele. Over the past few months, Leah launched her at home services giving her clients access to quality haircare services without the hustle and bustle of the busy and sometimes crowded salon environment – a plus amid concerns surrounding the global pandemic.
Like scores of young entrepreneurs, Leah has found a way to adapt to the new normal and has put in a number of relevant safety protocols to ensure the safety of herself and her clients.
“Honestly working from home for me is great,” said Leah. “The area that I am in is safe and gated, my clients feel comfortable being there, which is most important to me.”
Loc’d by Leah clients are encouraged to cancel their appointments if they or someone in their household is feeling unwell and are required to wear a mask as they receive their services. They are also required to sanitize before entering and are also subject to temperature checks. Leah has also implemented a strict scheduling plan which allows her to maintain social distancing.
As Leah continues to work to develop her skills and grow her business, this very brave 18-year-old is really just doing what she loves. Her love for styling hair is matched only by her passion for helping other people feel confident about themselves. “Making my clients happy and seeing a smile on their face makes my day,” she said. “I enjoy talking to clients while styling their hair, and I learn new things every day from them and about my new home.” While Leah currently enjoys the freedom of her at home services, her long term goal is to open her own salon location, when the time is right. In the meantime, her clients are raving about her services. “I’ve been to Leah to style my dreadlocks five times and I’ve loved it each time,” said Ms. Kemp. “She’s a very professional and friendly young woman. Her work is consistently very nice and neat I’m always pleased with my hairstyles. I would definitely recommend her to anybody looking for a stylist.” Another regular, Shoney raves referred to Leah as a “hairstylist that stays on top of her game by integrating trends into her client’s personal style also understanding face shape and hair types to create looks that compliment her client’s natural features.”
Leah’s tenacity to survive on her own and to flourish as an entrepreneur let her to enter Barefoot Marketing’s Social Media Giveaway, last month, which she won over quite a few entries. This gave her one month’s free social media management, logo work, advertising help, and more. “Right now I am enjoying working home, and my clients love it too. I look forward to doing so until I can open up my own salon in the future.”
New Providence, The Bahamas – For motorists on New Providence, seeing one of Bahamas Waste’s (BW) thematically wrapped sanitation trucks is a pretty common occurrence. In addition to being the island’s most trusted provider of waste management service, the company has also become synonymous with several important community causes.
Over the years, Bahamas Waste has used its trucks to represent and support various initiatives, from Autism Awareness to Cancer Research. This week the company unveiled the newest addition to its fleet with a timely message about COVID safety. “Bahamas Waste is in the business of encouraging cleanliness and proper sanitation and so it made sense for us to be at the forefront of sharing this COVID safety message” explained BW Managing Director, Francisco de Cardenas.
Over the past 9 months, the global health pandemic has claimed 1.5 million lives worldwide and continues to threaten the health and livelihood of Bahamians across the country. Thankfully, however, the implementation and enforcement of COVID-related protocols which include mask-wearing and social distancing have proven successful in reducing the number of new infections recorded.
After hearing one of the Prime Minister’s addresses calling for everyone to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask and saving lives, team waste knew what their newly painted vehicle should say.
“The past several months have been incredibly difficult, not just for us in The Bahamas but for the entire world,” explained de Cardenas, as he unveiled the vehicle. “Which is why it has become so important for all of us to work together to slow the spread of this virus and one of the easiest ways to do that is to simply wear a mask.”
The addition of the truck to the Bahamas Waste messaging is just one of several initiatives launched by the company since the start of the pandemic. “As a team, we have been really committed to ensuring that our staff and their families have remained healthy and COVID free during this time,” de Cardenas added. “It hasn’t always been easy but we’ve developed a culture of accountability with our staff, and we are strict about enforcing all the necessary protocols, most especially the wearing of masks and of course sanitizing regularly.”
Already, the new vehicle has received a major endorsement from the government. Present at the unveiling was East Grand Bahama Member of Parliament Peter Turnquest, who praised the company for its continued efforts as a community partner. “I wholeheartedly support this endeavor,” Turnquest said during brief remarks. “It speaks to the collective responsibility we all share in being our brother’s keeper and in ensuring that our economy and our country can regain a sense of normalcy.”