Sustaining energy: Antigua and Barbuda are on the verge of a revolutionary sustainable energy deal. The sister islands will join several other Eastern Caribbean countries that have begun to invest in geothermal energy. Antigua and Barbuda will partner with Thermal Energy Partners, a company based in Austin, Texas that has been providing alternative energy solutions around the world. Geothermal Energy utilizes heat from the Earth’s core to produce energy in multiple forms for domestic and corporate consumption. Antiguan officials are excited that the agreement will provide a boost for tourism and the economy, create jobs, and comply with international energy agreements.
Seaweed ashore: Sargassum seaweed, no stranger to the beautiful beaches of Trinidad and Tobago, has turned up in an unprecedented amount in the last few weeks. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management has released an address regarding the unpleasant collection on the beach. According to the ODPM, this amount of seaweed is a result of higher marine currents, due in part to recent hurricane season activity. Last summer saw an influx in Sargassum as well, and raised many concerns regarding its effect on tourism, the local ecology, local fishermen, and cleanup. The Tobago House of Assembly spent more than $4 million last year on cleaning its beaches and urges citizens to be wary when visiting seaweed-covered beaches.
Cooking with the sun: Many Dominican households will be eating at sundown in the coming months. Solar Oven Partners, a nonprofit solar energy initiative, is changing the way food will be prepared in the D.R. Many families use gas or wood powered stoves, but the cost and health consequences of these fuel sources are too much for some to continue. The Solar Partners offer workshops and demonstrations to community members and over the last year, they have sold more than 250 solar ovens. Solar Partners hopes that these new energy-efficient ovens will improve the lifestyles of their owners despite lengthening the time necessary to prepare meals.
Cholera continues: Years after the rubble of Haiti’s major earthquake settled, thousands are still living in devastation. This time, the culprit is Cholera, a water-borne bacterial disease that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. Around 800,000 have taken ill and more than 9,000 have died since 2010 when the country was proclaimed as supposedly free of Cholera after massive aid poured in from all over the world. However, it is alleged that U.N. aid workers are to blame for the resurgence of the disease. Contaminated sewage from the aid camps are said to have polluted a nearby river that citizens use for bathing and consumption. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has on many attempts tried to get more funding and highlight the failing resources that Haiti still has. Before leaving office he may see massive litigation arise against the U.N. that has yet to publicly accept any responsibility for the most recent outbreak.
Zika in Dominica: To date, Dominica has seen only seven confirmed Zika-in-pregnancy cases. Of these women that have delivered, none have exhibited signs of microcephaly, a phenomenon where an affected baby is born with a smaller-than-usual head and lacks in cognitive development. However, two other mothers have given birth to babies that exhibited signs of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), a usual indicator in babies with Zika. In GBS, infants exhibit muscle weakness, pain, and difficulty breathing. The two mothers and babies have been treated and are progressing toward health. Neither are yet confirmed to have had Zika. Dominica will continue to aggressively attack mosquitos, the virus’ vector.