Friday February 12, 2016

The establishment of a National Tourism Organization could be on the cards

This was one of the main aspects of a draft report; the Montserrat Tourism Master Plan, submitted by Tourism Planning Associates.

The report suggests that with the dissolution of the Montserrat Tourist Board, there is a need to re-establish a national tourism organization.

It is therefore recommending that such a body be established to fill the vacuum as there is no entity taking charge of the development and promotion of the tourism sector on the island.

Calls for PWD to reconstruct Collins Ghaut Road

Road damageA Former Member of Parliament is calling on the Public Works Department to move swiftly to reconstruct the Collins Ghaut road which collapsed this week.

Victor James says this should be treated as a priority for safety reasons.

A major section of a wall collapsed on Tuesday undermining the road and causing damage to a private residential property.

Ministry focuses on capacity building

Capacity building through training is an area where the Ministry of Communications, Works and Labour, through its Public Works Department (PWD), is placing great emphasis this year.

The Ministry sees this as very critical in what is referred to as a transitional period within the sector

Engineer Rawlson Patterson says it is the intention of the PWD to expose as many workers as possible, including operators, to high quality training to be able to contribute meaningfully to the island’s infrastructural development.

News for Thursday February 11, 2016

Gas Price fall below $10 for the first time in six years

gas pumpAs of Tuesday, regular gas has been selling at $9.34 down from $10.76. This reduction has resulted in a $1.42 savings for motorists.

The price of diesel also dropped from $7.90 to $7.20 resulting in a savings of 70 cents for motorists.

The price of Premium Gas still stands at $16.13

Historian refutes inference that St. Patrick’s Day started in the 1980’s

Chedmond BrowneChedmond Browne was responding to a reference of a 1982 start date for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration on the latest “Spirit of Montserrat” radio Programme.

The Spirit of Montserrat programme outlines plans for the upcoming St. Patrick’s week of activities  March 10th to 20.

In an interview with ZJB News, Mr. Browne stated categorically that the celebration started long before the early 1980’s.

Police probe complaint of sexual activity among minors

Charles ThompsonnThe Royal Montserrat Police Service says it has launched an investigation into a complaint of sexual activity involving primary school aged children.

The incident allegedly occurred on the grounds of one the islands primary schools on Tuesday.

Deputy Commissioner Charles Thompson assures the public that the inquiry is being conducted in a sensitive manner.

Tanisha Christopher presents these and stories…

Montserrat’s Premier and Opposition Leader suggest differing views on how to revive the economy

Leader of Opposition Donaldson Romeo

Premier, Donaldson Romeo

Montserrat’s premier believes construction activity is the catalyst to the revival of the Montserrat economy.

Donaldson Romeo says activity in this sector has picked up in recent times providing jobs and opportunities.

His optimism follows a recent report by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank that identified a slowdown in construction last year as the main reason for the dip in economic activity.

Meanwhile leader of the opposition in parliament Reuben Meade believes foreign direct investment is the key to getting Montserrat out of the economic doldrums it now faces.

Teacher believes a salary increase for educators will attract males to the profession

Herman Cupid FrancisA teacher who has devoted over 20 years to the profession has added his voice to the discussion surrounding the absence of male teachers in the education system.

Herman Cupid Francis says he does agree with the notion that there needs to be more male teachers within the islands schools. He said male teachers do not only serve as mentors or role models to boys but to girls as well.

Francis has suggested increasing the salaries of teachers as a means of attracting more men to the profession.

Asphalt mixers and layers receive training

Asphalt mixers and layers within the Public Works Department are this week benefiting from a one week training exercise.

Two engineers from the Asphalt Institute in the United States Dave Johnson and Danny Gierhart are on island facilitating the 5-day training session.

Professional Senior regional engineer for Asphalt Institute Dave Johnson shares with ZJB News their programme while on Montserrat

James White Jr. presents these and other stories…

News for Tuesday February 9, 2015

Hospital receives new medical equipment

Glendon Hospita;The Ministry of Health says it is making every effort to maintain a high level of service for the benefit of residence.

And this by sourcing and procuring much-needed equipment for the Glendon Hospital.

Secondary Care Manager at the hospital, Arlene Ponteen, says some key pieces of equipment have been received, while additional items are soon to be acquired.

Policy makers to benefit from more accurate data for decision-making

Policy makers would have an easier time making decisions about national development, following a training exercise organized by the Statistics Department

Staff from various government offices are this week being trained to use a software called Statistical Package For Social Science.

The training is conducted by Tiemon Charles from the Grenada Central Statistical Office.

Tourism official believes Zika would not have significant impact on tourism sector

Zika VrusA Tourism official here believes the presence of the Zika virus in the region would not have a major impact on Montserrat’s tourism sector.

There are concerns by many that unconfirmed linkages between the virus and the birth defect microcephaly have caused uncertainty and alarm among the public.

But, Product Development Officer within the Tourism Division Rosetta West believes if residents implement the necessary measures needed to control the virus, the impact will be minimal.

Presenter, Tanisha Christopher

News for Monday February 8, 2016

Police Commissioner concerned about high number of road traffic accidents

The island’s top cop has spoken out for the first time about the increase in road traffic accidents.

Commissioner of Police Steve Foster says he is particularly  concerned about the number of single-vehicle accidents.

He says these accidents are most times attributed to carelessness and to persons driving without due care and attention.

Red Cross continues its community intervention project

The Hope Community is now cleaner, thanks to an intervention by the Montserrat Branch of the British Red Cross.

Disaster Risk Reduction Manager Beatrice Jones says the exercise will be completed this Saturday.

The initiative forms part of the organization’s Disaster   Risk Reduction Program where it selects communities   that have vulnerabilities. The community of Hope along with, Drummonds, Davy   Hill and Judy Piece have all been selected.

The island’s Premier says he’s optimistic about Montserrat’s future

Donaldson Romeo

Premier, Donaldson Romeo

Premier, Romeo told the Guardian Newspaper that the “long, hopeless period” that began with the volcanic eruptions is over.

According to Montserrat’s leader of Government business, his administration is hoping to turn the ash into cash.

His comments are contained in an article published in   the British daily newspaper on February 3rd.

James White Jr presents these and other stories…

News for Friday February 5, 2016

Skin Bleaching on the rise, says medical practitioner

Nurse Brenda Daley

Nurse Brenda Daley

A health care professional here says she is concerned about the increasing number of people who appear to be engaged in the practice of skin bleaching on the island.

Skin Bleaching is the use of chemicals to strip layers of the skin so it appears lighter.

The practice which has become popular in other Caribbean islands is considered very harmful.

Nurse Brenda Daley says the practice can also result in cancer.

Minister lauds utility company for its support to local charities

Paul Lewis

Government Minister, Paul Lewis

A Government Minister has given his backing to a series of fund raising events organized by Montserrat Utilities Limited…MUL.

The utility company announced that it has organized several cricket matches to raise money for two charitable organizations on the island; the Meals on Wheels Foundation and the Golden Years Home for the Elderly.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Works Paul Lewis says the initiative is a commendable one as charities in Montserrat are always in need of support.

Romeo emphasizes Montserrat-UK partnership

Donaldson Romeo

Premier, Donaldson Romeo

Montserrat’s leader of government business says it is in the best interest of the British Government to see that the island’s reasonable needs are met.

The Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo says the UK government has pledged its support to ensure that Montserrat’s economy grows in such a way that the island can stand on its own two feet.

Mr. Romeo says the newly-established partnership is geared towards new results.

James White Jr. presents these and other stories…

News for Thursday February 4, 2016

Marketing strategies credited for increased tourism arrivals



The Tourism Division believes it’s improved marketing and promotional strategies have been a major contributing factor of the increasing number of visitor arrivals to the island recently.

Tourist arrivals to Montserrat increased by 17.5 percent last year when compared to the previous year resulting in over 10,000 visitors.

Product Development Officer within the Division Rosetta West Gerald outlines what specific strategies she believes helped to achieve these numbers.

Collaborative effort to tackle ZIKV


Dr. Keith Mitchell

There will be a  harmonized approach among Montserrat and the other countries in the sub-region to deal with a possible Zika Outbreak in the OECS.

The declaration was made Thursday by the Chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Authority Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

Mitchell says although there have been no confirmed cases of Zika in the majority of the OECS member states, proactive measures are being implemented and stronger coordination will be seen in the coming  weeks.

Public awareness raised on World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day 2016As Montserrat joined the rest of the world to observe World Cancer Day Thursday, Medical practitioners on island have been raising awareness about the disease.

Surgeon Specialist Dr. Braimah Kassim says while an individual’s family history can increase the risk of particular types of cancer, it is not the only contributing factor.

Dr. Kassim says environmental, social, behavioral and sexual practices also contribute to the development of the disease in the body.

Presenter, Tanisha Christopher

News for Wednesday February 3rd, 2016

Energy Minister pushes public consultation on Energy Policy

Paul LewisThe Honourable Minister responsible for Energy Paul Lewis believes contributing to Montserrat’s energy policy is in the best interest of all residents.

A consultation on the policy which addresses energy development and production will be held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre on Thursday at 6pm.

Minister Lewis says everyone should make it their   business to attend.

Extravagant plans announced for opening of St. Patrick’s Festival

St. PatricksThe planning committee for the opening of this year’s St Patrick’s Week of Activities promises that the event will be colourful and magnificent.

Coordinator, Elrose Lindsey said this year’s opening would feature performances from the winners of 2015-16 festival.The opening is scheduled for March 10th at the Heritage village in Salem.

Events Coordinator of the St. Patrick’s Festival , Justin “Hero” Cassell said the grounds will be more spacious due to the relocation of the stage.

Participants laud welding and heavy equipment operator course

Participants in a recent heavy equipment operator and  welding training course here have been giving their feedback on the timeliness and importance of such a programme.

The training course was organized by the Ministry of Communications, Works and Labour, and executed by the Department of Labour.

The training not only exposed the participants to the use of various equipment but also to the health and safety aspects while engaged in the use of those equipment.

News for Tuesday February 2nd 2016

Timothy Antoine assumes duties as ECCB Governor

Timothy Antoine ECCB


The banking system in Montserrat and the other countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) is stable and improving.

This assessment was made by new Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy Antoine during his first interview with media practitioners on Monday.

He however urged financial institutions throughout the sub-region to implement prudent measures to ensure that they effectively respond to the challenges that confront the financial sector.

Blue Halo Initiative completes scientific assessment of marine resources

Blue HaloThe organization responsible for creating a sustainable ocean policy for the island says it is now processing the data from its recently completed scientific assessment.

Andy Estep from the Waitte Institute says the next step is to present the findings of the assessment to the authorities.

The aim of the scientific assessment was to investigate the status of marine resources in Montserrat’s coastal habitats.

Campaign to rid the island of mosquito breeding sites underway

TiressThe Environmental Health Department is reporting much success on the first day of the national cleanup campaign to rid the island of breeding sites of the aedes aegypti mosquito.

Environmental Health Officer Garret Stanley told ZJB News that the response from residents in Salem and its environs was very heartening.

News for Monday February 1, 2016

National Clean Up Campaign begins Tuesday

Tuesday February 2nd will mark the start of a National Clean Up Campaign.

The aim, is to get rid of breeding sites of the aedes aegypti mosquito which has been spreading the Zika Virus rapidly across South America, Latin America, the United States and the Caribbean.

Vector Control Squad Leader within the Environmental health Department Cranston Aymer says the exercise starts at 7am.

Take Swine Flu Virus Seriously, advises Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is warning residents with a high risk of developing complications as a result of the H1-N1 influenza not to take the virus lightly.

Epidemiologist Dorothea Hazel says these individuals include persons with diabetes, hypertension, pregnant women, children and the elderly.

Ms. Hazel explains what measures can be taken to avoid becoming infected with the Swine Flu virus.

DFID provides additional details on budget discussions

BudgetThe Department for International Development (DFID) has reported what it refers to as “some positive signs” on island from their recent budget discussions with the government of Montserrat.

DFID’s Senior Responsible Owner for Budget Aid in Montserrat, Moira Marshall, says there are some positive signs in some key areas.

She highlighted some of the key areas where she said interventions were made to build capacity on island not only to deliver results but also to do so on time.

She also gave examples of areas where things were not going so well.