Archive for November 28th, 2008

Offshore lawyers bag another industry gong

| 28/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Ogier’s have received another piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet after being named “Offshore Law Firm of the Year, 2008” at the British Legal Awards on 26 November.  The event, hosted by Legal Week and is said to be one of the most prestigious in the legal calendar, attended by over 800 industry professionals. Ogier has won a number of industry awards in recent years and this latest success it said,  is a huge endorsement for the firm from one of the most respected legal publishers.

The firm said in a release that a number of factors were taken into consideration in selecting it as the top offshore law firm. These included deal and case highlights, client wins, technical innovation, client and employee satisfaction, financial performance and a commitment to diversity and corporate social responsibility.The award was collected at the gala event at Old Billingsgate Market in London, by partner Marc Yates, representing the Ogier Channel Island’s offices and Simon Dinning, Head of the London office, representing the Ogier BVI and Cayman offices. 
Managing Partner, Cayman practice and head of Ogier ’s Global Investment Funds Team,  James Bergstrom, said it was pleasing to receive such recognition from industry commentators. 
“The last two years have been pivotal for the Group, both in terms of the level of growth we have experienced and the expansion into new regions and markets. We are regularly involved in innovative and noteworthy transactions and strive to consistently deliver excellent levels of client service. This is an accolade of which we are immensely proud and it is a credit to the commitment and expertise of all Ogier staff across the Group,” he added.

This latest Ogier achievement comes on the back of previous award wins from professional bodies such as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and publications such as The Lawyer, Chambers, Hedge Funds Journal, Hedge Funds World, IFLR, Alpha Magazine, Who’s Who Legal and Citiwealth.

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Cayman hosts EU forum

| 28/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Officials of European Union (EU)-affiliated Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and the European Commission (EC) will be revealing some the details of the annual OCTA Ministerial Meeting and OCT EU Forum held here in the Cayman Islands later today, at a press conference to mark the end of the talks The LoGB said the meeting had offered an opportunity for Cayman to improve relations with the European Union.

The meeting which brought together officials for high-level discussion of issues of mutual interest started on Wednesday 26 November and ahs reportedly focused on the future of EU-OCT relations in the context of a Green Paper recently published by the EC. The Cayman Islands are hosting the conference as the current chair of the OCT Association. Welcoming delegates to the three-day event, Leader of Government Business,. Kurt Tibbetts said the Cayman was looking forward to improving what is already a good relationship with the EU. "We certainly believe that there are opportunities forgreater cooperation that could further assist our development.”

Other issues down for discussion relate to competitiveness, trade, regional integration, capacity building, and financing for development in the OCTs under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) programme. “The Cayman Islands benefit substantially from EU aid programmes which are regional in scope and shared with other nearby OCTs,” Tibbetts added, referring to regional weather radar to be located here. This project is intended to reduce disaster risk and improve early warning information on adverse weather conditions in the region.

The Cayman Islands directly received EU aid for the first time following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. This assistance greatly supported the recovery and reconstructioneffort. Two EU officials were also scheduled to visit Cayman Brac on Wednesday to see first-hand the extent of damage caused by Hurricane Paloma earlier this month. Tibbetts, Education Minister, Alden McLaughlin, and Financial Secretary, Kenneth Jefferson, are the Cayman Islands’ representatives at the conference. Visiting representatives includes Heads of Government, the Commission’s Directorate General for Development  Stefano Manservisi, Head of the Commission’s Sector for Overseas Countries and Territories, in addition to the representatives and officials of OCT Governments, the UK, France, Denmark and the Netherlands.           

 

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Fuel bills finally falling

| 28/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As the price of fuel decreases on the world markets, CUC said this week that its customer’s bills in Grand Cayman are now coming down. The Fuel factor for November is 22 cents falling from an all time high of 27 in September and while the fuel factor is still higher than the start of the year’s rate of 18 cents, the firm’s CEO Richard Hewsaid it should fall to 17 cents next month.

 

The cost of diesel fuel used in the generation of electricity is passed on to consumers as a separate line item on their monthly electricity bills, without mark up CUC said but that customers can see the exact cost of fuel used to generate the electricity they used under the line entitled “Fuel Charge”, which is comprised of the fuel factor multiplied by the number of kilowatt hours they consumed during the billing period.

The fuel factor is the per kilowatt hour charge for fuel which over the past few months has been as follows: January 0.18; February 0.18; March $0.18; April 0.19; May0.21; June 0.22; July 0.22; August 0.26; September 0.27; October 0.25 and November 0.22/

“We expect theDecember fuel factor to be in the range of CI$0.17 reflecting the dramatic drop in fossil fuel and refined product costs,” said President and CEO of Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd,  Richard Hew.  “I am pleased to see that the cost of fuel has been coming down and customers are seeing lower bills.  CUC uses its volume fuel purchasing power under long term contracts to minimize fuel costs and passes these costs directly through to customers. None-the-less, fuel costs are subject market fluctuations driven by worldwide supply and demand. ”

He encouraged customers to still minimize their consumption by following conservation practices outlined in the Energy Smart section of CUC’s website.  In particular, consumers purchasing appliances can help reduce consumption by understanding appliance energy ratings and choosing high efficiency units.

Meanwhile, according to the second quarter results for 2008 the firm said earnings on Class A Ordinary Shares were $5.3 million or $0.18 per share down in comparison compared to the $6.1 million or $0.24 per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

“We continued to experience growth in demand for electricity in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 as ongoing commercial and residential construction projects came online,” Hew said. “Electricity sales Electricity sales were up 4 per cent over the second quarter of fiscal 2008 despite above average rainfall and below average temperatures during the month of October. A new peak load high of 93.7 MW was achieved in August.” He added that the Company continues to monitor the weakening global economic indicators and to assess the potential impact on the growth of electricity sales in Grand Cayman.

The firm said that the 30 percent decline in earnings per share for the six month period was due principally to the removal of the Hurricane Ivan Cost Recovery Surcharge and a

3.25 per cent rate reduction, both in January of 2008, partially offset by 4 per cent KiloWatt-hour (“kWh”) sales growth.

Operating revenues for the second quarter were $63.2 million, a 32% increase over $44.6 million for the same period last year. This $17.6 million increase was driven principally by a 54 per cent increase in fuel factor revenues, which were offset by higher fuel expenses. Total electricity sales for the quarter increased 4 per cent to 145.8 million kWh from 139.7 million kWh for the same period last year. Total customers as at October 31, 2008 were 24,430, an increase of 4 per cent over last year. Total operating expenses increased 52 per cent to $57 million and were primarily driven by higher power generation expenses, including fuel costs.

As the price of fuel decreases on the world markets, CUC said this week that its customer’s bills in Grand Cayman are now coming down. The Fuel factor for November is 22 cents falling from an all time high of 27 in September and while the fuel factor is still higher than the start of the year’s rate of 18 cents, the firm said it should fall to 17 cents next month.

The cost of diesel fuel used in the generation of electricity is passed on to consumers as a separate line item on their monthly electricity bills, without mark up CUC said but that customers can see the exact cost of fuel used to generate the electricity they used under the line entitled “Fuel Charge”, which is comprised of the fuel factor multiplied by the number of kilowatt hours they consumed during the billing period.

The fuel factor is the per kilowatt hour charge for fuel which over the past few months has been as follows: January 0.18; February 0.18; March $0.18; April 0.19; May0.21; June 0.22; July 0.22; August 0.26; September 0.27; October 0.25 and November 0.22/

“We expect the December fuel factor to be in the range of CI$0.17 reflecting the dramatic drop in fossil fuel and refined product costs,” said President and CEO of Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd,  Richard Hew.  “I am pleased to see that the cost of fuel has been coming down and customers are seeing lower bills.  CUC uses its volume fuel purchasing power under long term contracts to minimize fuel costs and passes these costs directly through to customers. None-the-less, fuel costs are subject market fluctuations driven by worldwide supply and demand. ”

He encouraged customers to still minimize their consumption by following conservation practices outlined in the Energy Smart section of CUC’s website.  In particular, consumers purchasing appliances can help reduce consumption by understanding appliance energy ratings and choosing high efficiency units.

Meanwhile, according to the second quarter results for 2008 the firm said earnings on Class A Ordinary Shares were $5.3 million or $0.18 per share down in comparison compared to the $6.1 million or $0.24 per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

“We continued to experience growth in demand for electricity in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 as ongoing commercial and residential construction projects came online,” Hew said. “Electricity sales Electricity sales were up 4 per cent over the second quarter of fiscal 2008 despite above average rainfall and below average temperatures during the month of October. A new peak load high of 93.7 MW was achieved in August.” He added that the Company continues to monitor the weakening global economic indicators and to assess the potential impact on the growth of electricity sales in Grand Cayman.

The firm said that the 30 percent decline in earnings per share for the six month period was due principally to the removal of the Hurricane Ivan Cost Recovery Surcharge and a

3.25 per cent rate reduction, both in January of 2008, partially offset by 4 per cent KiloWatt-hour (“kWh”) sales growth.

Operating revenues for the second quarter were $63.2 million, a 32% increase over $44.6 million for the same period last year. This $17.6 million increase was driven principally by a 54 per cent increase in fuel factor revenues, which were offset by higher fuel expenses. Total electricity sales for the quarter increased 4 per cent to 145.8 million kWh from 139.7 million kWh for the same period last year. Total customers as at October 31, 2008 were 24,430, an increase of 4 per cent over last year. Total operating expenses increased 52 per cent to $57 million and were primarily driven by higher power generation expenses, including fuel costs.

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Eden speaks out over silence on gender abuse

| 28/11/2008 | 4 Comments

(CNS): A special report on how the community can address gender violence was handed to government this week at the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign in Cayman. Anthony Eden, Minister for Health and Human Services called on the community not to allow a culture of silence and denial to surround this sort of violence and abuse as silence perpetuates the problem. He said the government had chosen to speak out.

 

This year’s theme for the 16 days of activism is “Human Rights for Women Human Rights for All” reflecting the right of every human being to live a life free from violence, and violence against women is one of the most globally perpetrated human rights violations. “For over a decade, the Business and Professional Women’s Club, in conjunction with other government and non-government organizations, have utilized this 16 Days Campaign to speak out on these issues in the Cayman Islands,” said Eden. “Given the recent circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Estella Scott-Roberts, an outstanding women’s advocate, and the high profile cases of sexual violation of our young children, we unfortunately, know all too well about the consequences of gender violence and child sexual abuse in the Cayman Islands.”

He said the community should not allow the ‘Culture of Silence’ and denial to surround this sort of violence and abuse. “We must not offer this level of protection to the perpetrators, nor unintentionally prolong the suffering of the victims, through our silence.”

The minister explained that one of the real challenges was that people often don’ recognize that their own behaviour may at times be perpetuating abuse. “We may say it is none of our business, when we see a neighbour or acquaintance being affected. We may even be struggling in situations with our own children, the younger ones, and the adults too – or other close family, and either we may not admit what we see, or feel helpless to do anything about it. What this campaign says is that this is not good enough; that anyone in such a situation deserves better, and that help is available; the first step is to be honest about what we are faced with, and to resolve to do something about it.”

He said as Minister for Gender Affairs he was pleased that government had chosen to speak out joining some 60 other governments, as well as many other organizations and individuals around the world, by endorsing the United Nations Development Fund for Women’s (UNIFEM) Say NO to Violence Against Women Campaign – www.sayNOtoviolence.org  a petition where over a million people had added their names to a global call to action that the issue of gender based violence must be a top priority.

“Given our Government’s desire for a peaceful society for all women, men and children in the Cayman Islands, I am pleased that the Cayman Islands can be counted among those countries that are speaking out on this issue,” he said.

The minister also noted that the Special Advisory Committee on Gender Violence would be recommending to the Government, both short and long term solutions to strategically address this issue. “The report from this Special Advisory Committee will be handed over to the Cayman Islands Government,” he added. “I take this opportunity to publicly thank those who worked tirelessly on this committee, for their dedication to finding more effective ways to work towards eliminating gender violence, child abuse and domestic abuse from our shores.”

As well as thanking the various agencies and people in government and civil society, who work with the victims and perpetrators of the crime of gender violence and domestic abuse he said their work and collaborative efforts makes an invaluable contribution to tackling manifestations of gender inequality, and the ripple effect it has in our society. “I trust that we all will put our support behind this issue not only through 10 December when the campaign officially concludes, but in the following months and years to come,” he concluded.

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Police arrest six men in George Town

| 28/11/2008 | 1 Comment

Police say they have arrested a number of people for drug offences as well as actual bodily harm and drunk driving over two nights this week in the George Town area. The arrests were made in separate incidents by officers from the Drugs Task Force and the George Town Police station.

 

A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and consumption of cocaine.  A 47-year-old man on suspicion of possession of cocaine, consumption of cocaine and possession of drugs utensils and another man who is 26-years old was arrested on suspicion of possession of ganja and consumption of a controlled drug. No quantities details regarding the quantities of drugs involved were given in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service statement.

They did say that officers had also arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of assault actual bodily harm, a 38-year-old man on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and carrying an offensive weapon and a 44-year-old man on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. The arrests were made on the 26 and 27 November and the RCIPS said it remains committed to tackling crime and ensuring the safety and security of the Cayman Islands. Police welcome any reports of criminal activity or suspicious behaviour.

Anyone wanting to speak with an officer should contact their local police stationor their neighbourhood officers. People can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Operation Tempura

| 28/11/2008 | 4 Comments

In a recent letter to the media, I made it clear that I was not necessarily a proponent of conspiracy theories but I questioned the manner in which Commissioner Kernohan’s employment matters were dealt with.

The perception communicated to the public (and clearly not just the Caymanian public when one considers how Henderson’s arrest and related matters were published all over the Canadian press)  regarding a judiciary in disrepute, the basis on which the various investigations were conducted and the resultant costs to these islands.

Without some clear and unambiguous statement from Cabinet (ie one statement from Governor Jack, the elected members of Cabinet and our attorneygeneral) to the contrary, it is difficult when critically scrutinized to not to consider that Cayman may be experiencing some form of systematic destabilization.     

In his pre-budget speech the UK Chancellor Alistair Darling said:

“The British taxpayer cannot be expected to be the guarantor of last resort. The Government will shortly commission am independent review of British offshore financial centres; their role in the global economy; and their long term business strategies in the pre-budget report”.

I found his comments unnerving and reason for pause. Our constitution provides:

Section 1(1). There shall be a Governor of the Cayman Islands who shall be appointed by Her Majesty by Commission…and shall hold office during Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Section 1(2). The Governor shall, for the purpose of administering the government of the Islands, have such powers and duties as are conferred or imposed on him by the Constitution or any other law and such other powers as Her Majesty may from time to time be pleased to assign him…and shall do and execute all things that belong to his office according to such Instructions…

Under Section 7(1) of the Constitution the Governor is required to consult with the Cabinet in the formulation of policy and in the exercise of all powers conferred upon the Governor by the Constitution and by any other law for the being in force in the Islands.

However under the same section the Governor is not required to consult with Cabinet where for example (1) when the Governor is carrying out instructions handed down by Her Majesty and (2) when the Governor carries out his special responsibilities.

The Governor’s special responsibilities include matters in his opinion relating to internal security, the police and the appointment, suspension of any person to any public office. Although the Governor is not required to consult with Cabinet in exercising these powers the Governor is required to keep the Cabinet informed of any matter that he believes may involve economic or financial interests of the Cayman Islands. Under section 8 of the constitution the Governor may act contrary to any advice that provided by Cabinet if he considers it to be conflicting with public order, public faith and good government.

Whilst I have no intention to bore anyone with the specifics of our constitution I thought that it was very important to spell out the precise nature of the Governor’s powers and that of Cabinet and bear to in mind when considering what follows.

We the members of the public have been led to believe that our elected members of Cabinet were unaware of/had no input into the recent heatedly debated and in some instances, contested investigations relating to Operation Tempura commenced by Governor Jack. To this day we have not been afforded the courtesy of knowing whether our attorney general, Mr. Sam Bulgin advised the Governor on the one hand and not  the elected members of Cabinet on the other or vice versa. And we should know to be in a position to evaluate his judgment. We may also end up having to foot the bill at a time when there is the perception that the country is simply broke; not aided by the unaudited accounts going as far back as 2003 which involve “every statutory authority, every government owned business and every Cabinet ministry and portfolio” totaling at least $1.5 billion and over in inadequately accounted for expenditures.

If it is true that the Governor exercised his reserve powers under section 7(1) of the constitution where he is not required to consult with Cabinet when carrying out instructions handed down by Her Majesty or carrying out Her special responsibilities, this presupposes that (a) Governor Jack had reason to believe that his decision to commence the investigation was in the interest of good governance (in spite of what we are now aware of courtesy of the decision of the Chief Justice regarding Operation Tempura) and (b) he explained his reasons to the government of the United Kingdom who agreed and therefore approved and authorized his decision to commence and continue the investigations. 

If this is accurate we the public must ask the question whether Governor Jack distrusted our elected members of Cabinet to consult with and or inform them or whether they too were/are under any investigation? Whatever the position, we should be told the truth. 

It is quite a grave and serious situation when (i) a country’s judiciary is shamed and ironically there is an almost immediate appointment of three new court of appeal judges and (ii) the police force is brought into question due to alleged corruption charges, especially having read Chief Justice Smellie’s recent ruling on Operation Tempura.  But when coincided by what may be construed as an assault on the economy this raises additional concerns.

The proposed commission of enquiry as expressed by Mr. Darling is to be commenced by the UK government prompted by the alleged growing international pressure to line up standards of financial regulations and meet the standards of international norms relating to taxation (aka: full exchange of information). This strongly suggests that our offshore industry is about to come under further attack.

Whilst we are undoubtedly one of the most regulated jurisdictions we  appear to have dropped the ball by failing to focus on maintaining tax treaty networks to continue the promotion of transparency and assistance with the exchange of information (as for example our competitor the BVI has done through double tax treaties with Japan, the UK, Australia and Switzerland). Note that Mr. Darling also made it clear that the UK taxpayer will not be ‘guarantor of last resort’. In other words, the UK government is not apt to be saddled with any debt or other contingent liability from its overseas territory and is clearly concerned about our fiscal performance at a time when there has been a collapse in the financial community worldwide.

 There will be no Bailouts in Cayman by the UK government with respect to the $1.5 billion.

Finally in the midst of this conundrum there is the ongoing constitutional modernization debates in the face of the devastation brought to bear by Paloma, citizens with no health insurance, no homes and or insurance on their homes, increasing local unemployment (whether the elderly, graduates and professionals) and the rise of violence and robberies.

This cocktail is the recipe for changing attitudes from sensible, passive and conservative to outright aggression and intolerance. It will be interesting to observe how any government now or in the future with limited funds at its disposal address these issues.

 

Governor Jack’s term in office has been extended until the constitutional modernization debates have concluded.   This may be unusual in the Cayman context as attempts were made by previous administration to extend the term for Governors Peter Smith and Michael Gore to no avail. But times are changing.

I have asked the question and will ask again, who has this community’s best interest at heart? Who will be responsible for the cost incurred due to any breach of good governance?  And this is no time for division in our islands; we are all in this together.

The increasing intensity and interest expressed by Caymanians (and non Caymanians alike) regarding the intent and content of what is occurring shouldbe astutely observed by all leadership and not be confused with creative tension. I am reminded of the late Haig Bodden’s observation on the meaning of democracy: democracy is all about whether people are hungry or not.

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Berry appeals over quarry

| 28/11/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Despite that fact that the original application was turned down in accordance with a specific regulation of the Development and Planning Law, Lorenzo Berry has submitted an appeal to the Planning Department regarding the decision by the CPA in October over his application to quarry 250,000 cubic yards of aggregate from land in a residential area of the Lower Valley Forest in Beach Bay.

On 27 October the Central Planning Authority said they had turned down Berry’s application to quarry in the area in accordance with Regulation 9 (4) which states that, “no use of land in a residential zone shall be dangerous, obnoxious toxic or cause offensive odours or conditions or otherwise create a nuisance or annoyance to others.”

As residents of Mahogany Estates, the community backing on to Berry’s land have experienced his persistent quarry over the years without permission, they can testify that his operation certainly contravenes that regulation. The residents group which has continually objected to Berry’s activities had thought after permission was denied on a clear point of law they could perhaps regain some kind of stability in their lives. However, the receipt in yesterday’s post of Berry’s application to appeal has unsettled the community yet again.

“While we are not entirely surprised that Mr Berry would attempt to persist with this quarrying operation, it is still very unsettling for us to have to face this all again especially when the application was turned down a clear point of law,” said Jean Ebanks one of the driving forces behind the Mahogany Residents group that has been dealing with the quarrying activities of Berry for many years.  “There was nothing ambiguous about this decision there are no grey areas. The law clearly states that you can’t undertake toxic and dangerous activities in a residential area. And as excavating includes blasting there is no getting around this law.”

Ebanks said that she and the other key members of the residents group at Mahogany Estates including the Reverend Nicholas Sykes would continue the fight to protect their homes and they would this time face Berry with legal representation of their own. Despite the expense Ebanks noted that fighting the original application was very stressful for all of them and she felt that legal assistance was important to ensure that the decision was not overturned.

The application to the Planning Appeals Tribunal against the decisions of the CPA was submitted by Berry’s attorney’s Samuel Jackson and is persistent with Berry’s original application to Planning to effectively continue his quarryingon land between the Mahogany Estate residents and the sea in the area of Beach Bay.

Apart from the obvious danger and nuisance element on which the original application was turned down there were a number of other objections to the project including an environmental one which was supported by evidence from the Department of Environment that demonstrated a number of red list species in the area which Lorenzo wishes to quarry including the endangered white shouldered bat.

There were also objections from members of Berry’s own family who are in dispute with him over the ownership of the land. Murali Ram from attorneys Mourant, who was acting for the members of the Berry family at the time, noted that Berry’s right to excavate the property was in question and that planning would be wise to take legal advice before granting Berry official planning permission to quarry and level land that was not solely owned by him, CNS understands that this claim has not yet been settled and that at present under another complaint Berry was supposed to fill in the land he has already excavated.

The dispute has caused controversy because Berry under his company White Rock Investments has been removing aggregate form the land for many years contrary to the original planning permission he was granted which was merely to clear land for a sub-division. Further controversy was also raised when it was revealed that the illegal fill quarried from the area had actually been bought by government and used by the National Roads Authority in the development of the east-west arterial bypass.

Berry’s quarrying activities have not only disturbed wildlife but have caused enormous anxiety tot he residents of Mahogany Estates, a sub-division originally sold by Berry himself. The residents have persistently accused Berry of bullying and harassing them over the years when they have made complaints to the police or the Planning Department about the excavation and blasting. There are also concerns that Berry’s activity will in the event of a major storm in the area cause extensive flooding to properties even beyond the Mahogany Estates boundaries.

Another interested party with property in the area who has suggested that the CPA should have quashed Berry’s application for excavation from the very beginning because of the law has also raised very serious concerns about the potential flooding risk to surrounding property caused by excavation. He believes that the Planning Department as well as Berry could be liable for any future damage caused to property because of the excavation that has already taken place.

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Adventists help the Brac

| 28/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Local Relief Agency Provides Essential Supportany residents on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman have received emergency supplies and assistance from the local chapter of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), following the devastating effects of Hurricane Paloma. (Left: ADRA members Tara Walton and Eric McFarlane)

According to a release from the Hazard Management Cayman Islands’ Joint Communications Service, the relief agency, in conjunction with the public and private sector, has provided more than 24,000 food and perishable items to all residents, including bread, water, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tarps, lanterns, female hygiene supplies, pampers, baby food, assorted clothing, mops, brooms, bleach, soap and children’s toys. They are now distributing items such as tarps and cleaning supplies, in order to assist residents with recovery efforts.

ADRA’s Associate Director Dean Evans noted that as of last week, there were 30 members from the Seventh-day Adventist Church assisting in the Brac, the majority being locals. “Our support capabilities range from distribution of supplies, to home repairs; cleaning; grief counselling; and chainsaw teams. We are here to assist anyone who requires assistance during this difficult time,” he said. (Right ADRA in Spot Bay)

On 10 November, two days after Paloma passed, the agency set up three distribution points – at Aston Rutty Centre, and Spot Bay and in Little Cayman. With the demand for relief supplies largely met,ADRA is now focusing on the recovery phase, which consists of building repairs and cleanup. However, they are still offering food supplies to those who need them.

Evans also noted that the agency donated 500 Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday, 27 November, in Cayman Brac. “We welcome this opportunity to help people feel that someone remembers them. There is a lot we should be thankful for,” he said.

The Cayman Brac and Little Cayman communities have acknowledged ADRA’s willingness and enthusiasm to assist, and have expressed their thanks towards the members who continue to work tirelessly to provide much-needed aid to both islands.

Evans, who is spearheading this relief effort in Cayman Brac with support from local ADRA Director Benny Moore, added, “We are pleased with the progress to date, and happy to work with government’s Hazard Management Cayman Islands to provide what relief was needed. For me personally, the best part of each day in the Brac is knowing that what we’ve achieved is contributing to residents’ recovery.”
 

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