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            [post_date] => 2015-07-03 10:00:06
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            [post_content] => Following the passing of the ganja law a couple months ago, the Jamaica government will be banning driver from smoking the herb while driving. Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Dr Morais Guy, announced that the condition will be added to the Road Traffic Act to prohibit that practice. Law offenders who are caught smoking while driving or in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public places will see a fine of J$10,000(US$85).

"We feel that we have the obligation and the responsibility to ensure that people who are driving should not be smoking at the same time," Dr. Guy said in the House of Representatives on Tuesday as he closed off the debate on the report of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament on the Road Traffic Ac.

Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, also contributed to the debate and said that impaired driving due to alcohol, and other drugs, such as ganja had to be addressed under the legislation.

"Research shows that cannabis impairs cognitive and psychomotor skills and a zero tolerance level should be adopted that prohibits the presence of any amount of drugs in the blood while driving," he said.

Ferguson also highlighted that several other countries, including the United States, have taken similar approaches.

"The enforcement of comprehensive and clear legislation with appropriate penalties, and accompanied by public awareness campaigns, is a critical factor in reducing road traffic injuries and deaths associated with speed, drunk driving, and the non-use of occupant protection measures, such as, helmets, seat belts, and child restraints. Road traffic injuries are preventable," the minister said.

In 2013, a record of 11,372 persons had to be treated at accident and emergency departments in public hospitals due to road traffic crashes. While 87% percent of those treated were in the age group of 10 to 44, with 20 to 29-year-olds counting for the majority of victims at the remaining 28%.
            [post_title] => Law Being Imposed In Jamaica To Ban Smoking Of Ganja While Driving
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Law Being Imposed In Jamaica To Ban Smoking Of Ganja While Driving

July 3, 2015
1

Following the passing of the ganja law a couple months ago, the Jamaica government will be banning driver from smoking the herb while driving. Ministerwithout portfolio in the Mini...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2015-07-02 10:00:10
            [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-02 14:00:10
            [post_content] => Jamaica's Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson has announced that US$200 million was invested in various renewable energy projects that will occur by the end of next year. Some of the projects invested in are the US$45 million expansion of the Wigton Windfarm in Manchester, and the recent signing of a US$47 million financing agreement with WRB Enterprises and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for development of a 20 megawatt solar plant in York Town, Clarendon. Mr. Robinson assures that the government's focus on renewable energy solutions is well placed.

"Reliable energy sources have revealed that alternative energy technologies, such as wind, solar, and electrical storage, continued to gain ground in 2014, with solar, in particular, capturing almost 50 per cent of all global investments in clean energy, which grew to over $310 billion in 2014," he said.

The Wigton Windfarm is said to be the largest wind energy facility in Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean, supplying over 100 million kilowatt hours of electricity to the grid on an annual basis.

"When the new 24-mega watts generating plant comes on stream in early 2016, it will increase renewable energy input to the grid by two per cent," Robinson highlighted.

As it relates tot the development of the 20-megawatt solar plant in York Town, Clarendon, the minister shares that when the facility is completed, it will be one of the largest solar projects constructed in the Caribbean.

"It is of strategic national importance to Jamaica and is one of three successfully selected proposals from among 24 other projects . . . to provide a total of 115MW of renewable energy to the Jamaican power grid," he noted.

In addition to these projects, Robinson said that there are also prospects for hydro power development, following the completion of feasibility studies late last year, which displayed 26 MW in hydro potential from six local rivers.

"The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) will be carrying out an aggressive marketing drive to attract investment to exploit these commercial opportunities while increasing Jamaica’s renewable energy supply," he said.

The minister says that all the projects highlighted along with other all will contribute to their aim to increase renewable power generation to about 20% by 2030 and in the process reduce the importation of oil, which last year amounted to US$2 billion.

"To achieve this objective we have sought to involve both private and public sector entities in the development of our renewable energy resources. Our strategy is bearing fruit as we see local and overseas companies as well as government corporations investing in renewables," he concluded.
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Jamaica Renewable Energy Projects Receive US$200 Million Investment

July 2, 2015
1

Jamaica's Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson has announced that US$200 million was invested in various renewable energy projects that will occur by...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2015-06-30 15:00:47
            [post_date_gmt] => 2015-06-30 19:00:47
            [post_content] => On Sunday night in Guyana, many residents in several coastal areas across the island went to bed without electricity as a severe storm struck the country leaving major damages. The power company is now carrying out major repairs as it mobilized it workers and spares to alleviate the situation.

guyana blackout 1

The storm which brought heavy rains and high winds that tore off roofs, downed power lines, billboards and other structures, sternly affected areas which are now without power. This includes South and North Ruimveldt, Lamaha Springs, Parfaite Harmonie and Cornelia Ida, parts of the East Bank Demerara and Berbice.

guyana blackout 2

Spokeswoman of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), Wadecia Donald, told Demarara Waves Online News that the "hardest hit area" extended from Industrial Site to Garden of Eden, East Bank Demarara. "We have several poles down along with transformers, we have got poles on people’s homes, wires are burst so we have several teas working," she said. One of the areas that was left without power, Diamond, was fortunate to regain power late Sunday.

With limited manpower and ongoing inclement weather, the spokeswoman said remedial works during the chaotic conditions were affected.

"We are sort of out-numbered. It’s so much,” she said. Donald said that other workers have even gone out to offer assistance to those a part of the usual line-maintenance and emergency crews.

"We have superintendents, engineers, we have staff who came out as a result of what was happening to try to lend a hand to power everyone that is affected but the very bad cases will have to wait until tomorrow (Monday) when we will have to replace polls and all of that," Donald said.

The progress of redeeming power is even hindered as downed poles and transformers seen in areas such as at South Ruimveldt, near Andrew's Supermarket, Fern Drive, lay across the roadway, preventing vehicles from passing. Other areas affected like this is in Berbice where a pole at Ithaca on the West Coast that suspends the main transmission line between East and West Berbice, was broken by the storm, and on the Essequibo Coast where a pole and transmission lines in several villages were tossed down resulting in blackout there.

Calls continue to bombard the GPL's phones as affected residents hope to soon be able to have their area re-powered.
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Major Repairs Occur In Guyana Today As Thousands Experience Blackout From Sunday Storm

June 30, 2015
1

On Sunday night in Guyana, many residents in several coastal areas across the island went to bed without electricity as a severe storm struck the country leaving major damages. The...Continue reading