BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Dominica police seize drugs

Police in Dominica have reported the arrest of one man after they seized cocaine and marijuana worth a combined value of EC$1.78 million (US$681,956) last weekend.A police official said they confiscated 28 kilos of cocaine and 470 kilos of marijuana. They also seized a 20ft boat, three firearms and ammunition.

Suriname starts free
circumcision project

Suriname has launched a three-month pilot project offering free circumcisions in a bid to cut sexually transmitted diseases.Health Minister Celsius Waterberg said circumcision “could also minimize the risk of HIV infection”.

About two percent of the Suriname population is HIV-infected – about 10,000 people – and the project aims to carry out the operations on 100 males aged between four and 21 years old over the next three months. The minister said the project will spread nationwide if successful.

Jobless benefits for Bahamas

The Bahamas Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham, has been giving details of a national unemployment benefits scheme that will be launched in April.The government is pushing ahead with the programme as latest figures show that the jobless rates on the two most populous Bahamian islands has reached double figures.Ingraham said eligible jobless workers will be able to collect benefit payments for up to 13 weeks.

Party criticises St Lucia inquiry

In St Lucia, a small opposition party has criticised a decision to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate some state-funded projects under the previous labour administration.The Chairman of the Organisation for National Empowerment Peter Alexander called it a costly waste of time. He said he’d seen nothing in an audit of a road project by the New York-based Kessler International to justify the inquiry.

The report is said to have influenced the decision to set up the investigative panel. It recommends tighter controls over future project managers, and more stringent oversight regarding the bidding process.

UN warns over water

The United Nations says urgent action is needed to avoid a global water crisis. By 2030 almost half the world’s population will live in areas of acute water shortage, according to the World Water Development Report. Its authors say that both investment in the water sector and improved water-management are needed to tackle the crisis.

In the Caribbean, Barbados is already regarded as a water scarce nation while other countries like Antigua, Grenada, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago, suffer from tight supplies.
Water shortage in Haiti

Drinking water remains a rare and precious commodity in the northern Haitian city of Gonaives, six months after devastating storms hit the area.Mudslides last year buried the city under 2.6 million tonnes of mud and completely destroyed the already crumbling national drinking water network.

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