Components of the Over-the-Hill-Community Development Partnership Initiative are coming together as envisioned by Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis to rejuvenate and restore pride in the disadvantaged communities. Recently, the Over-the-Hill Unit in Office of the Prime Minister and the Pan American Health Organization teamed up in a workshop to focus on health, water and sanitation components of the Initiative. A Stakeholders Workshop on Health, Water and Sanitation Components of the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative was held at the National Training Agency on Gladstone Road from October 1-4, 2018. Among the presenters over the four-day session were: Engineer Antonius Vlguman, Caribbean Sub-regional Senior Advisor for Water, Sanitation and Environmental Health, PAHO; Dr. Daniel Buss, Advisor for Climate Change and Health, PAHO; and Philip Weech, Director, the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission, who spoke on the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan of The Bahamas.
The presenters gave overviews of PAHO’s work on water, sanitation, environmental health, and issues climate change, and held discussions on potential areas of technical support from PAHO for the Over-the-Hill project, food security and nutrition, waste management, vector-borne diseases, and other related topics. The participants represented the government, private sector, NGOs and Civil Society and were placed in groups during the working sessions with a view to making recommendations towards improving health and sanitation aspects of the Over-the-Hill Community Partnership Initiative. Dr. Ester de Gourville, PAHO/WHO Country Representative, Bahamas, and Samita Ferguson, Executive Manager, Over-the-Hill Unit, both delivered remarks opening the workshop. “The PAHO/OTHU technical collaborative workshop on Health, Water and Sanitation Components of the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative was educational, empowering, productive and engaging,” Mrs. Ferguson said. The goals of the Over-the-Hill Initiative focus on social empowerment, economic empowerment, rejuvenation, smart technology, green technology, the youth and the elderly. The Initiative has a three-phased approach spanning November 2017 to May 2019, which will spur the launch of longer-termed planning projects.