Soualiga News Today
Menu

Soualiga News Today (4079)

C&W Communications, parent company of Flow/UTS is Confident of 2020 Hurricane Preparedness

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season on June 1st naturally brings increased anxiety as Caribbean residents brace for the unpredictability of natural disasters across the region.

This year, however, tensions are even higher as Caribbean countries are battling against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. C&W Communications, a Liberty Latin America company and operator of the Flow, BTC and UTS brands in the Caribbean, wants to assure the customers and communities it serves of the comprehensive preparation measures being put in place for what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) have predicted will be a fairly active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

Already on May 17th, the first named sub-tropical storm, Arthur, jumped ahead of the official season start, though fortunately it did not gain sufficient strength to pose a threat to the region.

Inge Smidts, CEO, C&W Communications, said, “Connectivity has never been more critical in this region. Our networks are enabling millions of customers to stay connected at a time when physical distancing has become the ‘new normal’.

Our regional governments, healthcare systems and educational facilities are all relying on our services to manage their operations in a new world of e-government, virtual meetings and online learning. We too, have had to adapt our operations to embrace the challenges of COVID-19 to keep our employees safe and employed and enable our customers to stay connected.”

Smidts continued, “At the same time, we are focused on preparing our world-class networks for the 2020 hurricane season. Our teams have already begun their rigorous checks on our hurricane- tested network, which our business and residential customers rely on for their day-today operations.

“We continue to invest in important redundancy capabilities across our vast subsea network and in data centers located outside of the ‘hurricane belt’, which provide an additional layer of protection for connectivity in the region.

“The ability to stay in contact with loved ones throughout natural disasters has always been important to our customers in the region and we are very proud to play this vital role.”

Across its markets, the company has already completed a number of rigorous hurricane drills and has launched its awareness campaigns encouraging customers to be vigilant and make their preparations for the 2020 season.

Read more...

Yacht Club Port de Plaisance Supports Educational Outreach Position at Nature Foundation

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Due to the generous support of Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, the Nature Foundation St. Maarten received an additional staff member in March to assist in the Foundation’s daily activities and strengthen the outreach and educational programs. The new educational outreach position will be filled by Leslie Hickerson, a resident of St. Maarten with a background in Sustainable Tourism and scuba diving. The primary function of the position will be to spread outreach and education about the local environment and nature, it’s importance and the role of the Nature Foundation. 

“We are extremely grateful for the received support of Port de Plaisance Marina as the additional capacity is very needed within the Nature Foundation. With our newest staff member, we will be able to increase environmental knowledge and awareness about our natural habitats among the youth and residents of the island. In order to protect and secure the natural environment of St Maarten for the generations to come, education and awareness are crucial components. People will protect and preserve what they love and care about, therefore we are grateful to be able to increase the nature awareness on the island with the help of Port de Plaisance Marina” stated Nature Foundation’s Manager Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern.

The one-year position would not be possible without the generous support of Yacht Club Port de Plaisance who has always been an active partner with the Foundation. 

“The Yacht Club Port De Plaisance Operated by Marine Management & Consulting NV has always valued the hard and valuable work the Nature Foundation does for the environment and ecosystems on our Island. It goes without saying that our ecosystems and environment is our number one source and why our clients continue to visit our beautiful island and come to our shores. The Yacht Club Port De Plaisance goals and mission is to preserve and maintain our nature as best as possible and we do our best to advocate the same to our clients and visitors. We understand our business in tourism and yachting can have its challenges against nature preservation, but without proper educational outreach and programs, we will not be able to protect what we all value and enjoy most, our nature!” said Jesse Peterson, Operations Director of Yacht Club Port De Plaisance and MMC Group of companies. 

Through school visits, awareness events, press and social media releases Hickerson’s goal will be to educate students and residents about the local environment and environmental issues on St. Maarten. The Foundation is very delighted to have Ms. Hickerson as part of the team with her background and experience working on St. Maarten. As a dive instructor working on the island Hickerson has extensive knowledge of the marine park and environment and has participated in several of the Nature Foundation’s events as a volunteer. 

“I am so excited to join the Nature Foundation team as the Educational Outreach Officer. After years of working in the tourism industry in St. Maarten I have been able to see the decline in the health of our marine environment firsthand. I think the most successful long-term solution to protect our environment is to focus on educating our youth and inspiring them to change how they view our resources and sustainability,” said Hickerson. Some of the projects Hickerson will oversee as the Educational Outreach Officer are the upcoming Student Competition; Protecting St. Maarten’s Coral Reefs, the Junior Ranger Program, and this year’s Coral Reef Education Project. 

At the end of 2019 several supporters of the Nature Foundation St. Maarten came together in order to discuss sustainable finance options for the Foundation.  During the meeting, the director of Yacht Club Port de Plaisance Sint Maarten generously offered to assist in increasing capacity for the Foundation and support environmental education on the island. The Nature Foundation would like to thank the Yacht Club for their extensive and continuous support.

Read more...

After the Storm weaves creative lyrics to provoke

SINT MAARTEN/ST.CROIX (by Chenzira Davis Kahina) - The cultural voice of the verses in After The Storm by Tamara Groeneveldt, is alive in a familiar way. In this debut collection, the emerging St. Martin poet offers poems, with an innovative perceptiveness, that are about preserving, nurturing, restoring, and respecting the island’s culture as existing and as known to its people.

Groeneveldt’s 56-page book unfolds against a backdrop of hurricanes Irma and Maria experiences from her home, her Grand Case neighborhood, her Caribbean island. The poems range from personal health (“Stroking a Stroke”) to family drama (“Sandwich Generation”) to disaster politics that is as much about “locals ” as it is about “who trying! / to take over borders and chambers” and “mother countries” wanting “To own and dictate it all!” (“Walls I”). 

After The Storm also includes verse with sensual sass about the elderly (“Sweetest Thing I’ve Ever Known”) and lyrical expressions of childhood and adult self-love (“Love, Peace, and Hair Grease”)—all embracing joy.

Groeneveldt’s labor in weaving lyrical creativity in some of her poems is clear. In “Beautiful Black Man” passion holds a tough poem together like a song. In other poems, such as those about challenges faced by women (“Eye Blue” and “Bleached Skin”)—the lyrical weaving wax eloquent but at times it weighs as if with halting breath.

What makes After The Storm more than just a promising volume is the cultural familiarity that the poet is very confident with (“Planting Coralitas,” “I Know St. Martin’s Culture”) and the lyrical touches that succeed without a pause or any halting. This combination blankets the strong poems, the freshly weaned verse, and those in between with a tapestry that is generally provocative, inspirational, and liberating.

The Caribbean literature context, a cultural force in itself, shows up in Groeneveldt’s collection. At face value, the volume is bundled by her publisher, House of Nehesi (HNP), in a “disaster collection” of three titles unleashed in 2019, starting with Hurricane Protocol by Lasana M. Sekou from St. Martin, then Nomad by Yvonne Weekes from Montserrat/Barbados.

This genre appears to be growing with the anthology Puerto Rico en Mi Corazón, and the more recent publications like the pamphlet Guabancex by Celia A Sorhaindo from Dominica and the award-winning books Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat from Haiti/USA and Epiphaneia by Richard Georges from Tortola, Virgin Islands.

It is in Groeneveldt’s diverse topic word-smithing that aspects of what is familiar or natural in the region’s literature is reflected. Here she juxtaposes Caribbean daily life realities, as in the opening poem “Light Out,” with post-hurricane and current disaster capitalism trauma as in the title poem “After the Storm.”

In the five “Walls” poems, the impact of this contrast is simple yet glaring. Is Groeneveldt reminding especially St. Martin people to embrace and support revolutionary actions essential for restoring “… our St. Martin identity / One island, one people, one destiny!”? Who could be listening? One year after its launch at the St. Martin Book Fair, After The Storm is about to be re-printed at HNP. 

After The Storm is available at Van Dorp bookstore and from the author at St. Martin’s Sweetness (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Editor’s Note: Chenzira Davis Kahina, PhD, is a cultural researcher and director of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center – University of the Virgin Islands.

after the storm

After The Storm, debut poetry book by Tamara Groeneveldt. The photo art on the cover is by artist Deborah Jack.

 

 

Read more...

Tzu Chi distributes 16,394 loaves bread during lockdown

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Many families facing hard times during the COVID-19 lockdown in St. Maarten over the past months, were able to at least have something to eat and feed their families thanks to the St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation, which distributed 16,394 loaves of bread to residents around the country as part of its COVID-19 emergency aid. 

When the lockdown began and the foundation realized that many families were hurting as many persons had lost their jobs and many had reduced income, it sprang into action and mobilized its volunteers in the various districts to be able to assist for the emergency aid. 

The bread distribution began on April 11, during the period of total lockdown when no supermarkets had been open for residents to obtain bread and other food supplies. Volunteers, who had disaster passes and could have moved around at the time, took time out of their schedules to help the foundation take the bread to families in the various districts. 

Many families were very grateful for the donation, with many commenting that they were appreciative of the bread as they had not had any in a long time. 

In addition to residents, the foundation also ensured that essential personnel who were working hard during the lockdown to keep the community safe were also provided with bread. Loaves of fresh bread were donated daily to establishments such as St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), St. Maarten Police Force, White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation and senior citizens center amongst other essential operations.    

From Cole Bay, Cay Bay and Dutch Quarter to Sucker Garden, Pointe Blanche and St. Peters, volunteers went into just about every district making sure that bread had reached persons in need.    

As businesses began to reopen and the country began to deescalate its lockdown measures, the foundation scaled back its bread distribution which ended on Friday, May 22, and focus is now being placed on assisting the most vulnerable in the community with emergency food packages containing essential items such as rice, flour, oil and biscuits etc. 

At the end of the bread distribution, Tzu Chi had donated a total of 16,394 loaves of bread - a total of 7,366 were donated between April 11 to April 15 and another 9,028 between May 8 to May 22. 

The 16, 394 loaves of bread benefitted a total of 5,927 households (families) in the country and an estimated 21,512 residents. 

A total of 816 volunteers participated in the massive effort from the foundation. 

Many volunteers who participated in the program, were touched by the experience and expressed gratitude in being able to assist. Many lauded the foundation for its efforts in coming to the aid of so many persons in the community and helping persons with something that can maintain their sustenance during the State of Emergency.   

Tzu Chi St. Maarten Commissioner Sandra Cheung is grateful to all the volunteers who came together to assist in the exercise and is thankful to recipients for graciously accepting the donation of breads. She is also grateful to the St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation Founder Master Cheng Yen for her support of the initiative and for coming to the aid of the community of St. Maarten in such a big way.   

She said the Tzu Chi Foundation is always happy to assist the community in times of disaster and hardship and reminded that it is through the combined effort of everyone that assistance can be provided to those in need. 

Tzu Chi Foundation is sustained by love donations made by members of the community and anyone interested in supporting the efforts of the Foundation with tokens of appreciation so that it can continue its work, can do so by connecting with any volunteer or with Cheung at Tzu Chi Foundation’s office on L.B. Scott Road near Cake House Supermarket.    

tzi bread ins1

tzi bread ins2

tzi bread ins3

 

Read more...

Leadercast Live 2020 Attendees Empowered To Overcome Challenges of Covid-19

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - "I must express my gratitude to this year's Leadercast. It was so on target. This is what we needed to prepare us for the reopening of our island. As we have had time to reflect or are still reflecting on the information and encouragement shared, today was on the button. Whatever we do must be a community effort. Trust yourself, plan, do a SWOT and go for it!"

These glowing comments were shared by Clara Curiel, an educator and manager on May 7th, 2020, after experiencing Leadercast Live virtually, in the comfort of her home.

Leadercast is the world’s largest one day leadership conference streamed live from Atlanta Georgia, to hundreds of host sites around the world, including Victorious Living Foundation ((VLF). VLF is the non-profit organization based on St. Maarten and headed by Dr. Erna Mae Francis Cotton its visionary. This is the eighth year that VLF has been hosting Leadercast, designed to create leaders who are worth following.

The theme this year was “Positive Disruption.” Leaders of all levels were called upon to shake up the status quo and drive opportunities for innovation and change. The message that echoed through each of the nine influential change-makers who graced the Leadercast stage was: “As leaders we must not fear disruption, we must embrace it. We must face it head on with determination and focus.”

Veteran educator of 54 years and forthcoming author of, In Emilio Wilson Park with Uncle Joe, Oswald Francis, said this of the conference:

"Leadercast 2020 was exceptional. I have heard of this prestigious conference before and decided to participate this year. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The presenters were dynamic; the information was practical, current and very useful. Every presenter was impressive and the nuggets received were invaluable. My favourites are Andy Stanley, Richard Montanez and Magic Johnson. I recommend that all and sundry become part of the Leadercast family."

Francis and the 35 participants who attended Leadercast Live through Victorious Living, learned powerful navigational tools for bouncing back and coping in the midst of Covid-19.

Andy Stanley—Best-Selling Author and Leadership Communicator shared the following powerful nugget which should be embraced by leaders locally, regionally, and globally.

“In times of disruption, clarity is the next best thing to certainty. People crave certainty. No matter how good you are as a leader, you cannot provide certainty. It is beyond our control. We can promise it but we can’t guarantee it. While we can’t provide certainty we can provide credibility. Information doesn’t usually create panic. Withholding information is what often creates panic. It forces people to seek information from unreliable sources; then there is misinformation, conflicting information and that’s what causes people to panic. But information from someone who has authority and access to more information helps to provide clarity; though it doesn’t remove uncertainty.”

Considering how extremely vital Leadercast is to the growth of our nation, Victorious Living will re-broadcast Leadercast on October 9th during VLF’s Leadership Summit from October 9th to 10th at the Simpson Bay Resort Conference Room. Space is limited, as persons have already begun registering for this transformational event.

For more information, or to register, persons may call 1-721-524-8731 or visit https://www.victoriouslivingfoundation.com/441333998 and click the registration link.

LEAD Participants Engaged at Leadercast 2019 with Gayle King INS1

Participants Engaged at Leadercast 2019 with Gayle King.

 

 

Read more...

WIB EXTENDS MORATORIUM TO THE END OF AUGUST

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Windward Islands Bank (WIB) continues to support clients in difficult times and has opted to automatically extend the moratorium with 3 months (June, July and August 2020) to provide immediate financial relief to our customers, with no additional charges and or interest.

During the months of June, July and August 2020 WIB will extend the moratorium on Personal Loans, Commercial Loans, Mortgage Loans & Credit Cards. This entails that the client’s monthly payment (on principal and interest) will be deferred for 3 more months (June, July & August) whereby the initial loan term will be extended with the same number of months as the additional grace period. The monthly payments (principal and interest) remain the same.

For Sint Maarten clients including commercial clients on Statia and Saba, the adjustment will be done automatically while Statia and Saba clients with personal loans, personal mortgages and personal credit cards, need to Opt-In if they want to make use of this moratorium (loans and mortgages in arrears for more than 90 consecutive days are not eligible for the moratorium).

OPT-OUT SINT MAARTEN

Clients who do not wish to make use of this moratorium offer and who would like to maintain their current payment agreement, have the option to opt-out. This can be done by filling in an opt-out form via our website: www.wib-bank.net, or by submitting an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling us at 546-2942.

OPT-IN STATIA & SABA (Personal Loans, Personal Mortgages and Personal Credit Cards)

Clients who wish to make use of this moratorium offer, have the option to opt-in. This can be done by filling in an opt-in form via our website or by submitting an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling us at 546-2942.

Important note: The opt-in requests for Statia and Saba is applicable for personal loans, personal mortgages and personal credit cards only and will be evaluated as per the stipulated lending guidelines of the Bank. The clients will be duly informed of the decision.  

When submitting your request, please indicate your full first name, last name, address and phone number (fixed and/or mobile) and provide the loan number of each respective loan and/or mortgage and/ or credit card number to which the opt-in is applicable to. The correct information is required for your request to be processed accordingly.

Corporate Clients for Sint Maarten, Statia and Saba that are wishing to Opt-out are requested to email

Mr. Vasco Daal at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

At Windward Islands Bank, we continue doing our utmost to assist you with your financial needs in these difficult times.

For further assistance:

For additional information please contact the Bank through our contact center: +1(721)-5462942 and/or e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For bank updates and information on our services follow us on Facebook: WIB Windward Islands Bank or visit our website www.wib-bank.net

Read more...

K1 Britannia volunteers organize fundraiser to make needed food-packages for vulnerable families

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - This coming Saturday, on May 30th, dozens of local and international artists are coming together to raise funds for K1 Britannia Foundation’s Disaster Relief and Crisis Team, K1 DIRECT through its online event, “Mobilize Sint Maarten Through Music.”

K1 DIRECT has been instrumental in providing much-needed food and hygiene packages for vulnerable families on Sint Maarten since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. To continue to do their work, more funds are needed.

To generate these funds, K1 DIRECT’s volunteers decided to organize an online show featuring popular artists and other surprises. Musicians, volunteers and companies are uniting to help our community. This online fundraiser will offer an evening of extraordinary music and introduce you to K1’s efforts. We are going to celebrate the beauty, variety and kindness that we have to offer as a destination,” explains Roy Van Zutphen, K1 DIRECT volunteer who is one of the leaders of the fundraiser.

K1 DIRECT, with the help of around 50 volunteers, has been making and delivering food and hygiene packages to vulnerable families in response to the corona crisis. “With the collaboration of government and donations, we have been able to deliver over 4500 food and hygiene packages so far. The need remains great, as a growing number of persons continue to struggle financially,” expresses Alan Schet, Co-Manager of K1 DIRECT.

The online show and fundraiser will premiere on K1 Britannia Foundation’s Facebook page (@K1SXM) on May 30 at 7pm. Persons can make donations by surfing to www.k1britanniafoundation.org and clicking on “donate now” to donate via online bank transfer, credit card or PayPal. Donations are also possible via TelEm text message.

Roy: “Many companies are showing their support by providing amazing prizes to encourage contributions. Any contributor will be eligible to win a variety of great prizes, including: a 7-night stay at Holland House Beach Hotel or the Belair Beach Hotel, a weekend-stay at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, a luxury catamaran trip, a zipline experience at Loterie Farm, and more.” The prize winners will be chosen and announced live on Thursday June 4th at 8:30 am on Island 92 (91.9fm, or online at www.Island92.com).

Scheduled to perform on Saturday night’s “Mobilize Sint Maarten Through Music” are Orange Grove, Guilda, Mister T, King James, DJ Outkast, Funky Horny Horns, DJ EM, DJ BigBoss, Shady Brothers, JonnyGuy, Percy Rankin, Avocado Pie, Kainos, Gianfranco & Lee, Ebony Empress, Malaika Maxwell, and many more - promising a wide variety of music and entertainment for the evening. Some artists will be releasing new music, and you will be able to see them perform in the intimate setting of their home or studio.

“We are so appreciative of all volunteers, artists and companies that are making this fundraiser happen and we hope that the show will generate a lot of positivity and donations. Every dollar will go towards K1’s efforts to ensure that every person in our community has enough to eat,” says Co-Manager of K1 DIRECT Priya Thirumur.

For more information, head to: www.facebook.com/k1sxm. Those interested in donating, providing prizes, or performing during the fundraiser are encouraged to send a message to K1 Britannia Foundation or call +1-721-553-8186.

K1 DIRECT COVID 19 Food Hygiene Packages INS1

K1 DIRECT COVID 19 Food Hygiene Packages Senior Distribution INS2

K1 Volunteers INS3

 

Read more...

COM to deliberate Dutch proposal for financial assistance with Parliament

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Council of Minister (COM) of St. Maarten has received a proposal from the Kingdom Council of Ministers on the liquidity support for St. Maarten to be able to carry out the Sint Maarten Stimulus and Relief Plan (SSRP).

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra and State Secretary Raymond Knops, in a hastily called meeting with the Prime Ministers of the Dutch Caribbean via video conference, verbally outlined the intentions of the Netherlands to assist the countries in this time of crisis and beyond.

This discussion was held without documentation or specifics pertaining to the content of what would be proposed. While the Prime Ministers were given an opportunity to give feedback, it was without clear knowledge or understanding of what was on the table. We were informed that the proposal would be added to the agenda for the Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting on May 15, 2020.

Finally, on Thursday May 14, the official documentation was received by the Council of Ministers. In less than 24 hours, the Council of Ministers had to finalise its response in an instruction to the Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus so that it could be presented in the Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting of May 15, 2020.

This was less than sufficient time to prepare St. Maarten’s position, considering the grave and far reaching consequences for Parliament, civil servants, all government subsidized entities, government owned companies, unions and the people of St. Maarten in general.

“Some of the proposed conditions can be attained within the time frame and were already included in our proposal to the unions. However, a number of these conditions set out by the Dutch government are unattainable in this timeframe and do not consider our economic position, especially as we are still in the recovery stages after Hurricane Irma.

“Moreover, legislative amendments are required in order to comply with a number of these conditions which will affect a large number of the population and stakeholders whom we have not had a chance to meet and will not be able to meet before an answer is expected on Wednesday,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.

Prime Minister Jacobs is scheduled to be in a Plenary Public session of Parliament today at 3:00 PM in order to bring Parliament up to speed on the proposal made by the Netherlands. This meeting will also serve as an oppotunity for the government to garner the support of Parliament on the way forward.

Read more...

Economic Recovery Group Formed. Minister de Weever Calls on All Stakeholders to Come Together

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Telecommunications and Transport (Ministry TEATT) Ludmila de Weever, reached out to various stakeholders in the past several weeks to create an Economic Recovery Group with the aim of achieving a sustainable economic recovery as St. Maarten and the world begin to ease shutdown measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the cabinet of the minister on Sunday.

The diverse group comprises both up-and-coming and established professionals from the private and public sectors. They have offered to volunteer their expertise and collaborate with the common national goal of restoring economic activity and safeguarding the quality of life.

The intention is to maintain this group throughout the minister’s term and work closely with our partners in the hospitality, wholesale, retail, marine, and financial services sectors for the economic well-being and benefit of all St. Maarteners.

A revived economy means the return of jobs and income for the country’s workers and much needed revenue for the country’s government.

Minister De Weever emphasized that during a crisis of this magnitude, cooperation toward a common goal is necessary to achieve the best possible level of recovery.

She added that although the pandemic is an unprecedented public health and economic challenge, it can also present an opportunity to enhance St. Maarten’s tourism industry and improve the business and investment climate.

Read more...

No agreement reached on reopening border. Public transportation inspection continues

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Prime Minister and Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs provided an update to the general public on Thursday, May 14, 2020, as part of the process to keep the community of St. Maarten informed about the latest developments and the Government’s COVID-19 containment, mitigation and response measures.  

COVID-19 Stats

Based on the latest available data provided by Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Epidemiologist Eva Lista-de Weever, for today, May 14, 2020, as of 4:00 PM, there have been no new reported COVID-19 confirmed cases. The data does, however, show an increase of one more person in self-quarantine and two more persons in self-isolation. 

The number of persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 currently hospitalized at the Mobile Medical Pavilion has decreased to two patients. Furthermore, CPS updates that its community outreach testing campaign continues in the community on Saturdays and Sundays as businesses are closed on these days. Contact tracing as needed to ensure that the virus is contained will also continue.  

No agreement reached on reopening border

A meeting between the governments of St. Maarten and St. Martin to synchronize the de-escalation measures took place this afternoon, May 14. During the meeting, both governments were able to give a presentation on their phased de-escalation plans with a special focus on educational institutions and public transportation in regard to school busses.

Also, discussed in the meeting was the synchronization of border control measures for each phase of the economic re-opening plans as well as proposals for border re-opening after community testing has taken place.

The governments of St. Maarten and St. Martin were not able to agree moving forward on the re-opening of the internal borders until further assessments are done regarding the medical and health aspects of the COVID-19 virus and its effect on the population in terms of community spread. Once this information has been gathered, both governments will meet next week, to further ascertain the date that the border controls will be lifted. The government of St. Martin shared that they are currently evaluating their school opening to see how many students will be returning.

However, this is being done before any further discussions take place at an executive level in regard to their students who reside on St. Maarten attending school on St. Martin. Despite St. Maarten’s government’s concern for these students, there was no agreement made for such. As per the schools on St. Maarten, only schools that have indicated that they will be re-opening will open. Therefore, parents are asked to stay updated and in contact with their child’s school.

Public transportation inspection continues

Public transportation busses continue to be inspected by the Ministry of TEATT and will be given the green light to commence working on the public roads as long as they meet the safety guidelines. However, they must remain within our Dutch borders until the government has finalized discussions with their French counterparts.

“As we are re-opening our economy in phases, things may seem to be reverting to normal. However, we cannot afford to become complacent, where our safety and the safety of our loved ones are concerned. Rather, we must maintain the personal protection guidelines always. I encourage you to educate your children about the new norm and ensure that they too understand and follow the safety guidelines. Most importantly, be an example to them in demonstrating this.

“Let us remember that mitigating the spread of COVID-19 depends on us all. I commend your efforts thus far as we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus, and encourage each of you to ensure that these practices are habitual for you and your family,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs. The mitigation of the spread of the virus depends on the behaviour of the St. Maarten people. Let’s stop the spread of this virus together. Together we can! Stay blessed St. Maarten.

Corona Virus Daily Stats May 14

May 14

 

 

 

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Soualiga Radio