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Soualiga Newsday Features (3120)

Empty vases at cemeteries to prevent mosquito breeding after rain events; Help prevent dengue fever and chikungunya

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government agency under the Ministry of Public Health is calling on the community especially families who visit the cemetery regularly to empty flower vases because they collect rain water which are a potential mosquito breeding ground and pose a threat for dengue and chikungunya. 

Dengue fever and chikungunya are transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to and adult mosquito.

Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever, ‘Get Checked” campaign, is in line with CPS’s appeal in order to reduce breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Minister De Weever has also sought the assistance of his colleague from Ministry VROMI with respect to the repair of damaged graves where rainwater collects.

Persons are also requested to keep their homes, yards, neighborhoods and work environment free from potential mosquito breeding sites.

Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days.  Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.

Clean debris from rain gutters and remove any standing water under or around structures, or on flat roofs. Check around faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or eliminate puddles that remain for several days.

Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week. The treatment of ornamental pools should be discussed with the experts. Fill or drain puddles, ditches and swampy areas, and/or remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar and regularly treat and monitor.

Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks. Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs. Flush livestock water troughs twice a week.

Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, plastic bags, foam dishes or even plastic cups strewn on the road side.

Clean the dead leaves from banana and coconut trees.  Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation.  Homeowners can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation.  Trim overgrown vegetation.

Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water.  Empty all construction containers such as blue tanks, buckets, paint cans etc.

Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.  If ditches do not flow and contain stagnant water for one week or longer, they can produce large numbers of mosquitoes. Report such conditions to the respective government agency. 

Mosquitoes can be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened (16-18 mesh). Those insects that do get into structures can be eliminated with a fly swatter or an aerosol space spray containing synergized pyrethrum.

Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation. Homeowners can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes can find shelter by cutting down weeds adjacent to the house foundation and in their yards, and mowing the lawn regularly. To further reduce adult mosquitoes harboring in vegetation, insecticides may be applied to the lower limbs of shade trees, shrubs and other vegetation. Screen off cistern outlets, cover and screen septic tanks properly.

The aforementioned measures should also be taken in and around the workplace, social gatherings and living quarters to eliminate mosquito breeding sources.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents at risk. For information about dengue fever and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS at 542-2078 or 542-3003. 


President Arrindell meets with US Consul General James Moore

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell met with US Consul General James R. Moore recently.  Moore is based in Willemstad, Curacao.

“I welcomed the meeting with the honourable consul general.  These sessions are always very pleasant and informative from both sides.

“We spoke about several concrete issues pertaining to the Sint Maarten-United States of America relationship.  Parliament has always made available from the outset its conference room to accommodate US citizens who need to meet with the American Consul.

“This gesture is very much appreciated by the American Consul General and his support staff,” President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said.

The US Consul General serves Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten.



Party Leader Sarah Wescot-Williams Urges DP Members and Electorate to Be Part of a Solid Vision

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - During the address of the Leader of the Democratic Party and Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams on the launching of the DP Platform, the PM highlighted inclusiveness, stability and a striving for a steadfast vision for the positive development of St. Maarten as a country and a people.

In the opening remarks to the Democratic Party Platform, Wescot-Williams highlighted the hurdles St. Maarten had to overcome in order to attain country status and what the first Parliament and Government of St. Maarten as a Country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands meant for its citizens; “The first Parliament of our country is nearing its end. In a few months the four-year term, which started on October 10, 2010, will be over. The election fever is slowly but surely heating up, as more parties spring up and existing parties polish their gears.

“”The role of the Democratic Party (DP) in the past three plus years has been a remarkable one. Firstly, it was the DP that delivered the first Prime Minister of country St. Maarten, a feat that even today many people ponder.

As the first appointed Prime Minister in 2010, I promised you to; build a strong foundation for the new country; bridge the social and political divides; work for all the people; strengthen the delicate social fabric with strong and lasting fibers and lastly i pledged to make it work,” stated Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.


The Prime Minister stressed that she has begun the process of building the young country to new heights while at the helm of three Governments but that her most important role as Prime Minister was to stimulate and promote the building of the Country; “I have had the opportunity to lead three governments, to run the ministry of General Affairs and to represent our country at many international forums. 

“But the most important role has been to encourage, stimulate and promote the building of our young country. We have had some turbulent times and many lessons have been learned.  But through it all, the DP has provided the stability and governance and has been the rock on which our country was able to progress.

“In fact, we are convinced that the stability and resilience that our country has demonstrated these past three and a half years is a credit to the steadfastness of this Democratic Party. And I have been privileged to stand at its helm these past twenty years. And so, at this juncture and milestone, we must reflect on how far we have come in spite of it all.

Country Status

The Prime Minister Explained her commitment, over the past twenty years, towards the building of the country after a difficult road to Separate Status and the oftentimes difficult choices this brought with it; “Many of the last 20 years have been dominated by the efforts to accomplish the political desire as expressed by the people of St. Maarten in the constitutional referendum of 2000.

“I took this mandate of the people, making it my focus and serving it with all the passion and energy I had to give.  After many long days and months, we all bore witness to the proud moment of October 10, 2010. Although there were voices of resistance along the way, we held on and we succeeded.  Together, we accomplished a feat many described as impossible.


Wescot-Williams also highlighted that, although other political parties underwent significant turmoil, the steadfast leadership of the Democratic Party allowed for various positive developments on the island; “The leadership and stability of the DP during those years allowed for many major accomplishments.  We developed our airport and harbor port.  We improved education through foundation-based education in all our schools, and provided new vocational training opportunities. 

We beautified many places across the country, including Philipsburg and St. Peters. We improved roads, and built round-abouts, community centers, the Festival Village, the Simpson bay Fish Market, The W. Plantz jetty in Philipsburg, the Melford Hazel Auditorium, and a new fire/ambulance department. 

We improved our energy infrastructure with new engines for GEBE and installed fibre optic cable. We undertook the very important Social Economic Initiative and helped to improve life for our elderly with repairs to their homes. These are all tangible and visual projects that were integral to the growth and development of our country.  And the list goes on,” stated Wescot-Williams.

Checks and Balances

The DP Leader also highlighted that the party has also been building the institutions necassry to govern St. Maarten; “Progress is also about institutions. The DP’s record in this area is equally impressive.

Under the DP leadership, the constitutional foundation was laid, and the institutions that provide the necessary checks and balances like the Council of Advice, the Council for the Maintenance of Justice and the Ombudsman were created. These institutions, as well as the court of justice serve to protect the people against misuse and abuse. They are an important part of any democracy.

The Prime Minister concluded that the country that is St. Maarten today is governed by a new government structure.  An accountable and disciplined government that requires knowledge and experience to manage and maximize the new authorities and competencies we have acquired; “We need Ministers who understand and respect the office they occupy and Parliamentarians who will put country first and above all else. St. Maarten needs to continue what the DP has begun with the DP,” concluded Wescot-Williams.

The DP Leadership also announced that information regarding the DP Party Platform would be announced in the coming days. (Contributed by the DP Party)


National Development Plan process has Jingle

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Within short the airwaves will be bombarded with a new jingle related to the National Development Program (NDP) under the banner ‘Growing Stronger Together.’ 

The jungle was produced by Bertaux Fleming better known as ‘Mr. Rude’ from Xtratight, and sung by Mirougia, the lead singer from Control Band.

The musical arrangements were creatively developed by Bertaux.

The words chosen come from a workshop session held earlier this year with the volunteers of the NDP project. During this workshop not only the identity of the process was created, but the logo and slogan as well.

The NDP program volunteers also came up with a list of key words they found representative of the project. The focus in this jingle is on the slogan: GROWING STRONGER TOGETHER.

A representative of the process currently underway said people need to have their voices heard during the dialogues that will continue for the remainder of the year. Not only during the community based sessions, but also during the thematic dialogues focused on Economics, Environment, Culture and Social & Human Development.

The input of the nation is needed to write the National Development Plan and to establish the common vision for St. Maarten.

The jingle therefore ends with: St. Maarten National Development Plan: Share your voice, Shape your Future.

Last month the national program launched their new look sporting yellow t-shirts as part of the house look of the process. 

Street banners have also adorned certain main roads to mark that the process to formulate a National Development Plan is well underway. 

The National Development Plan will cover the period 2015-2040 and sets the direction for strategic long-term development as a country.

The process entails the input of the people which supports the kind of development St. Maarten needs and which the citizens want.

The national development process is seen as a new opportunity to reflect on the current situation and take decisions as to how best to collectively work together to achieve our common goals represented in the plan.

The country’s development priorities have been identified into four pillars: economy, environment, culture, and human development.

The National Development Plan is facilitated under the auspices of the project, “Building a Nation: Sint Maarten National Development Plan & Institutional Strengthening.”

The Ministry of General Affairs, Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) are providing key support for the NDP process along with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

For further information please refer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and/ or call 542-0897.


Democratic Party Presents Political Platform on Friday

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - After postulating the candidates for the upcoming Parliamentary elections the DP introduced the themes of its 2014 Platform on Friday evening.

The announcement of its platform's readiness is in keeping with the Party's commitment to  present its political platform on or as close to postulation day as possible as stated in its articles of incorporation. On Saturday, two groups of the Party already started on the platform and events program for the Party going into the 2014 campaign.

“While there was much fanfare surrounding postulation with motorcades and parades the Democratic Party in the first instance decided to walk with its members and supporters to the Government Building in keeping with what we think is a serious occasion; the election for a Parliament that is serious and takes into account the needs of the people. We also walked in order to confirm our party’s commitment to fitness and movement in addition to not wanting to cause significant traffic back-ups in the Philipsburg area,” stated the Democratic Party Leadership.

The DP also highlighted its plans for the overall social advancement of St. Maarten; “We would like to remind the populace that all of the promises that our Leader, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, has made in 2010 were promises kept, this despite significant challenges within the coalition.

“The red thread throughout the program is the overall social advancement of all the people of our country. The Democratic Party is focusing on themes like nation building, education, inclusion, and sustainable development as part of the red thread. This reinvigorated Democratic Party also places significant focus on governance issues such as integrity and public service. The Democratic Party is ready to challenge those who now suddenly relish words like integrity and transparency when their actions until now show a disdainful lack of the smallest element of integrity or transparency.”  

In the coming weeks the leader of the Democratic Party and the candidates will be further expounding on these and other topics and the party's vision for an inclusive St. Maarten. (Contributed by the DP Party)



UP Board Reminds Supporters to Sign-UP on Monday at the Civil Registry Office in GREEN LIST Political Party Signature Drive

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – As part of the country’s new electoral process, political parties participating in the August 29, 2014 parliamentary elections will have to have voter’s endorse/sign-up their party at the Civil Registry Office on Pond Island.

The signature drive is on Monday, July 14 at the Civil Registry Office from 9.00am to 4.00pm.

The signing UP of your party can only be done by eligible voters who have to present a valid form of identification (ID-card, Passport or Driver’s License) when signing UP their party list which is the GREEN list.

The August 29th election will be the first parliamentary poll held under the new electoral laws of the country.  The election in September 2010 was held under the electoral laws of the Island Territory of Sint Maarten. 

“UP Party members, supporters, and well-wisher are reminded to come out on Monday, July 14 to sign-up the UP Party in order for the party to be able to participate in the country’s largest expression of its democracy at work.

“We are looking at winning the August 29 election outright with 8+1=9 seats.  The past four-years of experience of coalition government have destabilized our democracy. The so-called Mexican standoff was the worst political experience ever displayed bringing shame on our country.

“We can ill afford to head back down that track of coalition government for another four years.  The voters can also go back to the 1990s where coalition government created instability for nearly 10-years, and the voters in 1999 voted for stability and progress and elected one party into government. 

“On Monday, remember to ask for the GREEN list, because the voters know ‘we are ready’ to move this country forward and upward come August 30, the day after the elections when the UP Party will govern this country solo leading to economic revitalization and much more,” the United People’s (UP) Party Board said on Saturday.



Minister Lake would like all political parties to abide by the rules

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake says all political parties need to abide by the rules where it concerns the placement of campaign material along or near the public roads.

Minister Lake was making reference to billboards adding that NV GEBE has cable buried in certain areas and if care is not taken these cables could be damaged, especially the cables that lead to street light poles.

“This is just what happened on Wednesday night with the Member of Parliament Hon. Roy Marlin. Based on a statement in social media, I would like to set the record straight and present the facts. 

“This ad hoc placement of information on the blogs does not do any justice for the community.  Based on the digging of the holes in that took place a certain area by a political party, the street lights cables got damaged and the street lights went out in the same area.  

“This has nothing to do with politics, but I know we are in the campaign season and everything will be turned into political rhetoric.  As Minister of VROMI I have to look out for the safety aspect of the residents in the area and I don’t play politics with this.

“I had to get GEBE on Thursday evening to fix the street lights for the safety of the residents and motorist. As political parties we got to be more responsible and look out for the wellbeing of the people.

“We need to show political maturity instead of laying petty politics and focus on the real issues which is creating jobs and housing for our people.  We need to empower our people to become and continue to be leaders within the social, economic and environmental sectors in the region and the world.

“I really don't understand why the MP has this fear of Maurice Lake.  I know some political parties are very desperate and are not ready for this election.  If they don't want to fire me it’s to make me look bad, destroy my character or slander me in the public eye, and it has all been backfiring on them.

“I will continue to stay focus on the work I have to do on behalf of the people, and create opportunities and get the job done on behalf of the people.  Let's focus on the people issues, abide by the rules and stop creating friction when there is none,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.  

Minister stated that he has also spoken with the Minister of Justice regarding rules and regulations related to campaign material (billboards).

Lake added that NV GEBE is assessing the damage done and will submit a bill with respect to this to be paid by those who caused the damage.


Workshop Accountability and the Budget Cycle

LITTLE BAY, Sint Maarten - Recently the workshop ‘Accountability and the Budget Cycle’ took place at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. The workshop was funded by USONA and organized by the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers Sint Maarten. The workshop participants consisted of the Financial Controllers of the seven Ministries, as well as, representatives of the Treasury Department and the Section Financial Policy, Taxes and Budgeting.

Mrs. Angela Dekker, USONA Manager Sint Maarten, presented the participants with their certificate at the end of the two-day workshop.

The workshop facilitators were Professor dr. Khi V. Thai of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) School of Public Administration and Mr. Scott Miller, PhD.

Dr. Khi Thai is an expert in regard to Public Finance and provides consultancy and trainings in countries all over the world. Most recently, he has provided technical assistance to the South Florida Water Management District, the Government of Sierra Leone, Uganda, Bulgaria, Columbia, and the Federal Government of Canada. In addition, he has served as Director of the Bureau of Public Administration at the University of Maine and as Director of the School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University.

Mr. Scott Miller has worked extensively in the private and public sector in the United States of America. Currently he is a managing partner and senior director in two consulting firms specialized in consulting governments and the private sector situated in California. His last position in the public sector was as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance and Administrative Services in Broward County, Florida. Broward County has a lot of similarities with Sint Maarten as it also includes an international Airport and Harbor.

Both facilitators discussed and shared with the workshop participants the following topics ‘The four pillars of sound Public Financial Management’, Budget Cycle: Fiscal and Technical perspectives, Budgetary techniques, Fiscal Responsibility and Management, Treasury/Financial Management, Budget and Financial Auditing and Accounting and Issues in Budget Execution.

A workgroup has been formed as a result of the workshop, with as objective to further develop relevant policies and budgetary tools to assist the budget cycle on Sint Maarten. Both dr. Thai and Mr. Miller have pledged their on-going assistance in guiding the workgroup in their actions.



TelEm Group reporting a major outage on 3G Network

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten – At approximately 11:00 am this morning, TelEm Group reported a major outage of the company’s 3G Network, affecting telecommunications services throughout St. Maarten.

Among services affected are telecommunication services to the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE), local banks and other businesses using E1 lines.

A technical troubleshooting team from TelEm Group is doing its utmost to restore all services as soon as possible with the assistance of equipment vendors overseas.



UP Board Invites Supporters to Postulation Day GREEN Parade

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The board of the United People's Party (UP) is inviting its supporters, well-wishers and sympathizers to its ‘Postulation Day GREEN Parade.

Postulation Day is Friday, July 11.  The UP Party will be presenting its 23-strong slate of candidates to the Central Voting Bureau.

Postulation Day represents the official kick-off of the August 29, 2014 parliamentary elections.

Everybody participating in the Postulation Day GREEN Parade should gather at the Ring Road across the street from the old Van Dorp Building/John Larmonie Center on Friday, July 11 at 12.30pm.

The GREEN Parade will roll-out from the Ring Road around 1.00pm towards F.W. Vlaun & Son and then towards the former Paper Garden Building and turn up Front Street rolling upward to the head of town and then up and over the bridge and turn left on the W.G. Buncamper Road towards the Sucker Garden round-a-bout to the Pondfill and stopping right up in front of the Government Administration Building.

The board of the United People's Party (UP) is inviting its supporters, well-wishers and sympathizers to come as GREEN as they can to celebrate the UP party’s official kick-off on postulation day for the August 29 parliamentary polls.

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