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Emmanuel: Govt liable for unhygienic and unsafe garbage collection methods.

~ Says inquiries into bidding ongoing ~

garbagecollection11042021PHILIPSBURG:--- Independent Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel on Sunday said garbage haulers, with the permission of the government and the Ministry of VROMI, are creating unsafe, unhygienic, and dangerous situations across the island in the manner they are collecting garbage.

The MP explained that he has received several pictures and videos from concerned citizens showing, among other things, the usage of inadequate small vehicles to collect garbage, the wind lifting and blowing the garbage out of these vehicles, workers jumping in and out of open garbage vehicles, workers jumping into garbage bins to lighten the load before they can physically lift the bin to the rear of the vehicle ect. In the aftermath of these actions, spillage is left behind and is blown throughout the districts.

He said on any given day workers can be seen digging into bins to lift garbage bags “only to have the bags burst open and garbage spread all over the place.” Rather than ensuring that all garbage is collected, he said, workers, collect what they can and simply move on. The trucks being used are also leaking garbage fluids on the road surface.

“We also see workers riding inside the back of the open truck with garbage piled up to their necks. This is unhygienic for both the worker and the district they are responsible to clean. Having garbage blowing out of open trucks is also dangerous. Which insurance company will pay for a vehicle that is damaged from flying debris? Or injures a person walking as the truck passes by? Residents are also complaining via social media and radio call-in programs about the visible increase of garbage scattered along the roadside.

MP Emmanuel has questioned how and why the Ministry of VROMI is allowing this kind of operational execution and if there were no standards of operations outlined in the Terms of Reference (TOR) document of October 2020 which was used to award the new garbage collection contracts. This is even more pertinent since the Minister of VROMI boasted of new procedures being put in place, he said. He added that there are no control and/or enforcement of proper operations by the Ministry of VROMI which by extension is ultimately responsible for any unhygienic situation created in the districts.

The MP also stressed that he is not yet finished with looking into the entire bidding process for the new contracts. “There is much more to come on that since the Minister of VROMI chooses to say my concerns expressed about the bidding process were just sensational comments. We will soon see what sensation is and what fact is. In the meantime, we are faced with a situation that can be prevented if the government enforces its own regulations as outlined in the TOR for these garbage haulers. Such as garbage trucks with rear-loaders and side-loaders,” MP Emmanuel said.

“The TOR should clearly state that all collection vehicles must have fully enclosed steel bodies to prevent loss or spillage of the materials. If this is in the TOR, why is the Ministry of VROMI allowing all sorts of open vehicles to be used to collect garbage? The TOR should have indicated to garbage haulers the kind of vehicle to use and before any hauler was awarded a contract, the Ministry had to ensure that the company actually had the vehicles necessary to collect the garbage. Making the companies sign statements of indemnification does not absolve the Ministry of VROMI of this responsibility,” the MP said.

“Government cannot be so irresponsible and throw up their hands. Enforce the stipulations and deal with the garbage haulers respectively for the sake of our communities and the health of the people living there,” Emmanuel concluded.


cibcwalk110402021PHILIPSBURG:--- The Positive Foundation recently got much-needed support for its healthy lifestyles initiative.

The foundation was presented with a donation of $7,000 which will support its community projects, aimed at promoting active lifestyles through the use of outdoor fitness equipment. The funds were the proceeds of the ninth annual CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure held last year.

The region’s largest cancer fundraiser, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure, went virtual last October as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The online walk and regional concert attracted participants from around the region and the world, allowing many to offer their support to the cause whilst raising awareness of cancer and supporting cancer care organisations across the other 15 territories in the Dutch and English Caribbean where the bank hosts similar events.

The bank was elated to again partner with the Positive Foundation for the event - further strengthening the support for yet more cancer education and awareness. Regular exercise in any form is known to help prevent cancers and help persons undergoing treatment for the disease. This has been one of the Positive Foundation’s main messages during their educational campaigns as they aim to activate the consciousness of the community to lead healthier lives.

The online event last October brought together some thirteen popular regional performers and two DJs for a full three hours of entertainment and exercise including energetic workout sessions from a number of top fitness coaches. St. Maarten’s very ownKing James was among the many performing artists which also included Reinir Lijfrock from Curacao, Mr. Vegas from Jamaica, Mr. Killa from Grenada, Teddyson John from St. Lucia, Ricardo Drue hailing from Antigua, and Julian Believe from the Bahamas.

3 confirmed COVID-19 cases today.

richardpanneflek23042020PHILIPSBURG:--- As of April 10th, there were three (3) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, two (2) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to forty (40). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand one hundred eighty-five (2185).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring thirty-nine (39) people in home isolation. One (1) patient remains hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred eighteen (2118). Thirty-three (33) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 2655 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 25, 304 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

In efforts to achieve our ultimate goal of zero active cases, Minister Panneflek encourages everyone to wear your masks, practice social distancing, avoid greeting by hugging and kissing, sanitize or wash your hands frequently, and refrain from mass gatherings’s.


15,000+ COVID-19 Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccines Arrive. Public Health Authorities Urge Community to Register for a Vaccine.

covidvaccine11042021PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- On Friday, April 9th, 13 boxes containing 15,210 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the country on a KLM flight from the Netherlands. This amount can vaccinate 7,605 persons.
The Collective Prevention Service (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development (Ministry VSA) and the Vaccination Management Team (VMT) are urging the public to register for a vaccine as soon as possible due to the current unprecedented outbreak that is taking place on the island of Curacao.
Curacao is seeing on average over 100 new positive COVID-19 cases each day. On Sunday, there were 4,768 active cases; 129 persons are hospitalized, 44 of them are in the Intensive Care Unit.
The Curacao community is being impacted by the UK variant of the COVID-19 virus. Viruses mutate all the time, and the UK variant is much more contagious which means more people in the community can be infected with the virus and this can have serious implications for the elderly as well as persons with underlying conditions who have not yet been vaccinated.
The UK variant is already in circulation on the island. The main threat for the country is that more people will become ill and that means more people will end up in the hospital, putting pressure on the country’s public health facilities and more people will die.
An outbreak of the UK variant in the country will also have a negative impact on the national economy which in turn will also impact the workforce where it concerns employment.
Vaccines are a critical tool in the fight against the COVID-19 virus and there are clear public health and lifesaving benefits once you are vaccinated.
The Netherlands decided to combine the third and fourth Pfizer batches which would allow CPS and VMT to scale up the administering of the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the community who have registered due to the serious public health situation on Curacao.
Sint Maarten has already received two other batches of the vaccine since February amounting to 15.210 doses.
Members of the community are reminded to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Registration can be done via the online registration form which is available in English, Spanish, and Creole, and can be found via this link:
Both Cole Bay and Dutch Quarter Community Helpdesks are currently equipped to provide information and can assist with registration on the spot. They are open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Monday to Friday. You must bring a form of identification when you visit the helpdesk.
Lastly, the paper based “COVID Vaccine Registration Form” can be picked up at several locations, including CPS at the Vineyard Office Park Building, the Division of Labor Affairs at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center in Simpson Bay, doctors’ offices, the Government Administration Building, and select pharmacies.
If you have a friend, parent, neighbor, or relative that may need assistance with registration, transportation, or emotional support, please do your part. If you need help with the registration process, your appointment, or wish for more information about the vaccination campaign, you can also call CPS at 914 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Organizations who wish to inform their staff about the Covid-19 vaccine and vaccination program via an information session can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sint Maarten, protected together.

Construction new KNMI monitoring station well on its way.

kni10042021SABA:--- Works to construct a new monitoring station of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) on the northern coast of Saba are progressing steadily. A team of Dutch military personnel, stationed in St. Maarten, has been carrying the materials along the North Coast Trail to the location on Grey Hill where a KNMI team is constructing the new monitoring station.

Military personnel on Thursday, April 8, ahead of time, completed the heavy task of carrying some 2000 kilograms of material on foot along the North Coast Trail, covering a difference in altitude of some 300 meters. On multiple trips per day, the men carried a number of very heavy items up the rough, mountainous trek to Grey Hill, such as a generator, a large satellite dish, the solar panels, and the casing for the electronics. They also carried multiple bags with concrete and a load of water, necessary to mix concrete for the construction of the monitoring station and its foundations.

The KNMI team of four has constructed the foundation and the walls of the enclosure that will hold the seismic equipment. The team on Thursday started the construction of the frame for the solar panels. The foundation for the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) was constructed, and the cables were laid in the cable ducts. The mast for the satellite dish has been installed. The construction of the monitoring station needs to be robust as it has to be able to withstand strong winds.

The monitoring station consists of a GNSS and a seismometer. With the GNSS, deformations of the Mt. Scenery volcano can be precisely measured. The seismometer registers local and regional earthquakes, and this data will also be used for tsunami warnings. The measuring station on Saba’s North Coast is extra special because it operates completely independently: the solar panels generate electricity while the satellite dish transmits the data.

On Thursday, April 8, Island Governor Jonathan Johnson visited the location, whereby he presented a Saba pin to Sergeant-Major Marine Frank. The military personnel arrived on Saba on April 5 and will return to St. Maarten shortly. A number of military personnel have already left Saba. The KNMI team will remain on the island a bit longer to complete the construction of the monitoring station and to inspect, and if necessary, repair the other monitoring stations, located in various parts of the island.

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