Soualiga Newsday Latest News

Soualiga Newsday Latest News (1910)

CPS: Protected Together #Vaccineswork

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – From April 24 to 30, is World Immunization Week, with the aim to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, endorses World Immunization Week and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Vaccination Week in the Americas, and as the World Health Organizations (WHO) says, “Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

“Yet, there are still nearly 20 million unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children in the world today.”

The theme of this year’s World Immunization Week campaign is “Protected Together: Vaccines Work!”

The 17th edition of the PAHO Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) started April 20 and runs until April 27 under the theme: “Protect your community. Do your part.”

VWA includes the participation of 45 countries and territories in the Americas.

Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus, diarrhea, rubella, and tetanus.

Global vaccination coverage remains at 85 per cent with no significant changes during the past few years. The WHO says an uptake of new and underused vaccines is increasing.

An additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided, however if global immunization coverage improves.

CPS advises guardians and parents to check their children’s vaccination status to see whether they are up to date. Persons with fever or rash should consult their physician who would then alert CPS where the necessary surveillance actions can be taken in connection with measles.

According to PAHO, historically, the Region of the Americas has led the way towards the elimination of various vaccine-preventable diseases.

“In 1971, it became the first region in the world to eliminate smallpox. In 1994, it achieved certification for the elimination of poliomyelitis. In 2015, it ended rubella and congenital rubella syndrome and in 2016, it eliminated measles.

“However, according to Etienne, the resurgence in outbreaks of measles and diphtheria, as well the occurrence of yellow fever, are challenges that must be faced in the Region.

“Measles remains a public health problem in all other Regions of the World Health Organization (WHO) and imported cases have been a significant threat to the countries of the Americas, where more than 17,000 cases have been registered since 2017,” said the PAHO Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne.


Police informs about Carnival 50 Jouvert Jump-up route and provides safety tips

PHILIPSBURG - In connection with the upcoming 50th Sint Maarten Carnival Anniversary Jouvert Jump up which is scheduled to take place on Saturday April 27th, 2019 the Police Department is making the following announcement.

This Jouvert Jump-up is expected to be one of the largest ever held on Sint Maarten with a very large number of bands and Dj’s taking part. This jump-up is also expected to pull a very large crowd of revellers and onlookers, both from persons living on the island as well as visitors to the island.

The Jouvert will start on Saturday at 04.00 a.m. on the Walter Nisbet road heading towards the Freedom Fighter round about. At the round about the jump up will make a left turn on the Sucker garden road until Arch road. It will then make a left turn onto the Arch road and follow this road until it exits onto to A. Th. Illidge road.

The Jump-up will continue towards the Cottage round about (former Eddy’s Auto Supply) and continue on A. Th. Illidge road until the crossing of A. Th. Illidge road-Prins Bernard Bridge-Long Wall road and Walter Nisbet road.

The Jump-up will make a left turn on to Walter Nisbet road and follow this direction until Salt Picker road about. At Salt Pickers Round about the Jump-up will make its last left turn onto Soualiga Boulevard and end in front of the Festival Village.

The Police Department is appealing to the community and visitors to the island to take all necessary precautions to safeguard your home when you are leaving to attend any event during this season and to be safe. You should conduct yourself in a responsible manner, the Thursday police statement said.

Take the Police safety tips into account and remember that the transaction list for any misbehaviour will be implemented. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


The Police Force of Sint Maarten is without any doubt doing its utmost, to protect you, your family and your property, in combating crime and criminals. The Public Relation Office of the Sint Maarten Police Force is therefore offering the entire community, the following safety tips, to help them prepare against crime.

Remember the 3 A’s of Crime Prevention

  1. Be Aware of your surroundings at all times.
  2. Be Alert to suspicious people and vehicles.
  3. Avoid dangerous situations.

     If you are out for the evening:

  • Turn on lights, radio or television so that it looks like some-one is at home.
  • Lock all doors and windows well, even if you are just leaving for a few minutes.
  • Don’t display items where they can be seen from the outside.

     -   Park your car in a well-lit area and make sure all windows and doors are


  • Avoid carrying a large amount of cash. Don’t flash cash around and carry it in a safe place on you.
  • If you have to use the ATM-machine, pay close attention to suspicious persons hanging around the machine. If that’s the case pass up that machine and find another.


  • Carry all wallets in the front pockets and carry purses close to your body.
  • Keep your children close to you while attending any activities and don’t let them get separated from you.
  • Pay attention to persons walking in front and behind you. (Especially in crowded places favorable for pickpockets)
  • When returning to your vehicle or your home, have your keys in your hands ready to open the door.
  • Before entering your vehicle, check front and rear and seats for any one that may be hiding there. Lock doors immediately after entering.

     -   Ask your neighbor to keep a watchful eye out for you.

     -   Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone. Remember that the risks of                    

           drinking and driving are not worth it. If you choose to drink, don’t drive.      

           Make use of a designated driver or public transportation. (Taxi or bus)

           Make sure that you know where your kids are at all times and that they    

           are safe.

 Most of all on behalf of the Police force of Sint Maarten, through the Public Relation Office, “We wish the entire community of Sint Maarten and it’s visitors a very safe and meaningful Carnival Season.”


WEATHER WATCH: Small chance for tropical development next week according to Crown Weather

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Crown Weather says there is the potential for some form of weather system development next week near The Bahamas.

“I think that there is the possibility that we will see some sort of tropical development during the month of May and it is possible that it could occur as soon as next week in the area around the Bahamas.

“With that said, even though some of the model guidance, including the GFS and European models, are hinting at some sort of tropical “mischief” near the Bahamas next week, it is possible that this is an error in the model data. The reason why I say this is because the model guidance oftentimes forecasts tropical development quicker than what it usually occurs, by up to one to two weeks sooner than reality – especially, during May and June.

“Taking a look at the model guidance – The GFS model and the European model are showing an area of disturbed weather festering near the Bahamas during the middle and last parts of next week.

“This is something that the guidance has been hinting at for the last couple of days as this disturbed weather seems to form from the tail end of a frontal boundary push off of the US East Coast this weekend and early next week.

“It appears that the guidance forecasts that a piece of energy may be left behind in the Bahamas leading the possibility of tropical development. Other model guidance such as the Canadian model are forecasting no tropical development next week,” Crown Weather reported on Tuesday.

Crown Weather added that there are high chances for tropical development to occur during mid to late May just before the June 1st start of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.



Free Festival Celebrates Local Animals and More This Sunday

ST. MARTIN (FRENCH QUARTER) - The Les Fruits de Mer association welcomes everyone to the 6th annual Endemic Animal Festival this Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon. The free festival will be held at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter. The event celebrates the animals that live only on St. Martin, with special exhibits and fun activities.

“Our theme this year is Survivors,” explained Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. “Our endemic animals are the ultimate survivors. By adapting to survive on St. Martin, they became unique species that are found nowhere else on earth.”

The festival’s Endemic Animal Discovery Station will feature many of the special critters that live only on St. Martin. They are a key part of the heritage of the island. If they were lost here, they would disappear from the world. Kids and adults can also learn about birds that live only in our region with fun games and activities from the BirdSleuth Caribbean program.

The festival will also use the theme Survivors to explore local heritage in other ways. A special exhibit of poems from the new book Hurricane Protocol by renowned writer Lasana M. Sekou tells stories of survival in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Visitors will get a preview of Soualibra, a new research library that collects and shares knowledge about St. Martin. A special exhibit will highlight 5,000 years of eco-friendly traditions on St. Martin.

“At this festival, guests can help St. Martin’s survival,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “You can decorate a bird feeder made from a re-used plastic bottle and take it home to feed birds in your backyard. You can also take-home free seedlings of native trees and other plants. You’ll learn about some of the threats we all face here, but also take steps to make the island stronger.”

The Endemic Animal Festival is great for all ages, especially kids. Festival guests will also be able to enjoy all the regular exhibits at Amuseum Naturalis, which is located on the hill above Galion Beach in French Quarter. The 2019 festival is completely free thanks to the generous support of Gold Sponsor Delta Petroleum and sponsors 97150, BirdsCaribbean, Buzz, IZI Light, L’Auberge Gourmande, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, L’Esperance Hotel, St. Martin’s Sweetness and Tri-Sport.

Plants mon2204 ins1

 Les Fruits de Mer volunteers have been busy growing native trees and other plants to give away at the event. 

Bird Feeder mon2204 ins2

Guests can decorate and bring home a bird feeder.

Spotted Woodslave mon2204 ins3

The Spotted Woodslave is one of the animals found only on St. Martin.


Be aware of Sexually Transmitted Infections

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Service’s (CPS) calendar of health observances, focuses on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) during the month of April, reminds and encourages the community to take a proactive approach to prevent STIs, and continue to make healthy choices.

CPS, which is a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is calling on the populace to get checked, treated and comply with the advised preventive measures.

Sexually Transmitted Infections are real and present. STIs do not discriminate. Individuals should also be well informed in order to make wise choices.

CPS encourages individuals to be more responsible for their own health and their partner's health, make proper use of condoms or abstain.

STIs are infections that are spread primarily through person-to-person sexual contact.  STIs are infections that are likely to be transmitted while having unprotected sex.  Transmitted means that the infection is passed on from one person to another person.

If you may have been exposed to an STI, you should consult your general practitioner and get tested; or if you have ever had unprotected (without a condom) sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with someone whose status you don't know, consult your general practitioner and get tested. For good sexual health care, consult your family physician.

There are more than 30 different sexually transmissible bacteria, viruses and parasites.

The most common conditions they cause are cancer, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, syphilis, trichomoniasis, chancroid, genital herpes, genital warts, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and hepatitis B infection.

Practicing safer sex is important as it decreases the chances of transmitting sexual infections.  Safer sex means taking positive action to lower the risk of sexually transmitted infections. You can lower your risk of becoming infected with an STI by using a condom male or female the right way every time you have sex.

Unsafe sex results in unplanned consequences. Be responsible for your health and your partner’s make an informed choice such as one can choose to abstain, be faithful and continuously and correctly during any and all sexual activities.

For STI information you can also contact your local Family Physician, and the Sint Maarten AIDS Foundation. Enjoy life, be well informed and comply!


Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival Takes Aim at Plastic Pollution

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Every spring, groups on islands all over the Caribbean celebrate the birds that live only in the region. These events are all part of the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival, organized by BirdsCaribbean. This year, the theme of the festival is Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution.

“Plastic pollution is a global problem, and it hurts the Caribbean in many ways,” explained festival coordinator Sheylda Diaz Mendez. “Our islands are home to over 170 birds found nowhere else in the world. They depend on clean wild spaces to live.”

On St. Martin, the Les Fruits de Mer association hosts the Endemic Animal Festival on Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis. The free festival will feature the animals that live only on St. Martin. Other parts of local nature and heritage will also be explored using the theme Survivors.

“The animals and plants that live only on St. Martin are survivors,” explained Les Fruits de Mer president Jenn Yerkes. “The people that lived here throughout history and prehistory are survivors, too. And for us to survive in the future, we need to take care of our island and our planet. Plastic pollution is one of the big problems we need to solve.”

Endemic Animal Festival guests can decorate a bird feeder made out of a plastic water bottle. They can also see how 5,000 years of recycling traditions on St. Martin might hold the key to a more eco-friendly future. The free event also includes fun bird activities, a poetry exhibit and much more.

Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival events are held between Earth Day on April 22nd and International Biodiversity Day on May 22nd. The Endemic Animal Festival on St. Martin is Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis. To learn more about this free event, visit or find Les Fruits de Mer on Facebook.

Solution THUR1804

Save birds by fighting plastic pollution in the Caribbean.


Human Trafficking/ Smuggling Team of KPSM arrest two suspects

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Wednesday, April 17th, 2019, the Human Trafficking/Smuggling Team of KPSM (Sint Maarten Police Force), together with the assistance of the Uniform Division arrested two persons in connection with an ongoing case of human smuggling, the police announced on Thursday. 

After their arrests, the suspects R. H-R and Y.D.F were both brought to the Police Station in Philipsburg, where they were questioned by the detectives of the Human Trafficking/Smuggling Team and remain in custody for further investigation. 

The investigation against the suspect will be carried out by the Human Trafficking/Smuggling Team, which consists of members of the St. Maarten Police Force and the Royal Dutch Marechaussee.

Combating human-smuggling and human-trafficking is one of the priorities of the Police Force of Sint Maarten and the Prosecutor's Office. Human smuggling is defined as providing illegal entrance to and illegal residence on St. Maarten. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


April USM Seminar Dedicated to Visual and Performing Arts Kicks Off Tuesday Night

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - University of St. Martin (USM) continues with its 2018-2019 Seminar Series as this month’s edition will focus on the topic Arts and Academia on St. Martin.

Coinciding with the start of Carnival season, this Tuesday evening, the doors of USM Lecture Hall will be open to the public with presentations and dialogue on the topic Arts and Academia.

“It is during the month of April, our carnival season, when St. Martiners work collectively to showcase their music, performances and visual arts in public. And so our faculty and staff thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this seminar to the Arts. Our purpose is to stimulate thinking on what role the university can play in promoting the arts. This includes music, theatre, dance, literature and visual arts,” said USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona in written statements to the press. 

Three local experts within the fields of performing and visual arts will be presenting their knowledge, vision and opinion on how the community can benefit from the Arts and how we can cultivate, preserve and encourage cultural production. Scheduled to speak is Ms. Clara Reyes who is the current Head of Culture Department at the Ministry of Education, culture Youth and Sports.

Ms. Reyes has an extensive career and experiences in Performing Arts and Art productions. Ms. Reyes holds a MA in Fine Arts degree in Dance and Choreography; she worked as an Arts Instructor in several high schools and co-founded the National Institute of Arts and Imbali Center for Creative Movement. Ms. Reyes will be discussing among others things, the impact and value Arts has on the well-being of the community.

One of the major constituents of Arts is Literature, which brings USM to invite Mr. Alex “Shujah” Reiph. Shujah, as he is lovingly known in the community, is a leading St. Martin national activist, cultural organizer, and trade unionist. He is president of the Conscious Lyrics Foundation and producer/host of the long-running Conscious Lyrics radio magazine, on 95.9 FM. He is also a founding member of the St. Martin Educational and Cultural Organization (SMECO) in 1984. In 2003, he partnered with Lasana M. Sekou and started the St. Martin Book Fair, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2018.

When discussing Arts the conversation always leads to music, and in observance of the 50th Anniversary of Carnival on St. Maarten, the seminar will look at how local talent is developed. Scheduled presenter Edsel “Touché” Eusebius was born and raised on St. Martin, and he started his music carrier at a very young age.

Being raised in a musically oriented family he was exposed to sound and performance since birth. His grandfather was the founder of a very popular folkloric band “Tanny & The Boys” that play traditional St. Maarten music. His uncles also had a steel pan orchestra, and everyone would practice in the yard where Touché lived.

He would at times accompany his uncles to some of their performances and would even sing a song or two and this is where his musical journey began. Touché is a well-known bass player who played for many prominent and well known groups such as “Intwine” and “Ziggi Recado”. He also produces records and mixes albums. He has produced for numerous bands and artist such as Orange Grove, Patrick Grayham and Ziggi Recado to name a few. Touché has returned to his island of birth in 2017 to focus on helping the youth of St. Maarten achieve great things through music.

“We are hoping to attract a good crowd of those genuinely interested in arts production, and those who want to know more about how the development of the university can benefit the study and practice of performance. This line of speakers should lay the basis for an interesting and fruitful dialogue”, Carmona stated.  

The evening will begin with words from USM lecturer and UNESCO Sint Maarten secretary General Ms. Marcelia Henry. Doors open at 6.30.


More than 100 daycare centres ban non-vaccinated children

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – More than 100 pre-school daycare centres spread all over the Netherlands say their policy is to refuse children who have not been vaccinated, according to broadcaster NOS.

Of those creches, some 25 say they have actually banned children who are not vaccinated, NOS said. The broadcaster says it is illegal to ban children who have not been vaccinated because of anti-discrimination laws.

However, daycare centres can refuse to admit children if there is a serious health issue, such as a measles outbreak. ‘As owner, I do not want to be held responsible by parents if I expose their young babies to infectious diseases,’ one creche owner in Amsterdam said.

The NOS report follows the news that four children under the age of four have developed measles at a crèche in The Hague, none of whom were vaccinated against the disease.

The children in The Hague bring the total measles cases in the Netherlands to 13 so far this year, compared with an average annual infection rate of 10 to 20.

Junior social affairs minister Tamara van Ark has set up a committee to look into the legal implications of banning non-vaccinated children from daycare, describing the issues as ‘complex’.

Safe levels

At the moment 90.2% of Dutch children are vaccinated against potentially serious illnesses such as measles, polio and whooping cough. This is below the level of 95% the World Health Organisation considers safe.

The last measles epidemic in the Netherlands hit the Dutch Bible belt in 2013. In total, 2,600 people were diagnosed with measles and the outbreak was concentrated in families with young children who had not been vaccinated for religious reasons.

One girl, who had not been vaccinated, died. The NOS contacted 3,600 daycare centres and 500 responded. Of them 105 said they banned non-vaccinated children.

School teacher

Meanwhile it was reported on Monday that a teacher at a secondary school in Zoetermeer had been diagnosed with a possible case of measles. The teacher, who was not named, works at the Oranje Nassau College.

The school told the Telegraaf most of its pupils have been vaccinated and school activities are continuing as normal.

The health board GGD Haaglanden later said the teacher may not have measles, but further tests were being done to eliminate the virus as a cause of his illness. (DutchNews)


NRPB responsible for the implementation of Trust Fund Projects

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) -  Since March 2019 the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) has moved into its own office space located in the former Labor Affairs building at Walter J. Nisbeth Road #57.

The NRPB carries the day-to-day responsibility for the implementation of all projects of the Government of Sint Maarten that are financed by the Government of the Netherlands through the Sint Maarten Trust Fund. The Trust Fund, set up by the Government of the Netherlands and the World Bank in April 2018, supports the recovery efforts of Sint Maarten for the next seven years.

The NRPB is responsible for making sure that the Trust Fund projects are implemented in an effective and accountable manner. This includes the preparation, coordination, execution and evaluation of projects. In addition, the NRPB can help the Government of Sint Maarten to identify and prepare projects that can be financed through other sources of funding, such as the national budget and European funding.  

When the Trust Fund was established, it was evident that the Government of Sint Maarten does not have the capacity or expertise to fulfill all the requirements of the Trust Fund projects. The NRPB was created by Parliament to add the necessary support for the implementation of the different projects. With input from the ministries, the NRPB handles all technical, administrative, legal, financial, procurement and safeguards responsibilities to ensure effective implementation of the Trust Fund projects.

The NRPB is headed by Director Claret Connor and reports through the Minister of General Affairs to the Council of Ministers. The NRPB also serves as the single point of coordination for all stakeholders of the Trust Fund projects.

All proposals for Trust Fund projects come from the Council of Ministers based on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which was approved by Parliament in September 2018. As the Council of Ministers decides to submit a new project to the Trust Fund, the NRPB helps the ministries with the preparation of a project proposal, which is then submitted to the Steering Committee of the Trust Fund.  The Steering Committee consists of one representative of the World Bank, one representative of the Government of the Netherlands and one representative of the Government of Sint Maarten, in the person of former Prime Minister Mr. Marcel Gumbs. The Steering Committee meets at least twice a year to discuss existing projects and proposals for new projects that could be financed by the Trust Fund.

Approved Trust Fund projects move through a number of stages that include identification, preparation, project appraisal, approval, implementation, completion and evaluation. The NRPB and the ministries are closely involved in all stages of the projects. From project conception to execution, Sint Maarten is always in the driver’s seat.

The World Bank’s role is to offer assistance in order to ensure that the implementation of projects takes place in an effective and accountable manner.

At present there are over fifty different Trust Fund activities, in various stages of implementation. This includes activities that serve to strengthen our emergency services, the repair of social and privately-owned homes, and the suppression of fires on the landfill.

NRPB Director Connor recognizes that the Government of Sint Maarten has faced challenges in the early implementation of the different Trust Fund projects. Ensuring that projects are strategically planned in ways that are sustainable and resilient to future disasters took more time than originally anticipated. Specific challenges remain due to the relative complexity of some of the projects, the lack of experience with the applicable social and environmental standards, as well the local market’s limited capacity to respond to tender opportunities and the capacity constraints within the Government and the NRPB to the manage the projects. 

How does the NRPB intend to address these challenges? Over the past months, a number of strategies have been developed to counteract the different implementation challenges. These strategies include an increased amount of support from the World Bank in the form of hands-on technical assistance, the accelerated recruitment of NRPB staff and training and information sessions for local businesses so that they are better prepared for tender opportunities.

The NRPB is also intensifying its efforts to increase public awareness about the recovery process and the different Trust Fund projects. Community outreach activities for schools, businesses and the general public are being prepared in order to explain the tasks of the NRPB and to speak with the people of Sint Maarten about the next phase of our recovery process.

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