Soualiga News II

Soualiga News II (2622)

Direct Supervision from Holland on Quality of Electricity and Drinking Water in the Caribbean Netherlands

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - From now on the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will carry out the supervision of electricity and drinking water in the Caribbean from the European Netherlands.

In the past years, the ACM worked with two employees in the Caribbean Netherlands on defining this supervision. Frequent consultations took place with relevant companies and institutions, on the exact impact of this.

ACM now closes its office at Kaya Pedro Luis Brion on Bonaire. ACM employees will regularly pay work visits to the Caribbean Netherlands

ACM-Board Member Henk Don: "Since 2015 ACM has been permanently present in the Caribbean Netherlands. We have learned to know the specific situation well at that time.

“Now supervision can be carried out from the European Netherlands. Our role is to establish the maximum rates to stimulate companies to efficiency improvements and at the same time enable them to make a reasonable return on their invested capital."

The affordability for customers, where necessary, is supported with grants from the national government.

Nothing substantive changes to the work of the ACM in the Caribbean Netherlands. Also, for consumers little will change. They may still contact the ACM in the usual way. See (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


June 19 is World Sickle Cell Day

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the most frequent genetic disease worldwide.  SCD affects millions of people throughout the world.

SCD belongs to a group of inherited red blood cell disorders, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). “It happens when a child receives two sickle cell genes—one from each parent. The red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited disorder in which the shape of red blood cells are C-shaped sickles that can get stuck in blood vessels and block them. This blockage is called a pain crisis or sickle crisis. Tissue does not receive a normal blood flow eventually becomes damaged, and this is what causes the complications of sickle cell disease

You won’t have total control over how SCD affects your body. But you can take steps to manage pain and to reduce your chances of problems. Currently there is no universal cure for sickle cell disease.  Today persons diagnosed with sickle cell disease can live a full, active life, making smart choices is important in keeping the condition from flaring into a crisis. Currently there is no universal cure for sickle cell disease.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, would like to make use of this opportunity: World Sickle Cell Day to share some information with the general population, friends and family and the person(s) living with SCD and create awareness about SCD in connection with the global observance of SCD.

Dealing with pain SCD varies widely person to person. The severity of pain can range from mild to severe. Likewise, the methods to relieve it also can differ. Here are some good guidelines to follow according to WebMD Medical Reference:

Talk with your doctor. Discuss your symptoms and find ways to relieve your pain. This may include medicine and other relief methods, including heating pads or physical therapy.

Use pain medicines with caution. Talk with your doctor about what over-the-counter drugs are best for you. Look for pain triggers. Every time you’re in sudden pain, try to figure out what may have caused it. Although it’s not obvious at first, having a long-running list over time could help you find a link. Find what works for you. There isn’t one pain relief that works for everybody.

WebMD says SCD is a complex disease, so it’s important to see your doctor for regular health checkups. Some tips to take care of yourself in partnership with your family physicians and family:

Drink plenty of fluids. Being dehydrated can increase your risk of a sickle crisis, so get plenty of water -- about 8 glasses a day. Drink more fluid if you’re exercising or in hot weather.

Sleep. Get enough.  Eat right. Have plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein.

Exercise in moderation. Aim for about 2½ hours of moderate exercise a week, such as walking or biking. Talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Physical activity is key in staying healthy. At the same time, you don’t want to overdo it. Rest when you get tired.

Take your medicine. Make sure you take your prescription medicine as directed. Get medical and lab tests that your doctor recommends.

Stay up to date on vaccines. It is critically important to get all recommended vaccines, including the annual flu shot, and pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines. Common illnesses, like the flu, can quickly become dangerous if you have SCD.

Mental Health Support is also important.  SCD is a lifelong disease. It’s normal for people with a chronic (ongoing) disease to feel sad at times, but if these feelings don’t go away get medical care at once.

You must know when to Get Medical Care WebMD points out.  Keep an eye out for possible problems caused by SCD. If you have any of the following problems, get medical attention right away: Fever of 101 F or higher; Chest pain; Severe pain that you can’t soothe; Severe headache, dizziness or stiff neck; Seizure

Swelling in your belly; Loss of feeling or movement; For men, a painful erection that lasts more than 4 hours; Problems breathing; Sudden loss of vision.

WebMD says, things that should be avoided when diagnosed with SCD are: Extreme temperatures. Extreme heat or cold, or any swift changes in temperatures, could set off a crisis. Alcohol. It can make you dehydrated. Smoking. This can trigger a lung condition called acute chest syndrome. This is when sickle cells stick together and block oxygen from getting into your lungs.

Infections. Common illnesses can be very serious for people with SCD. Wash your hands before eating or after using the bathroom. Wash your fruits and veggies, and avoid raw meat, eggs, and unpasteurized milk.

Stress. It’s hard to avoid, but stress can trigger a crisis, so try to take time to relax or find techniques that help you calm down.

Heavy physical labor. Though it’s good to get moderate exercise, very intense activities that are exhausting or leave you out of breath should be avoided.

Help from loved ones and friends makes a difference points out WedMD.  If your loved one has SCD, you want to help the person to enjoy a normal life. Tips to provide support: Detect signs of crisis. You may be able to tell when your loved one is about to have a sickle cell crisis. Knowing the signs can help you deal with crises quickly or perhaps keep them from happening again.

Provide a support system. Be alert to symptoms, be prepared, and make allowances when necessary (especially for children) when SCD effects crop up.

Help with pain relief. Take an active role in easing pain. This could mean giving a massage, finding a heat pad, or applying bandages. You could help your loved one with breathing exercises or other diversions to help the person relax. Reach out to support services if they are available, join support group or create a support group with friends, families and other persons and their family members with the same diagnosis, connect with others facing similar situations.

Keep your child’s teachers informed. Make sure that teachers, day care workers and other adults who are entrusted with your child’s care know why he may need more frequent water breaks, bathroom breaks, and other issues.  Keep up to date on new information on SCD and share the information in the community so that awareness on SCD can increase and as a community give support. SCD is a reality in our community let us give support.


N.V. GEBE sponsors the next big community event

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - All roads lead to the Belair Community Center on Wednesday, June 19, where one of biggest events held on St. Maarten, a free motivational presentation sponsored by N.V. Gebe is set to go live at 6:30pm.

This event entitled. “Get in the Ring: Discover your purpose and fight your way to the top,” will feature globally accredited motivation speaker, Dr. Natasha Gittens, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Training Professionals Inc. (TPI) It’s deemed to be a phenomenal night where Dr. Gittens will inspire others by sharing information on topics like Clean Mind, Eat to Live, Treasure Life and so much more.

“Empowering our people,” stated the Managing Director of NV GEBE “is at the heart of the core values. We are very excited to sponsor this event with TPI and reaffirm that Dr. Gittens will deliver powerful message to aid in the personal development of all those who attend. We encourage all to attend to go the 12 rounds and never give up the fight.”

TPI’s President and CEO Dr. Natasha Gittens recognizes the commitment that N.V. GEBE has for the community and applaud them for doing their part.          



SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - October 17th, 2019- The American University of the Caribbean (AUC) Wellness counselors Sharikka Finley-Moise and Miguel Rivera visited the Mental Health Foundation (MHF).

During a tour around the facility, the counselors met with various members of the MHF staff that explained the importance of mental health care on the island and expressed their dedication to making sure those dealing with mental disorders receive the support needed to recover and live happier, healthier lives.

Counselors Moise and Rivera were quite impressed with what the organization has managed to accomplish thus far given its size and current need of funding for a new building.

“MHF continues to be committed to providing the best psychiatric care possible on St. Maarten,” stated MHF executive assistant Cyrille Brooks.

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International Yoga Day 2019 To be celebrated on Friday

CAY HILL – Members of the Sint Maarten community are invited to an International Yoga Day event.

What is my pathway to health?

How do I access tranquility during tumultuous times?

How do I make the most of this precious life?

Come and understand how Yoga can help YOU answer these questions and more of life's most pressing questions! Celebrate International Yoga Day with IMA, The Indian Embassy of Caracas and Instructor Juliette of Joga on Friday, June 21!

This class is FREE and open to all levels. Please see below the attached Flyer for more details.



Date and Time:

Friday June 21, 2019.

6:30PM - 8PM


Gasoline and Diesel Prices to be adjusted on Tuesday

PHILIPSBURG – On Tuesday, June 18, fuel pump prices will be adjusted for gasoline and diesel. 

The current price of unleaded gasoline is Naf.2.151 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.1.978 per liter.

The current price of diesel is Naf.1.675 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.1.560 per liter.

The Government of Sint Maarten regulates the prices of petroleum products by imposing a maximum price at which wholesalers and retailers can sell these products in the country to motorists.

At the international level, the prices of crude oil have experienced adjustments and local prices follow the international trend, and therefore prices are adjusted to reflect this. 


President Gibbs explains Economic Strategy to Ensure Success

SAINT MARTIN (GRAND CASE) – President of the Collectivite Daniel Gibbs delivered the welcome word to the CaribAvia Conference 2019 which partly took place at the Grand Case Airport last week.   

President Gibbs welcomed the conference delegates including Commander Bud SLABBAERT, Chairman and coordinator of Caribavia Meetup, Angèle DORMOY, President of the Interprofessional Chamber of St Martin, and Pascal MARCOUX, director of EDEIS airport handling company.

The Presidents speech is as follows:

Ladies and gentlemen, 

I wish you a warm welcome to Saint Martin French side. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to present you our overseas territory, especially our airport facilities and our development projects.

After suffering the devastation of hurricane Irma, on September 6th, 2017, our island is now under full reconstruction. With 95% of all structures damaged, Saint Martin was in crisis management for several months. Gratefully, our airport was able to reopen straight after the Hurricane and help our government with the emergency operations.  

Getting back on our feet after this huge catastrophe(i) has been a very trying and exhausting experience, but we can now confirm that the worst is behind us! The door is now wide open to investment on the French Side. Particularly for our regional airport which represents a great potential for development.   

To ensure the success of the next steps after reconstruction, we have decided with my political team to reform our Territory’s economic strategy by:  

  • - Redefining our tourism plan
  • - Improving our island’s attractiveness
  • - Establishing stronger policies to attract investors
  • - Reinforcing our international marketing

I have worked on this project for several months now, basing it on my conviction that a great part of our future development depends on private investment.

This is of primary importance in the domain of tourism, based on our needs to improve our hotel’s accommodations, our networks and other facilities.

Saint Martin is now building its economic growth on several facets, from securing our infrastructures to protecting our visitors from the weather conditions, as well as to setting an example in terms of environment, and focusing on sustainable development.

We are currently working on our international image through the elaboration of a calendar of high-visibility events to breathe life into our local economy and put in place a new marketing strategy to promote our destination.

Because Saint-Martin is a French and European country with a specific institutional status, our island is able to offer advantages in terms of tax system, urbanism policy and tourism development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Now that I have given you an overview of our general vision for Saint-Martin, I would like to focus on the development of the Grand Case airport which is one of our main tools to improve the economy of the French side. 

The Collectivité of St Martin decided to subcontract the management and operations of the Grand Case airport to EDEIS, a French Corporation.

Three airlines have regularly scheduled flights inbound and outbound of Grand Case: Air Caraïbes, Air Antilles Express, and St Barth Commuter.

With EDEIS and our regular airlines we are working hand in hand to create a high-quality of service on the French side, in terms of a choice for business travel companies and their VIP clients - especially for transfers to and from Saint Barths.

In addition, 2019 could see the arrival of a new airline from the American Virgin Islands.

Plans are currently being made with the civil aviation authorities to establish the routes, and I met with Mr. Albert BRYAN Jr., Governor of the US Virgin Islands, at the last annual CHRIS conference in Miami, to plan a visit to St. Martin to move forward on this important issue.

Additional projects are under development to meet European standards and facilitate the arrival of other regional airlines.

Furthermore, important work has been underway, this year, to meet the needs of our Airlines Operators and their clientele:

  • - Waterproofing the terminal’s roof;
  • - Replacing of the airport’s perimeter fences; 
  • - Creating a paid parking;
  • - Major maintenance of runways;
  • - A 30-meter extension of the runway at the end of this year to better suit the grievances of the companies and the reconstruction of the security perimeter of the airport.

We have a bigger extension project of 300 meters of the runway, but we’ve decided to postpone this project and put our priority on the security of the existing infrastructures given the circumstances post-Irma. We have planned to come back to this project later.

In the meantime, we are working with the French government to facilitate the VISA policy for the Caribbean islands to enter Saint-Martin French side. Because we know it is a concrete way to increase the air traffic.

It is not simple as we need a national agreement, but we hope to have a result on this issue at the end of the year.

Thanks to the ministerial decree of April 18th 2012, we already have a Short-stay visa application for Anguilla, Antigua Barbuda, Barbados and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Discussions with the French State is underway to examine the possibility of including in this decree other Caribbean islands, such as the Dominican Republic, under specific conditions.  

It is very important for the Collectivité of St Martin to support EDEIS in its development projects because our common interest is to see our regional airport grow in complementarity with Princess Juliana International Airport.

I know EDEIS is planning to construct the kind of airport that will go hand-in-glove with the tourism strategy that I put in place for my country.

I am convinced we will continue this fundamental work for the interest of our island as well as the interest of the visitors who like our Caribbean destination.

Before concluding, let me warmly thank CARIBAVIA and its chairman, mister SLABBAERT for having chosen Saint Martin for its annual Meetup conference. It is a great honor to host this significant international aviation event here in Grand Case.

This choice clearly demonstrates CaribAvia’s strong support to our regional airport, and the faith you have in our potential. 

The reconstruction of the island is a long-term process, as I explained earlier in my speech, we have chosen to make a concrete policy by carrying out projects in line with the needs of our people and our budget.

I am convinced that it is through a responsible, methodical and structured policy that we will rebuild our island on solid foundations.

Thank you very much for coming and visiting us, I wish you to enjoy your stay and discover the many assets of the Friendly Island.  

Thank you for your attention.


Rhoda Arrindell, Nicole Cage Recipients of Award from Book Fair

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Dr. Rhoda Arrindell and Nicole Cage are the winners of the “Presidents Award” from the St. Martin Book Fair 2019.

Arrindell and Cage accepted the award at the Main Book Launch and Closing Ceremony of the festival’s 17th edition, June 8. Corporate citizen Motorworld hosted the event at its glittering Showroom in Cole Bay, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.

“The President’s Award is presented to individuals and institutions whose work is noted for its excellence and for combining literary, cultural, and liberation components in the service of progress, of their people or nation, and of humanity,” said Lasana M. Sekou, projects director at House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

Dr. Rhoda Arrindell is a St. Martin educator, leading linguist, and author of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin. The former Humanities Division head at the University of St. Martin (USM) has taught English composition and literature.

Dr. Arrindell co-authored chapters in Agency in the Emergence of Creole Languages (Dr. Nicholas Faraclas, Ed.) and edited Brother Rich ... , Creative Writing in St. Martin. In early June (following hurricane Irma’s destruction) she re-opened her youth sports academy and the multipurpose café, Source of Inspirational Learning (SoIL).

Nicole Cage, from Martinique, is an author, journalist, Spanish teacher, psychotherapist; and founder of the book publisher Cimarrón EdiProd.

Cage is also a recipient of the coveted Casa de las Américas prize for Arc-en-ciel, l’espoir, a children and young adults poetry collection. Her novels and poetry books include L’Espagnole, Palabras de paz por tiempos de Guerra, Dèyé pawol sé lanmou/Par-delà les mots, l’amour–Poèmes bilingue, and Vole avec elle.

The Presidents Award statue (always handcrafted of African wood and this year of Kenyan design), was presented to each awardee by Reiph and Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez, USM president. The audience of some 300 guests included authors from around the world, tourists who timed their vacation to coincide with the annual St. Martin Book Fair, and St. Martin’s people from all walks of life, said Sekou.

Previous winners of what the Daily Herald has called a “prestigious award,” include Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados), Benny Wenda (West Papua), Derek Walcott (St. Lucia), Dr. Quince Duncan (Costa Rica), Sir Roland Richardson (St. Martin), and Edwidge Danticat (USA).

Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF) and the Book Fair Committee organized the St. Martin Book Fair, June 6 – 8, 2019, in collaboration with strategic partner St. Maarten Tourist Bureau; University of St. Martin (USM); L.C. Fleming Foundation; Motorworld; SOS Radio; and Nagico. The Presidents Award is named after the presidents of CLF, HNP, and USM.


Rotary Sunset Donates to Jeunesse Soualiga

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) – On Monday, June 10, the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset presented Ms. Idryssa Gumbs and Christoline Theodore of Jmix and Friends Corporation (JFC) Jeunesse Soualiga with a monetary donation towards the annual prom evening. Ms. Gumbs, who is the event coordinator, approached the club for the sponsorship of their annual event.

During the general meeting of June 10, Ms. Gumbs explained to the membership the tasks of JCF and the goals of the foundation. JFC is a foundation based on the French side of the island, which organizes events for teenagers, such as prom. This year’s prom will be held at the Port de Plaisance on July 26, 2019. The theme for this year’s prom is Wakanda Forever, whereby the students had the majority vote.

Ms. Gumbs explained the challenges faced by the organization, especially after the passing of hurricane Irma and lack of funding from sponsors, hence their approach to Rotary Sunset. As part of Youth Service month, it is within one of Rotary’s core values to enhance and promote the betterment of youth. JFC and its endeavors for youth and youth enhancements fall within the scope of Rotary’s focus, which fueled the decision to grant the sponsorship.

Treasurer Tyrone Yates along with Vice President Ruminni Rogers presented Ms. Gumbs and Ms. Theodore with the donation and wished them much success in their endeavors.


Nature Foundation Requests Urgent Action on the Management of Nation’s Beaches after Illegally Constructed Toilets Found on Mullet Bay Beach

SINT MAARTEN (MULLET BAY) - The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation has expressed significant concern regarding the way beaches and beach access have been managed recently. Reason for the latest call for decision makers to take the management of the Nation’s Beaches seriously was the discovery of an illegally built toilet on Mullet Bay Beach.

“We were beyond surprised when we saw that someone built a toilet on the beach at Mullet Bay. The toilet included a wooden structure, an actual toilet and a plumbing system that channels excrement into foliage right on the beach. We are very surprised that the necessary departments have not responded to this.

“Especially considering that a complaint has been made by both beachgoers and operators of the beach bar on Mullet Bay. We have sent the information to the VROMI Inspection department and hope that the structure can be removed immediately,” commented Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets.

The Foundation has previously also had to respond several times to issues affecting beaches on the island ranging from illegal beach construction, heavy equipment and other vehicles driving and parking on the beaches, structures such as fences being built, significant amount of trash being left on beaches, and beach access being restricted.

"Over the past few months we have constantly been faced with having to respond to issues occurring on the beaches. We would like to remind both the public and decision makers that beaches are our most important natural resource and all must be done to protect and sustainably develop this resource. Unsustainable activities such as beach construction, driving on beaches and littering on beaches not only has significant environmental effects but also affects the economy and the image of Sint Maarten as we are trying to rebuild, " continued Bervoets.

Bervoets continued by stating that the protection, conservation and proper management of beaches should be established in law, "The Nature Foundation would like to call on Parliament to come with concrete legislation on how beaches should be managed and protected in terms of their ecological and economic importance. There is, or was, a Beach Policy in place but for all intents and purposes this policy is non-functioning or not being taken into consideration. Poor trash pick-up, parking and driving on beaches, and beach construction are fundamental issues hampering the sustainable use of one of our greatest natural assets and is hampering our recovery post hurricane Irma," concluded Bervoets.

The Nature Foundation is calling for a structured management plan of the country's beaches, protecting and managing the resource sustainable to increase and support the recovery of Sint Maarten.





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