News 2 (2)

Soualiga News II (4521)

Saba Island Council attends course in Bonaire

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Members of the Saba Island Council left for Bonaire on Monday, May 16. The main goal of the trip to Bonaire is to attend a three-day course on ‘Open Governance’, facilitated by the Bonaire company Konsiliare BV.

Also on the program this week are meetings with the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN and the Immigration and Naturalization Service IND, as well as a visit to the Tabitha women’s refuge and the Department of Agriculture, Husbandry and Fisheries LVV.

Subjects that will come up during the Open Governance course include: legislation, principles guiding transparency and accountability, structure and nature of government, openness between the Executive Council and the Island Council, openness of government with society, publication of decisions, and achieving good and democratic governance.

The idea to attend the Open Governance course came from Councilman Vito Charles. He came across the course and suggested to his colleagues that partaking in a course like this would positively contribute to their knowledge on governance and transparency.

“As an Island Council, we are constantly trying to improve how we function. However, as we live on an island it is difficult to interact with other Council Members and professionals in the Dutch Caribbean to exchange knowledge and ideas about legislation and legislative procedures. Also, due to COVID-19, networking and educational opportunities were severely limited in the last two years,” said Charles.

“We saw this course as an opportunity to learn more about how the Island Council can more effectively use the tools that are available to us to obtain more transparency from government which ultimately means more information for the Saba people on the decisions taken by The Executive Council. Even though we have only completed the first day, my colleagues and I are gaining significant insight to assist us in executing our tasks,” said Charles on Tuesday.

The Saba Island Council delegation consists of Council Members Esmeralda Johnson, Vito Charles, Carl Buncamper, Hemmie van Xanten and Eviton Heyliger, and Island Council Registrar Akilah Levenstone. The delegation is back on Saba next week Tuesday, May 24.


Distribution Unspoiled Teens magazine

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - This week the Public Health Department started with the distribution of The Unspoiled Teens magazine at the Saba Comprehensive School. The Unspoiled Teens is a health promotion project specifically aimed at the target group of teenagers and young adults on Saba.

The healthy lifestyle magazine was created by health promoter Allan Carolina and includes written articles on important health pillars such as: good nutrition, exercise, rest and hydration, but also aspects that teenagers deal with daily such as: relationships, social media and coping with stress.

The magazine also includes photos and visuals of teens living on Saba. It is a local and relatable source of information, presented in a creative and entertaining way to read for the target group. “By informing and educating our young adults on important health aspects, we can help to reduce illnesses and diseases and ensure a healthier community in the future,” said Carolina. 

The magazine will be available digitally and in hardcopy. The hardcopies are primarily distributed at the Saba Comprehensive School but can also be found to read at the local library, Saba Cares, F3 Fun Free Fitness Center, S’Mikes Gym and Bizzy B Bakery.


UPDATED: Police investigation continues into Back Street Shooting

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - A young man with the initials B.C. was found shot dead in a car in the vicinity of Back Street 171 around 8:30pm on Monday, May 16, 2022. This fatal shooting is under investigation by police.

Police Central dispatch received several calls about a man in a car showing no signs of life. Several patrols were dispatched to the scene along with an ambulance.

The police patrol found the man seated in a car with a gunshot wound. Paramedics attempted to administer first aid to the victim, however, it became apparent that he had succumbed to his injuries.

Back Street and several connecting alleys were closed due to the investigation.

Anyone who may have information about this fatal shooting is urged to contact the Police Force on +1 721 542 2222 ext. 204 or 205 or the free anonymous tip line 9300. You can also visit to report crimes anonymously via the tip contact form or leave a private message via Facebook: Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten.

ARCHIVED - MONDAY MAY 16 - SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Police Dispatch received a call around 8.30pm Monday evening about a shooting incident on Back Street.

Upon the arrival of the Police, a male victim was found dead.

The Detectives and Forensics Unit are carrying out an investigation into what exactly transpired. Additional information will be forthcoming.


Kick-off Anti-Bullying Week, Book Week

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Pupils and staff of Saba’s Sacred Heart School on Monday morning, May 16 took part in the opening ceremony of the 2022 Anti-Bullying Week 2022 and the 2022 Book Week, both of which take place this entire week.

After the Saba Song, the Sacred Heart School Song and a prayer, principal Hortence Promes welcomed everyone and called the Anti-Bullying Week and the Book Week a good combination because they both addressed very important matters such as treating each other with kindness and respect.

Etsel Lake of the After School Care and a few pupils made a short statement against bullying. Lucrecia Paulina of the Community Development Department presented her poem about bullying. Announcing the next part of the program, Lake said that as a child, he was bullied. “One trick that helped me was reading,” he said.

Director of the Queen Wilhelmina Library Tiffany Zagers announced this year’s winners of the Book Week 2022 slogan and design. Children from Grade 1 to 6 made a slogan from this year’s theme: friendship. From these entries, the judges picked “Tell a friend grab a book, let’s go read in our little nook.” This slogan was written by Je’Mya Massiah of Grade 3. The entries for the design competition came from the Saba Comprehensive School. Emely Rosa Vasquez of Pro 2, was the winner of this year’s design. The Library Class of the Year was Grade 1 of the Sacred Heart School.

Island Governor Jonathan Johnson performed the official opening of Anti-Bullying Week 2022 and Book Week 2022. “Bullies think that they are very strong, but actually they are weak. Basically, it is important that we treat others the way we want to be treated. Book s can take us many places. Reading is knowledge, is power,” he said.

The entire week, activities are being organized for the children to give attention to Anti-Bullying Week and the Book Week. For the Anti-Bullying Week, different activities will take place in the classrooms that will dedicate attention to bullying and its effects. In the afternoon, there will be games, craft, a treasure hunt, an odd socks day on Wednesday. The closing is this Friday with presentations at school in the morning and a child disco in the afternoon.

In collaboration with Joelyn Robinson and Lauren Risley of the Community Development Department, there willl be fun team-building activities for children of both the daycare and the primary school. There will be a range of games, from cat & mouse and duck, duck goose to steal the bacon and a group jump rope.

Movie nights are scheduled for 5:30pm at the Queen Wilhelmina Library on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Tuesday movie will be for Kindergarden 1 to Grade 3, Thursday’s movie will be Grade 4 to 6, and on Friday the movie night for the students of the Saba Comprehensive School will take place. On Friday morning is the annual Book Week walk-a-thon, starting from the Sacred Heart School at 8:30 am to the Queen Wilhelmina Park.

sgis Opening Anti bullying Week Book WeekThe opening ceremony of the Anti-Bullying Week and the Book Week at the gym on Monday morning.

sgis Winner of 2022 Book Weeek slogan receives prizeThe winner of the 2022 Book Week slogan Je’Mya Massiah of Grade 3 of the Sacred Heart School receives her prize.

sgis Book Week design winner receives prizeThe winner of the 2022 Book Week design Emely Rosa Vasquez of Pro 2 of the Saba Comprehensive School receives her prize.



DCOMM to Launch Gov Insider Newscast on Monday Evening

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Department of Communication (DCOMM) will be launching one of its products, the ‘Gov Insider Newscast.’

The first program for 2022 will be aired on Monday, May 16 at 7.00pm, through all DCOMMs mediums via SXMGOV Radio 107.9 FM, Facebook/sxmgov, TELTV+, TV15 and via the Government’s official website

The weekly newscast is aimed towards enhancing public awareness surrounding Government’s programs, policies, projects, and events. It will be broadcasted every Monday at 7.00pm.

“This initiative has been in the planning for quite some time and will add another feature to the information being provided by government. We look forward to the launch of this Gov Newscast program and the added value it will bring to the people of Sint Maarten,” Prime Minister/Minister of General Affairs Hon. Silveria Jacobs stated.

The first edition which will be on Monday evening, will feature Royal Caribbean Group and the Government of Sint Maarten Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing; the official opening of the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) new service centers, and other stories including the closing of Carnival 2022 featuring Sint Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) President Alston Lourens, who alluded to what’s to come for Carnival 2023, which will span from April 14 to May 3, 2023.

The Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, the Hon. Silveria Jacobs, would like to encourage the public to tune in on Monday evening and thereafter every Monday at 7.00pm to learn more about what is happening within Government via ‘Gov Insider Newscast.’


Flow upgrades mobile coverage in St. Eustatius with new site

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Leading telecoms provider Flow has expanded its mobile coverage in St. Eustatius with a new 40-meter tower in Oranjestad.

This new tower delivers superfast and reliable mobile service in the area and coverage also extends to surrounding neighborhoods, and even to sea to provide vessels in surrounding waters with much-needed connectivity.

The enhanced coverage also makes it possible for customers to receive service at their location from multiple mobile towers, and this overlapping coverage not only ensures the strongest, most reliable mobile connection, but it also offers more resilience for the upcoming hurricane season.

“We keep investing in our networks to ensure that our customers can enjoy maximum connectivity and productivity wherever they are located. Gone are the days when communication only took place at a desk in the office or face to face. Nowadays we’re all juggling multiple activities at the same time and by providing full mobility we bring Chippie customers the opportunity to take care of their affairs anywhere, anytime. Whether business or pleasure,” said Rauf Engels, Statutory Director, Dutch Caribbean, Flow.

With its Chippie mobile brand, Flow is also the only one providing high-speed mobile internet performance through LTE technology.

“We are committed to offering the best possible experience and continue to look for new ways to offer value; whether it’s though affordable prepaid plans, better control on expenses with our hybrid plans or with innovations that offer convenience such as our platform that allows you to top up online anywhere, anytime,” added Engels.

The full range of Chippie mobile services are available at Flows local partner in Oranjestad: Gem Giftshop.


Saba Arawak Hotel opens, a very welcome addition to Saba

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Saba’s hospitality sector has a new, and most welcome addition since Friday, May 6: the Saba Arawak Hotel. With 27 rooms, the hotel will give a boost to the number of room accommodations on the island.

Named after the Arawak Indians that came to Saba during the 8th century for comfort and stability, the Saba Arawak Hotel wants to offer the same to its guests. “We came up with the name of the hotel to give tribute to the former inhabitants of Saba,” said manager Ahmad Mohamad.

The Saba Arawak Hotel is owned by the Mohamad family. “We already had many friends on Saba, and since we know a lot about hospitality, we wanted to do something for the island and bring more tourists to Saba,” said Ahmad Mohamad, who emphasized that the focus is on tourists and not on long-term rentals.


Aside from increasing the number of room accommodations, the Saba Arawak Hotel will contribute to employment opportunities and support the continued growth of the local economy. “We want to contribute to the community and we hire people who already reside here,” said Ahmad Mohamad. “It took 2.5 years to build the hotel. We started construction just before the pandemic. It was a challenge and we are very happy that it is now open. The bookings are looking good and are especially strong around Saba Carnival in July.”

The Saba Arawak Hotel features 18 junior suites with one queen bed, six junior suites with two twin beds, and three large 1-bedroom suites with a king bed and a sofa bed. All rooms have fully-equipped kitchenettes. The hotel has a large outdoor swimming pool. The hotel’s restaurant and bar have been outsourced to Liam's Cuisine Bar & Restaurant, specialized in Asian and Caribbean dishes. The restaurant and bar will open soon and will be open for the general public as well. The swimming pool remains reserved for guests only.

Largest property

The Saba Arawak Hotel property is the largest on Saba. It consists of four buildings. One with six rooms, two with nine rooms and one with three rooms, which includes the main entrance, laundry room and the bar and restaurant. Each building has its own cistern.

The price per hotel room per night for the junior suites is US $129 before tax and US $159 before tax for the 1-bedroom suites. The hotel is on,, but can also be booked through the hotel’s website, which will be operational soon, and via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and telephone +5994162233.

Saba Arawak Hotel view from room

Pool view Saba Arawak Hotel

Bedroom large suite Saba Arawak Hotel



CARPHA visits CPS to discuss non-communicable diseases

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – During the first week of May, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), based in Trinidad and Tobago, visited Sint Maarten to support the establishment of a surveillance system for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

NCDs or chronic diseases are a group of conditions include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, chronic lower respiratory diseases, sickle cell, mental illness, and injuries.

They are mainly a result of a combination of genetic, environmental, behavioral, and metabolic risk factors brought on such as by physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, alcohol, air pollution, stress, and overweight/obesity.

CARPHA was invited by the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) as part of the implementation of the recently approved NCD Multisectoral Action Plan 2021-2030.

During their one-week visit, CARPHA experts visited the St. Maarten Medical Center, the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation, the St Maarten Heart and Stroke Foundation, General Practitioners (GPs), the Department of Statistics (STAT), the Civil Registry, the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) as well as the funeral homes.

The CARPHA experts were impressed by the large amounts of mortality and morbidity data being collected for chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and cancers.

They made recommendations on how to best utilize existing data and infrastructures to develop a national NCD surveillance system.

Dr. Tamu Davidson, Head of the Chronic Disease, and Injury Department of CARPHA, offered Joy Arnell, the Secretary General of the Ministry of VSA, their recently developed regional guidelines for diabetes as well as promotional material regarding NCDs.

CARPHA’s offer to provide continued support and training to strengthen mortality and cancer registration in Sint Maarten was highly appreciated.


Saba healthcare workers celebrate their day with Statia colleagues

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Joined by their colleagues from St. Eustatius, healthcare workers on Saba celebrated International Healthcare Workers Day on Thursday, May 12. The program started with an ecumenical service at the Roman Catholic Church in The Bottom.

This was the first time that International Healthcare Workers Day was celebrated under this new name. Before, it was called International Nurses Day. To make this event extra special, a group of healthcare workers came over from St. Eustatius to celebrate the day with their colleagues on Saba. The group of 25 Statia healthcare workers was headed by nurse Carol Jack-Roosberg. The group arrived by ferry in the morning and stayed for the day.

Everyone working in the local healthcare sector was invited to attend the program. Not only the employees of Saba Cares, but also personnel of the Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands ZJCN, the Testing Center, the Public Health Department, the Vector Control/Hygiene Department, Medwork and Saba Wellness Pharmacy.

Father Zbigniew ‘Zibi’ Orlikowski and Pastor Vernon Liburd hosted the well-attended ecumenical church service. “You are there when people need it most. Your job involves so much more than just providing care. Thank you for being there, for caring and for lifting people up,” said Father Zibi in his welcoming words.

Highly valuable

“You are highly valuable for your community. Thank God for having you. It is a noble profession that you carry out. You work under strenuous situations. You are devoted to caring for other and you care for us from cradle to death. I applaud your dedication, your commitment and your tenacity,” said Pastor Liburd who did the blessing preceded by a moment of silence for “those who have lost the battle.”

Because she could not personally be present, Saba Cares Director Judith Meijer shared her message via a short video. She thanked everyone for their contribution to the healthcare system. She said the profession not only involved the physical aspect of people’s health, but also mental health, making people feel comfortable and addressing loneliness for which social support is vital. Meijer called on the healthcare workers to not only support their community, but also each other.

Tirelessly work

Commissioner of Public Health Rolando Wilson welcomed the Statia delegation to Saba. “On Saba Day, I said that it is important to reach out to our brothers and sisters on neighboring Statia, and here you are.” He said that it was an honor to acknowledge healthcare workers as “pillars who work tirelessly” to safeguard the people’s health.

“You are the frontline workers who risk your life on a daily basis to help others in need. The community at large has to treat all healthcare workers with dignity and respect. Let us not forget other healthcare workers around the world and remember those who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic while caring for others,” said Wilson. Acting Island Governor Amelia Nicholson was also present at the church service on behalf of the Public Entity Saba.


Nurse Felicia Dookhan read a poem by caregiver Yvonne Ugarte about kindness, something that is inextricably associated with a nurse’s job. Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Saba Cares Sydney Sorton thanked all healthcare workers for their hard work, dedication, contribution to the community and for the betterment of healthcare.

Carol Jack-Roosberg said it was important for healthcare workers not to forget about themselves. “If you don’t care for yourself, you cannot care for others.” She said the uniform did not make a person a nurse, but rather everything that the person does impacts the job. She called on nurses to get together, work together and empower each other for the benefit of the island communities.

After a closing word by Father Zibi, the healthcare workers gathered for a group photo in front of the church and then went for brunch and festivities at Saba Cares next door.

Rolando Wilson speaks at International Healthcare Workers Day 01Commissioner Rolando Wilson during his short address at the occasion of International Healthcare Workers Day.




SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) – As part of our commitment to improving the healthcare system of St. Eustatius, the Supervisory Board of the St. Eustatius Healthcare Foundation is making the following changes for the benefit of the healthcare of St. Eustatius.

To bring about the change, we recognize that a multi-prong approach is needed. The measures announced here are the first in a series to be taken going forward. In the short term, the Board will appoint a change manager to advise the Board on a definite structure for managing the organization on all levels.

The Change manager will provide operational management while leading the organization in line with the renewed vision and mission for healthcare on St. Eustatius. The vision and mission have been translated into a number of executable action points.

These actions will be directed both towards the internal organization and towards other (external) players in the healthcare chain. Training and development are important pillars in moving the organization forward.

In that regard, a mutual agreement has been made between the Supervisory Board and the Board of directors that the current director, Mr. Berkel, will receive the opportunity to develop himself further. Mr. Berkel fully supports the points of departure of the renewed vision of healthcare that has been developed and will facilitate a smooth transition to the interim situation.

Training and capacity building will be a leading theme for other members of the staff in the interim period also. The Change manager will be supported in the areas of human resources, finance and communication to ensure that urgent matters, including staff-related matters that need structural improvements, can be addressed.

We will continue to keep you, the community, abreast of our organization's developments and our efforts to improve healthcare for our community. Improving health care on St. Eustatius is a process everyone can contribute to.

We, therefore, invite residents to share their experiences and suggestions with us. This can be done via our suggestion box in Queen Beatrix Medical Center or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We encourage the community to follow us on Facebook for the latest developments and announcements of SEHCF. Supervisory Board SEHCF

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