I would like to build on Mr Dittrich’s question about what we have done with regard to reconstruction. In particular, he asked about the schools. It doesn’t really work out, he says, if I say it in my own words. At the moment, repairs have started at three priority schools. The tender for the next three schools is in preparation. The remaining 13 schools will follow the restructuring of the agreement between the World Bank and Sint Maarten. Additional funding is also required for this. This is an example of a project that has taken far too long. There was a long run-up and a long preparation. It was in the Ministry of Vromi. We said that they should make that inventory, because that is not something the World Bank is doing. They had to make their own inventory of what was damaged and needed to be repaired. That alone took a long time to get loose. That was also because the Ministry of VROMI is ultimately quite a small department, not comparable to a ministry in the Netherlands, which had to do all kinds of things. This just didn’t come up as a priority. A lot of time has been lost. In the end, we also flew in an external expert who is currently doing so. So now it’s working out. It’s taken way too long. We started with the shelters, of course. We started with the highest priorities. Schools were not quite at the top, but are of course extremely important, especially in view of any new hurricanes, which you can of course never rule out.
Published by Sint Maarten News
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