On request of the Saba Merchants Association we publish the text of the following petition. This petition can be signed in My Store in The Bottom.
Dear Members of the Executive and Island Councils,
The Saba Merchants Association, its members, members of the business community and the general population of Saba expressed herein would like to protest the deforestation that is being undertaken and all negative effects associated thereof to develop the “Solar Park”.
There has never been any planning or consideration provided to the general population with regards to this “Solar Park”. The “Solar Park” will be located in the area above Hillside Dorms and the public cistern which overlook New Town, The Saba University School of Medicine and the surrounding areas of The Bottom.
The deforestation of this area being developed can be estimated at 100,000 square feet. It is generally accepted that during a hurricane or storm 1 million gallons of rainfall could be expected within a 24 hour period which could lead to flooding. In addition to that the proposed solar site seems very steep and that the steep slope could result in erosion and damage to private property.
Saba also experiences on average 1 meter of rain per year which produces several million gallons of water. This means that with the construction of this park it would increase the storm water traveling down the guts and roads to the Fort Bay from 2.5 to 5 million gallons. This would also adversely affect the coral reefs and sea life.
The solutions to these problems should be as follows. The Bottom is completely unsuitable for such a development. It should be moved to an area away from populated areas and would have a less negative impact on future investment and also would mean that populated areas would no longer have to worry about increased flooding, deforestation and land degradation.
An open reservoir should be constructed directly below this solar park to collect the runoff and then be purified for public use during times of drought like the one currently being experienced. Furthermore, the surrounding areas can be developed as a park with vegetation and picnic tables for public recreation and overall beautification.
Furthermore, we would like to know if it is allowed by Dutch law to place the solar park in a residential area seeing that Saba is in the hurricane zone. Also who would be responsible for the damage caused to the solar panels and private property from a storm?
The purpose of this petition is to protest the injustices being placed upon and population of Saba and to ensure that matters like this do not continue or lead undesirable developments.
Furthermore, the Development Plan related to this which is currently being distributed by The Government needs to be fully discussed in Town Hall meetings and be developed with the complete knowledge and input of the business community and general population in order to protect and preserve long term development.