Saba realises long list of investments in 2015

The 2015 annual report of the Public Entity Saba shows a long list of investments and implemented actions that directly benefited the Saba people. A lot of attention was given to the elaboration and implementation of the comprehensive development plan for Saba.

Funding was secured to hire a children’s rights/domestic violence policy coordinator for three years. Projects to reduce poverty, to combat youth unemployment, to coach and rehabilitate troubled youngsters and to help repair the homes of underprivileged persons were executed in 2015 and continue to take place in 2016.

Several projects in the area of infrastructure were carried out: the repairs to and heightening of retaining walls, resurfacing and maintenance of various roads and the construction of an emergency retaining wall at the Hell’s Gate guts.

Maintenance to the airport roof, the Windwardside library and clinic took place, while the Sunny Valley Youth Centre and the museum underwent a complete renovation and upgrading. A new parking lot was constructed at Windwardside parking lot, along with a grey water cistern. Street lights were installed in several places. Investments were made to set up a recycle facility with the financial assistance of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

The harbour basin was dredged and surveyed as part of the Harbour Master Plan. Some renovations were done to the school buildings in St. John’s, while the actual expansion will start this year. Renovations to several houses of the Own Your Own Home Foundation took place in 2015. Government set about the project to improve the quality and quantity of (drinking) water. This project, which included the construction of various cisterns, has also resulted in a lower cost of water for consumers.

There were continued investments in the promotion of tourism as one of the two pillars of the local economy. The project to strengthen the local child care facilities continued in 2015. A new school bus was purchased. Investments were made in the hardware and software used by government.

Special purpose grants and advances continue to be important for the execution of projects in various sectors and policy areas; this was also the case in 2015. In public health, for example, a full-time public health doctor and a full-time school nurse were hired, and a three-year public health plan was developed, as were public health communication materials, campaigns and guidelines.

Hygiene assessments and recommendations were carried out at various institutes, hearing and vision screenings were done at school, and a child abuse checklist introduced at the hospital. Healthy food/ drink habits were introduced to children and their parents, while various educational and training sessions were organised for persons working in the public health sector.

The 2015 US $180,000 grant by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK for economic development will be used for an investment brochure, a public relations campaign for tourism, a study of the economic development opportunities, strengthening of the Chamber of Commerce and additional funding for the tourism budget.

Through a fund sponsored by the Dutch housing corporations Woonlinie and Thuis and the Dutch Government, the Queen Wilhelmina Park was upgraded in 2015. The Out door Fitness Park is being planned. With the financial assistance of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, additional books and magazines were bought for the library and the costs of digitalization covered.

The Employment Opportunities project, funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, yielded positive results: a maximum amount of eight persons were reintegrated in the labour market through a special programme.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs made funds available in 2015 for the construction of a new state-ofthe- art power plant, which will be opened by Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp Monday. Construction of a solar park will start this year with the purpose of reducing the cost of electricity.

The Daily Herald.

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