Caribisch Netwerk writes that, many on Saba are currently suffering from the persistent drought. In particular, the companies feel the financial consequences.
The current price for 1000 liters runs between 105 and 110 dollars. The cost of the water is 60 dollars and the remaining amount is for delivery, depending on the distance. For an average household, this lasts for about one and an half month. Hotels will need much larger quantities.
Also the Organoponics Garden on The Level, run by the the Social Workplace, is faced with challenges. About 2 inches water from their cistern is required per day to water all the plants of the facility. It has become too expensive to water them all.
Claire Verbeke-Nuyens, the owner of The Queens Garden Resort, has to order order fifteen loads of water per week. In March, that had to be increased to twenty or twenty five loads per week. It is their largest expense. She is of the opinion, that the time has come, that the Island Council should intervene. Water should be subsidized. It is clear, that it is not economically feasible to build a general water supply system on the island, but they need to come up with a solution: water is one of the basic human needs.
The situation triggered Member of Parliament, Ronald van Raak (SP), to question Minister Ronald Plasterk (Kingdom Relations) about the water shortage on Saba.
In 2009 and 2013, the imminent problems were solved by an intervention of the Navy bringing a bulk water supply to the island. Van Raak wants to know if the Minister will take such an initiative again.
Van Raak would like to see a structural solution. The issue of water shortage has been discussed in the past. It was agreed, that a plan for a structural solution would be required. However, that has not materialized up to now.
Minister Plasterk has three weeks to answer questions. However, given the urgency of the matter, Van Raak hopes, that the Minister will be acting earlier.