First Chamber arrives on Saba

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SABA — A delegation of the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament arrived on Saba on Sunday morning, February 27. Upon their arrival from St. Maarten, the 13 Senators, who are all members of the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations, were met by Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, Island Secretary Tim Muller, Director Safety and Legal Gerald Simmons – De Jong and Airport Manager Maegan Hassell.

Hassell provided an explanation about the completed airport renovation project, which included the resurfacing of the runway. Saba Electric Company (SEC) President Director Dexter Johnson and Managing Director Mark Zagers gave background information on the solar parks at the airport, Saba’s Energy Strategy 2020-2025 and the plans to go to 100 percent renewable energy in the future.

The delegation then went to the hydroponics farm at Rendez-Vous where Jim Garza of Gezondheidfarms, Agriculture Policy Advisor Justin Simmons – De Jong and Head of the Agriculture department Randall Johnson explained about the horticulture project, Saba’s efforts to increase agriculture and growing crops in a sustainable manner, involving the youth in the process.

At the healthcare provider Saba Cares, the delegation was received by Director Judith Meijer, Manager Client and Patient Care Lisette Riley and Manager Services Hanneke Magee. Meijer gave a presentation about the work that Saba Cares does, both at the medical center and at the senior citizens home in The Bottom, the healthcare system on Saba and the challenges that come with a small island with limited resources.

In the few free hours of the afternoon, part of the delegation did the Mary’s Point trail. The delegation was informed by Island Governor Johnson, Island Secretary Muller and Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF) park ranger James Johnson about the heritage, history and nature at Mary’s Point/Palmetto Point.

On Monday, February 28, the delegation has a series of meetings with the Executive Council, the Island Council and various stakeholders. A visit is also scheduled to the new harbor location. The delegation leaves for St. Eustatius in the late afternoon that same day.

The Senate delegation consists of: Paul Rosenmöller (Delegation Leader), Senators Toine Beukering, Annemarie Jorritsma-Lebbink, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Boris Dittrich, Jeroen Recourt, Arda Gerkens, Peter Ester, Peter Nicolai, Martina Baay-Timmerman, Peter Schalk, Jeroen de Vries, Antonius Raven, and Committee Clerk Fred Bergman and Staff Member Maarten van Rooij.