On Friday March 9th, Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and Prime Minister of Curacao Eugene Rhuggenaath were given a presentation by Leslie Fer the Disaster Management Coordinator of Curacao. The basis of the presentation was an evaluation report of Hurricane Irma.
Mr. Fer highlighted critical areas of concerns and made recommendations for the future. As a result of the presentation Sint Maarten will begin plans to host a disaster coordinator conference where all islands and if possible including the BES will be invited to take part in the discussions with the end result of developing a Kingdom Disaster Management Plan, setting up of a Caribbean disaster management team, defining Article 36 of the statuut, the usage of Aruba or Curacao as a hub during a disaster or crisis and the financial responsibilities resulting from a disaster.
Both Prime Ministers agreed for the need to learn from the mistakes post Hurricane Irma and pledged not only to improve but to build on the existing cooperation. Having quick responses, effective operations, clear chain of commands, were some of the words that dominated the meeting as the priority during a disaster is to save lives.
Photo caption – Prime Minister of Curacao Eugene Rhuggenaath & Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin