THE HAGUE–Saba Commissioner of Finance and Infrastructure Bruce Zagers and Island Secretary Tim Muller started their official visit to the Netherlands on Monday. On the agenda are a series of meetings with the Ministries in The Hague where this year’s plans of the public entity Saba and long-term matters relating to the island will be discussed.
Central themes of the visit will be poverty alleviation, the cost of living, the cost of doing business, economic development, further development of a strong and financially healthy local government, the division of tasks and infrastructural developments. Also discussed will be the hurricane recovery funds made available through the Ministry of Finance for necessary repairs on the island.
Zagers stated in a press release that the eradication of poverty would be a focal point during the majority of the meetings in The Hague. “The study currently being carried out to determine the social minimum is of utmost importance, but it is equally important to start the discussion about measures that can be created to bring a balance between the cost of living and the ability to have a dignified way of life,” he said. The outcome of the social minimum study is expected around the summer.
With regard to infrastructure, Zagers said some large projects are ongoing or will start soon. The extension of the water-pipeline system and the installation of a bottling plant for good quality and affordable drinking water are expected to be realised this year.
Additionally, plans are being made for rebuilding the secondary breakwater in the harbour, which was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Plans are also being developed for improvement of waste management and further development of the harbour area. The Saba delegation hopes to receive approval and support for different infrastructural developments after consultation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Zagers said he was optimistic about his visit to the Netherlands. “I expect fruitful meetings with the different ministries and with the various politicians. It will be a busy two weeks that will hopefully conclude with some agreements between the Saba and the Dutch Governments that will contribute to Saba’s continued development,” he said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73873-zagers-in-the-hague-for-series-of-meetings