COOPERATION: Signature of a “historic” agreement between Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten for the exchange of drinking water


The Community of Saint-Martin, represented by its president Louis Mussington, the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Sylveria Jacobs, the president of the Water and Sanitation Establishment of Saint-Martin (EEASM), Raphaël Sanchez and Minister Omar Ottley, in charge of public health, social and labor within the government of Sint Maarten, signed a historic cooperation agreement, this Tuesday, December 5, 2023, opening the possibility of supplying the French part with drinking water in the event of of insufficient production.

It has been almost 10 years since this agreement was under discussion between the north and south of the island and it was on this Tuesday, December 5, 2023 that it finally came to fruition thanks to the determination of territorial elected officials and the pugnacity of the teams from the Community and the EEASM. “A step forward described as historic” by President Louis Mussington and territorial advisor Raphaël Sanchez, president of the EEASM, who have, each at their own level, with the support of the State and the Kingdom, made every effort to lead to the signing of this agreement between the two countries.

The signatories thus aim to initiate resilient solutions for the supply of drinking water to the inhabitants of Saint-Martin. They therefore found common ground and defined the financial and technical terms to make this project a reality.

The aim of this memorandum of understanding, drawn up in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), is to provide a framework for cooperation in matters of drinking water, between the NVGEBE, responsible for the production of drinking water in Sint Maarten, acting on behalf of the Government of the Dutch part, and the Water and Sanitation Establishment (EEASM), public establishment of the Community of Saint-Martin.

This protocol thus responds to the technical and mechanical problems affecting the production and distribution of water on the French part. On this point, the president of the EEASM, Raphaël Sanchez, indicates “that a plan to modernize the production tool will be initiated with the SAUR, over the period 2024-2027”. This program includes the rehabilitation of the plant with the aim of responding to the growing drinking water consumption of the region's inhabitants.

In collaboration with GEBE, the government of Sint Maarten will use its expertise to supply drinking water to the Community of Saint-Martin, under duly regulated conditions.

For President Louis Mussington, “the primary objective of the Community of Saint-Martin is to do everything possible to ensure permanent access to drinking water for its population”.

This historic agreement is fully in line with this dynamic of quality of service and preservation of the public health of Saint-Martin residents.

note that Julien Marie, director of Cabinet services, represented the Deputy Prefect of the Northern Islands, Vincent Berton,  during the signing of this “historic” cooperation agreement between the two parties on the island.

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