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PRESS RELEASE December 20, 2018

New US$25 Million Grant to Help St Maarten Improve Debris Management

PHILIPSBURG, 21 December 2018 – The Emergency Debris Management project for a total of US$ 25 million in grant from the Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund financed by the Government of the Netherlands was approved today to help Sint Maarten clear the hurricane debris, suppress the landfill fires and improve management of the waste disposal sites at Pond Island in Philipsburg.

The Government of Sint Maarten, in collaboration with the World Bank, have been taking important steps to prepare fire suppression activities at the disposal site since August. Equipment for better landfill management and fire control are being procured. A baseline assessment on air quality was conducted at the dump site in preparation for fire suppression operations and health and safety measures.  Additional measurements and a monitoring plan will be put in place in the coming weeks.

The problem of the open landfill precedes Irma and was exacerbated by the hurricane when an estimated 100,000 m3 of debris following the disaster was disposed at a temporary dump next to the existing municipal waste disposal site.

The Emergency Debris Management project was identified as a priority project by the Trust Fund Steering committee and aims to suppress the smoldering fires and the improvement of air quality for Sint Maarten’s citizens and visitors. It will also collect and process hurricane and reconstruction-related debris and recover about 130 damaged vessels from Sint Maarten’s Simpson Bay Lagoon.

The project is part of a comprehensive strategy which starts with the procurement of equipment to control the fire and protect the workers in the short-term and the recruitment of a firm to extinguish smoldering fires in the dump under the Emergency Recovery project. In addition, the World Bank is conducting a study on long-term solutions to sustainable waste management and preparing a long-term Solid Waste Management and Environmental Improvement project.  This will look at waste collection, recycling options, and economic viability of various scenarios and environmental protection.

Contacts: In Washington: Christelle Chapoy, (202) 361 4255,
In Sint Maarten, Giselle York, (721) 520-4560,

Learn more about the work of the World Bank in the Caribbean:
Be updated via: Twitter: @WBCaribbean


Last Updated: Dec 21, 2018