Published On: Thu, Jun 11th, 2015

Martina: “Curaçao is becoming a desert”

ParliamentWILLEMSTAD – Parliament was completely oblivious to the cry of Don Martina to do something, as soon as possible, to the problems with ever lower levels of groundwater.

This morning, Martina made it clear to the Members of Parliament that Curaçao is gradually turning into a desert. He wanted immediate action. Various MP threw the ball back into his court. They asked him to come up with recommendations.

The former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles was in Parliament to talk about the collection and use of rainwater. He was there at the invitation of the parties PAR, PAIS and MAN.

Martina held a presentation at the beginning of the meeting in which he made clear that Curaçao is gradually turning into a desert. This is because the ground water has dropped tremendously. The reason for this is that since the seventies, no dams were built. There are also no other infrastructural adjustments made to collect the rainwater.

Martina expressed his surprise to the fact that even in the business of the Ministry of Urban Planning, states that the rainwater must be discharged to sea as soon as possible. This while the country is drying out. Because the groundwater is not replenished by rainwater, the salty sea water is getting more space to penetrate into the earth. This with disastrous consequences for flora, fauna and humans. Plants disappear and animals have no food.

“People complain that iguanas eat the fruit from their gardens, but that is because they can no longer find food in the wild. They then go to places where there is food.” Martina tried to explain to parliament the result of not having a water policy.

Don Martina also criticized the way people are haphazardly building on fertile soils. Only 3 percent of the land on the island of Curaçao is fertile. Martina wondered aloud how can people built precisely in those areas, while actually farming should be encouraged.

It was obviously a cry for help from the former prime minister to drastically turnaround from the policy of the past few years. With figures, he indicated how many dams and structures were there to collect the rainwater in the island. And these are not there anymore. He expressed the hope to restore it to its former glory.

None of the MPs who spoke after the presentation of the former Prime Minister had any idea of what needs to be done to fix this problem. They asked him to come up with suggestions.

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