MPs enquire about flooding on islands

   MPs enquire about  flooding on islands

Curaçao experienced more downpours last weekend.


THE HAGUE--Four members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament have sought clarity about last weekend’s flooding in Bonaire and have asked about the damage on the other islands.

 Members of Parliament (MPs) Attje Kuiken and Joris Thijssen of the Labour Party PvdA and Kauthar Bouchallikh en Jesse Klaver of the green left party GroenLinks sent two separate sets of written questions to Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Alexandra van Huffelen late last week, after the excessive rainfall on the islands.

  Kuiken and Thijssen requested the state secretary to provide information about actions by the Dutch government to make an inventory of the situation in Bonaire and to intervene where necessary, in coordination with the public entity Bonaire.

  The PvdA MPs asked about the extent of the damage caused to Bonaire’s infrastructure, public property, homes, businesses, monuments and cultural heritage as a result of the flooding, the financial consequences of the damage and who would pay for the damages.

  Kuiken and Thijssen wanted to know whether there were public health and safety risks, and whether the quality of the road network, other infrastructure and water management was of sufficient quality to deal with extreme weather and a rising sea level.

  They asked what kind of agreements were in place between the Dutch government and the public entity Bonaire to adapt roads, other infrastructure and water management to the more extreme weather circumstances, as well as to the increasing population numbers and the large-scale construction that has taken place in past years. They also wanted to know how the Dutch government prepared Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba to make them more resilient against the consequences of climate change.

  Bouchallikh and Klaver asked the state secretary whether she shared the concerns about the flooding and they enquired about the extent of the damages. “Are the local authorities sufficiently able to mitigate the problems of the floodings with the available means (material, human capacity and money) to help affected residents and to prevent environmental damage? If not, what is the Dutch government doing to support local authorities?” 

  The GroenLinks MPs wanted to know how the situation was on the other Dutch Caribbean islands with the recent extreme rainfall. “In what manner does the Dutch government support local authorities on the other islands? Are there European funds for climate change and/or disaster management that the islands can make use of?”

  Bouchallikh and Klaver asked how the local infrastructure to channel water would be adapted so heavy rainfall in the near future would cause fewer problems, and whether local authorities were sufficiently equipped to handle this.

  “Is it correct that there are not enough water catchment areas on the islands because construction takes place in these areas? What is being done to prevent the coral reefs from being damaged as a result of flooding by, for example, oil or waste washing into the sea?”

The Daily Herald

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