The Government of Sint Maarten and the NRPB are working together to improve the management of the landfill on Pond Island through the Emergency Debris Management Project (EDMP). Over the past three (3) years, the project has procured heavy equipment and alternative daily cover (ACD) materials and applicators for the landfill. The latter is a non-organic and non-flammable material that can be sprayed onto solid waste to prevent surface and underground fires, a prevalent issue in 2018.
To continue this work on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten, the NRPB has begun to the processing of resettling persons living and working in the immediate vicinity of the landfill to protect their health and safety. Since 2019, several commissioned studies have demonstrated the risks to this community. These include exposure to air, soil, and water pollution, and the risk of the landfill’s slopes collapsing. To mitigate these risks, a buffer zone on the land next to the landfill is being developed, free of homes and businesses.
How were affected persons consulted?
In November 2020, the NRPB and consulting firm RINA conducted a socio-economic survey and an affected persons and assets census in the area near the landfill, which has been termed the Resettlement Area of Impact (RAI). These actions aimed to ensure that no one living or working in the RAI was left out of the process. The survey and census were completed on November 29, 2020, and this date has been established as the project cut-off.
Resettlement Action Plan
Based on the results of the survey and census, the NRPB, in close collaboration with the Government of Sint Maarten, developed a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP). The World Bank’s environmental and social safeguard regulations provided the guiding values of the RAP, recognizing the human rights and safety of those being asked to leave their homes and adapt their livelihoods.
The final version of the RAP was cleared in August 2022 and can be viewed/downloaded by clicking below.
Having started in September 2022, the community will be relocated in phases. It is expected that the resettlement activities will take between 12 and 18 months to complete, with a scheduled end in the first quarter of 2024.
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