Published On: Thu, Sep 28th, 2017

Speculation Festival Village to be used as Emergency Container Village

Bird's eye view of Festival Village

POND ISLAND — In a press statement released yesterday on behalf of the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) wherein the President, Alston Lourens, was quoted as saying that the SCDF fully intends to host the 2018 Carnival festival, mention was also made about talk of the Festival Village being used as a place to house displaced persons after hurricane Irma. Lourens was quoted as saying he is concerned about this approach and how it might affect the festival in April 2018.

Apparently, the talk is about creating a Emergency Container Village to house homeless persons who are presently without a roof over their heads after hurricane Irma destroyed their houses, influenced by a similar setup on the French side of Saint Martin where a tent compound has been established to house such displaced persons on the northern side of our island, as can be seen in the photos published below on this page.

Tent compound in Grand Case for homeless

Our photo journalist, Milton Pieters, was able to sneak in – as he reported to our newsdesk in his own words – and take these photos and he reports that the tents are set up in the vicinity of the L’Esperence Airport on the old road heading towards Grand Case village.

Tent compound in Grand Case

The rumours about an Emergency Village being planned to be set up at the Festival Village with containers headed to St. Maarten, which are expected to arrive this coming Sunday on the Royal Dutch Navy ship, the Karel Doorman, get added credence due to the fact that a reverse osmosis water production facility was installed on Tuesday, September 26th, right in front of the Festival Village in order to produce fresh drinking water as of Wednesday, September 27th (see photo below). Another installation is planned to be installed in Belvedere, which also happens to be the location of emergency homes built after hurricane Luis in 1995. This newspaper will bring you updates as we seek further confirmation of this report.

Water plant at Festival Village

Photos by TODAY photo journalist, Milton Pieters.

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