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Once a week, on Sundays I publish a recap of recent Aruba news updates. If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

Aruba News Updates

This weeks newsletter contains many updates on last weeks news like the mangroves in Santo Largo, result of diesel spill at the hospital and more!

Keep on reading to find out what’s been happening on the island recently

No Fishing or Swimming in Bubali Plas

A few weeks ago someone posted a picture on social media of a visitor fishing at Bubali plas. Within no time the post got viral and the director of the department of public works took note of this.

According to the director of the department of public works there’s no swimming or fishing allowed in this area.

Maybe the visitor who was caught on camera didn’t know this, but I’m sure he’s well aware now…

The department of public works will add several pictogram signs near the area of Bubali plas that it’s “not allowed to fish or swim” here.

Bubali plas is a protected wetland area by Arikok (Aruba’s national park). It’s a beautiful area with vegetation and animals right next to Sasaki Highway (close to Superfood supermarket and Tropicana Resort).

In bubali plas you find various species of birds, reptiles, fish and trees.

A part of this wetland functions as a purification plant since 1972.

The sewage water from hotels and houses in nearby districts are processed here before entering the lagoon.

In 2015, a Dutch consultancy firm found heavy metals in the wetland. That’s one of the reasons why it’s not allowed to swim or catch and eat a fish out of bubali plas.

If you want to fish, go to one of the many beaches appropriate for fishing or charter a boat for a big catch!

Update on Oil Spill At Bubali Plas

Last week a diesel spill occurred in one of the generator rooms at the hospital.

Diesel made its way through the hospital’s sewage system and was headed to the bubali plas (the wetland I was talking about in the previous topic).

The department of public works, which is in charge of bubali plas was immediately notified about the situation.

They dispatched vacuum trucks to collect the diesel before it entered the purification tanks and added oil booms into the wetland.

A total of 10 vacuum trucks collected a mixture of diesel and water!

“Bubali plas remained unaffected by the diesel spill” according to experts from the department of nature & environment – thanks to the quick response from the department of public works and local authorities.

Updates on Mangroves at Santo Largo

A few weeks ago Aruba bird life conservation posted an image of mangroves in the district of Santo Largo that are slowly dying off.

Since then the department of public works are trying to restore the mangroves.

After a study done by agriculture experts from the university of Wageningen and the local department of nature & environment, it resulted that the mangroves were slowly dying because of the salinity of the lagoon.

The area in which the mangroves are at the moment is private property. It’s owned by a local who first used the area to extract salts before the year 2000. But after being uncared for, mangroves trees started to grow in this area, this was around the year 2004.

About a year ago in 2016 some contractors who were fixing the street damaged one of the many pipes that supplied water to the mangroves.

Since then the circulation of seawater to the mangroves has been compromised, which caused a high salinity in the water and some mangroves started to dying off.

Two weeks ago the public works department fixed 4 underground pipes that supplies the mangroves in santo largo with fresh sea water and added a pump to make the process easier.

It will take a few months for the mangroves that were dying off to start recuperating from the damages.

Although the mangroves are in a privately owned area, the public works department takes full responsibility to restore the mangroves. Because during the years this site became a tourist attraction (even for locals) who want to explore Aruba’s nature.

The Official Government

It’s official – we’ve got a new Government!

The name is of our new Government is “Gabinete Wever Croes” and is a coalition between 3 political parties (MEP, POR and RED).

“Negotiations weren’t easy during the formation period of Aruba’s government, because each party had their own vision and ideas, some of them were contradictory to each other and some were shared between the political parties” – according to Aruba’s new Prime Minister.

In the end they decided to focus on what unites them and what they have in common. Which are integrity, good governance, economy, reduce the spending and focusing on the human aspects. This means combating crime, healthcare, jobs, recreation, infrastructure, education, housing and everything that brings happiness, health and prosperity to people.

It took 35 days to form the coalition. The process started with an “Acuerdo di formación” which was signed on October 17, 2017 after a “formatie opdracht” from the Governor on October 12, 2017.

The “acuerdo di formacion” is a document that list in details the focus for the next 4 years.

On November 1, 2017 they signed the “acuerdo di gobernacion”.

This document elaborates more about the specific points of their governance for the next 4 year.

On 10 November 2017 they finalized the “repartition di cartera” and after that it took a few days to screen all candidates for ministers and finalize everything.

The new Government has a total of 8 ministers.

Here’s the name of the ministers and their functions…

  • Evelyn Wever Croes (Prime Minister, Energy and Innovation).
  • Otmar Oduber (Infrastructure and Vice Prime Minister)
  • Xiomara Ruiz Maduro (Finance, Economy and Culture).
  • Danguillaume Oduber (Tourism, Health and Sport)
  • Chris Romero (Transport, Communications and Agriculture)
  • Andin Bikker  (Justice and Immigration)
  • Rudy Lampe (Education, Science and Sustainability)
  • Guilfred Besaril Plenipotentiary Minister in the Netherlands).

This is the first time that a lady is the prime minister of Aruba! It’s also the first time that we have a coalition of 3 parties. The previous coalition was 16 years ago, and was between 2 political parties.

Congratulations Aruba!

New Hospital Emergency Department

This week it was turn for the emergency department (spoed eisende hulp, SEH) to get a makeover.

The department is now located in the new bed tower building from the hospital.

The new emergency department has 3 waiting rooms (2 for adults and one for kids with toys and entertainment)

It’s more modern and spacious than the previous one. The old emergency department had 7 rooms, the new one has 9 emergency rooms. However, a total of 16 emergency rooms are available, but with short of staff only 9 will be in working order.

There’s about 40 employees in the emergency department and they have to take care of an average of 35.000 people during the year for emergency cases.

The hospital will be hiring more nurses to open up the other available rooms in the emergency department. This will shorten the waiting time to get help when you’re in an emergency.

The new emergency rooms have special equipment to treat people with different emergency cases and promises a speedy process to be helped when in a case of emergency.

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Aruba Airline Inter island Flights

Aruba airlines announced their inter island (between ABC, Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao) about a month ago.

This week they officially made their inauguration flight to Curacao.

Bonaire is next on schedule, and Aruba airlines will fly to flamingo island for the first time December 15, 2017!

Aruba airlines fleet consists of 4 airplanes – 2 Canadair Regional Jets, 1 Airbus 320 and 1 Airbus 319.

At the moment they fly between Aruba to Miami, Havana, Cuba, Georgetown, Maracaibo, Valencia and vice verse.

Future Plans Aruba Airlines

Aruba airlines is going on a joint venture with a company called Skyworks to expand the airline into other markets like Colombia.

They are also going to invest in 4 new air crafts, because of a big demand of travelers.

Aruba’s airport (Reina Beatrix) will function as a hub to connect the airlines with other markets in the future.

Sustainable Restaurant Solutions

Restaurant “Passions on the beach”  implemented new sustainable solutions to protect our environment.

The leftovers from the restaurant will no longer be thrown away, but fed to animals at the foundation “cunucu Aruba dushi tera”.

Passions on the beach is located right on Eagle beach, close to Amsterdam Manor Resort and La Cabana and it’s one of the most romantic restaurants to dine on the beach

Benvenuti a Fresco!

Renaissance Ocean Suites recently redesigned and launched their new Italian restaurant called Fresco.

They offers traditional Italian food like pizza, pasta, pastries, desserts, lemonade, cocktails and wine.

One of their popular dishes is the lobster risotto!

You can dine in the open air, with an open kitchen to watch your food be prepared.

They also have a traditional stone oven to make pizza.

There’s no need to make reservations, just walk in!

Weather Report

It’s been raining in Aruba these couple of days…

“we should be expecting more rain this week”  according to the meteorology department.

A low atmospheric pressure that’s developing in the Caribbean is affecting the island with rain showers, thunder and lighting!

The weather system is still not moving past Aruba and will keep affecting the island during the following days.

The sun has been shining now and then, but the clouds are making it difficult!

There’s no wind, the trees are barely moving, however, during this week the wind should start picking up again and the situation should be very normal and stabilized again as the normal sunny Aruba that we all know.

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