President Luis Abinader visited the community of Saona Island on Saturday, where he held a meeting with community leaders and representatives of government institutions to discuss the master plan that the government will develop on the island. The plan, which began with an investment of 600 million pesos, aims at sanitation and sustainable management to preserve its natural beauty.
During his visit, the president highlighted that Saona Island has become the first and only island in the hemisphere with 100% renewable energy 24 hours a day. He also expressed that the government’s goal is to turn it into a model community that is sustainable in all aspects.
“With the projects we are developing here, we seek to improve the quality of life of the population and turn Saona Island into an example of sustainability, where health and comprehensive education are promoted,” said the president.
The president also proposed that the resources generated by the island be reinvested in the island for its future development, considering that the island receives one million tourists per year.
In addition, the President announced that economic resources will be allocated through the Government’s Special Fund for the completion of a boat that will be used for the transportation of the island’s inhabitants.
For his part, Minister Ceara Hatton detailed the master plan that includes an investment of RD$592,917,777 for the sanitation of the island, which began after the passage of Hurricane Fiona in September 2022.
The plan includes the creation of a solid waste collection, recovery and composting center, the elimination of the use of single-use plastics and foam on the island, and the construction of a wastewater processing plant. Also contemplated is the installation of a cold room for the fish market with the support of the private sector, the reconstruction of community centers and restrooms for visitors, as well as the repair and construction of detachments for the Tourist Police, the Dominican Navy and the National Police.
In addition, the National Environmental Protection Service (SENPA) detachment will be rebuilt, an office of the Ministry of the Environment will be installed, and the house of the administrator of the protected area that is part of Cotubanamá National Park will be refurbished.
The president also ordered that the old ruins of a shed, which was used as a prison during the Trujillo dictatorship, be converted into a museum.
During the visit, the president delivered more than 150 cards to the inhabitants of Saona Island through the Supérate program, which allows access to benefits such as training and micro-credits.
After the meeting, the president toured several places on the island, including the tourist pier, the public beach, the handicrafts market, the Dominican Navy detachment and the solar energy project (CEPM). He also visited the old dictatorship-era structures, the basic school, the primary care unit, the church and the solid waste disposal site. In addition, delivered a National Police detachment.
Among those attending the event were the Minister of Tourism, David Collado; the director of INESPRE, Iván Hernández; the general director of Supérate, Gloria Reyes; the deputy administrative minister, Igor Rodríguez; and the executive director of the Dominican Port Authority, Jean Luis Rodríguez. Also present were the general commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Francisco Antonio Sosa Castillo; the governor of La Romana, Jacqueline Fernández; the president of the Mano Juan neighborhood council, Dolores Mota; the president of the Association for the Development of Isla Saona, Eddy Quiñones; and the director of the Sustainable DO Trust, Armando Paíno. Also in attendance were Federico Franco and José Ramón Reyes, vice ministers of Protected Areas and Biodiversity and Coastal and Marine.
Among the guests at the event were Ginny Heinsen, general manager of 3Rs Sustainability, as well as Rolando González Bunster, Roberto Herrera, Oscar San Martín and Víctor Rodríguez, executives of Consorcio Energético Punta Cana Macao (CEPM), a company that supports various community initiatives on the island and has implemented a solar energy park and promotes electric mobility. González Bunster, president of CEPM, emphasized that Saona Island has become a benchmark for clean energy in the region.