Services by the Contractistas, the Ploegen, discontinued

The small bands of motley cleaners, usually elderly, a bit disheveled men, in banged up pickup trucks, that were entrusted with trash pickup and bush clipping on the side of roads, were told this week that their services will no longer be needed. It happened before. Then GOA changed its mind, or the budget was finally ratified, and they were asked to come back.

As far as I know they were all employed by DOW as small contractors, and paid for with money allocated by the Tourist Product Enhancement Fund, financed by the Aruba Timeshare Association.

Who are they? Retirees, perhaps friends and family, mostly voters of the party in charge, who were granted the privilege of working, as a thank you note.

They did their best, poorly equipped, and knowing little about plants – they systematically destroyed milkweed, so important for the Monarch butterfly.  The work was never systematic, it had no timetable, nor plan, they popped up unexpected here and there, yet they performed an important job. Keeping it Dushi sin Sushi.

A small news item announced this week that this service was discontinued, as part of the government attempt to economize, and save.

You know the formula, make no structural changes, just cut services.

We understand that this half-baked old system doesn’t work, because workers aren’t trained and aren’t equipped, I am OK with that, but an island that lives off tourism cannot have litter everywhere, when you let go of cleaners and replace them with nothing.

We must come up with an efficient, well managed alternative, to keep the sides of our roads clean, or teach locals not to toss our beer bottles out the window. At least start a “DON’T LITTER, WE NO LONGER HAVE PLOEGEN,” public awareness campaign.



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October 29, 2021
Rona Coster