News item | 23-06-2022 | 16:10

    State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief (Mining) has found Bernard Wientjes willing to take on the role of ‘connector’ for the Village Approach in the municipality of Eemsdelta. Wientjes is tasked with quickly solving stalling and delaying issues within the fortifications of these four villages. This may concern, for example, permit procedures, differences that are difficult to explain and how to set up processes around joint choices by residents. He works directly under the responsibility of State Secretary Vijlbrief.

    Vijlbrief is looking forward to working with Wientjes: “Bernard Wientjes is an authoritative man who has proven that he can solve difficult problems and bring parties together. He is my extra pair of eyes in the area and is mandated to make decisions needed to advance the village approach. I am very grateful to him for wanting to take on this role and thus improving my view and grip on the implementation of the reinforcement and the bottlenecks that arise.”


    As a connector, Bernard Wientjes is given the mandate to make decisions that are necessary to promote the village approach. In doing so, he applies customization and ensures that the residents are always central. He can also always contact State Secretary Vijlbrief directly if necessary to force a solution to an urgent problem. He maintains close contact with the village teams in which the municipality, National Coordinator Groningen (NCG) and construction companies work together in a solution-oriented way on all aspects of the approach: planning, managing contractors, involving and guiding residents and their social-emotional well-being.

    Bernard Wientjes is looking forward to a quick start: “I am honored to be able to do this assignment. Especially because I know the region well. I like the North. I have run several companies there and have lived in Westervelde for twenty years. My role as connector is important work with a clear goal; quickly resolve stalled and delaying issues. This is much needed because many people have been waiting far too long for a safe house. We will start in Garrelsweer, Zeerijp, Wirdum and Leermens, but the aim is for this approach to spread over the rest of the earthquake area.”

    Village approach

    State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief has agreed with the municipality of Eemsdelta and the NCG to start in four villages with a village approach developed by them. Good examples from this crisis approach can be applied elsewhere as soon as possible. Thanks to this approach, Vijlbrief also expects to gain insight into what is needed to enable the acceleration of the total reinforcement operation. The four villages are located in the core of the earthquake zone. Many houses here are not safe enough and have damage. In addition, residents have recently experienced new earthquakes here. The aim is to accelerate the completion of the reinforcement operation in these villages. As a result, residents get a safe house and perspective more quickly and residents have to experience that the government is standing next to them. The success of the village operation depends on the satisfaction of the inhabitants of those villages.


    All contacts with the press go through spokesperson Nicolette Stoel. Contact details: [email protected] or 06-29 67 42 22.