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Country Analysis Introduction

Country Analysis Introduction

In this document we will gather information about our target country Suriname and create a Country Analysis. We will go into the history of Surinam, use a DESTEP and SWOT-analysis to get a better idea about Surinam and will go more into where and how fires are started.

Research questions

To give guidelines to our research and have a more goal we created a research question.

What information can be relevant for Lumkani?

What are the main causes of death involving fires?

Primary research

For our primary research we held interviews with people with an Surinamese background. We prepared this interview by first doing desk research to come up with questions and used the techniques we picked up on in school, for example open questions. The interview can be found in the “Appendix”.

Secondary research

For our secondary research we used the internet to find articles and facts to gain more information and knowledge about the country Surinam.

History of Suriname

Native Americans first inhabited the area which we call nowadays Surinam since 3000 B.C. Nowadays Suriname is rich full of diverse cultures populations. The Caribs and the Arawaks where the largest tribes, they were nomadic tribes that lived from fishing and hunting. The first inhabitants of Suriname were the Arawaks, later the Caribs conquered the Arawaks with their sailing ships. They settled in Galibi (Kupali Yumï, this means"tree of the forefathers") on the mouth of the Marowijne river. While the larger Carib and Ara-wak tribes lived off the coast and savanna, smaller tribes like the Wayana, Warrau and Trio lived in the rainforest inland.

Dutch Colonisation

The dutch traders were the first who came and visited Suriname along with the other regions of South America.

In 1650, the governor of Barbados, Lord Willoughby, settled a colony in Surinam. He bought 20 guns and attached them to his ship, and two smaller vessels with things necessary for the support of the plantation. Two years later Major Anthony Rowse wanted this to settle the colony better. In 1663 native indians and 3000 African slaves did most of the work on the ca. 50 plantations. There were approximately 1,000 white people there, the English attracted Brazilian Jews because of the freedom of religion which was granted for everyone.

In 1667 a Dutch sailor, Abraham Crijnssen captured Fort Zeelandia which named first as Fort Willoughby. On 31 July 1667 the Treaty of Breda was signed by the Dutch and English. In which for the time being the status quo was respected: the Dutch could keep occupying Suriname and the British the formerly Dutch colony New Amsterdam which is now called New York. Willoughbyland was renamed to Suriname. It had three participants, with equal shares in the society’s responsibilities and profits, the Dutch West India Company, in Amsterdam, the family Van Aerssen and the family van Sommelsdijck. The family The Van Aerssen sold their shares in 1770. In 1795 this kind of trade and business was no longer acceptable and was abolished.

Because of this event Dutch is now the main language in Suriname. We can say that more than 95% of the total population understands the Dutch language and are able to speak it. This is valuable information for Lumkani because of the fact that in South Africa Dutch was the main language because the Netherlands also colonised it. Lumkani now can change the user manual to Dutch. Using English as the user manual will not be understood by a lot of people, that is why it is better to use Dutch for the user manual.

Slavery and Emancipation

In South America, slavery was normal. The native Indians proved to be in limited condition and stamina and so the Atlantic slave trade supplied the workforce for the plantations. Products that the plantations were producing were cotton, cocoa, coffee and sugar and than be exported to Amsterdam and to be sold. In 1713 there were apprzoxametily 13.000 African slaves and 200 plantations. The slaves got treated very bad and inhuman, some slaves tried to escape into the jungle. These are called Maroons (also known as "Djukas" or "Bakabusi Nengre") attacked the plantations in order to acquire goods that were in short supply and to acquire women. The leaders of the Surinam Maroons were Alabi, Boni, Jolicoeur and Captain Broos. In the 18th century, three of the Maroon people got signed to the peace treaty ending the First Maroon War in Jamaica, whereby black people were recognised as free people and they received a yearly tribute that provided them with the goods they used to "liberate" from the plantations. can be found in Narrative of a Five Years Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam by John Gabriel Stedman.

The Dutch rulers abolished slavery in 1863, the British had already abolished it when they ruled over Surinam, which was a really short time. However, the slaves got released in 1873, 10 years later! The slaves were not released until 1873; up to that date slavery was not an obligation no more but the the slaves now got paid for their work at the plantations. At that same ti-me, many Chinese workers got imported to Suriname, this created a Chine-se-Surinamese population. From 1873 to 1916, many labourers were imported from India, these people are the so called Indo-Surinamese. After 1916, many labourers were again imported from the Dutch East Indies to Surinam, especially in Java, creating the Javanese Surinamese.


The Dutch government started doing independence negotiations with the lo-cal Surinamese government in 1973. On November 25, 1975 these negotiations were granted. Johan Ferrier was the first president of the country. Roughly a third of the Surinamese population emigrated to the Netherlands due to independence, they were scared that the new country and the new government were not viable enough for them.

Destep Analysis


As of 2016 the estimated population in Surinam is 558 181. This is an increase of 1.09% compared to last year where it was 552.179

Around 33.9% live in Rural areas whereas 66.1% live in urban areas.

The population density in Suriname is one of the lowest in the world. The coastal areas are more densely populated, while the inland have relatively low density of population.

Population density in Suriname was last measured at 3.45 people per sq km in 2014 and 3.0 in 2000.

Suriname is a pluralistic society it consists of Creoles (persons of mixed African and European heritage), Maroons(the descendants of escaped African slaves), and the descendants of Indian and Javanese contract workers. The country is in full, post-industrial demographic transition, with a low fertility rate, a moderate mortality rate, and a rising life expectancy. However, for the Maroon population in rural areas it is different they lag behind because of lower educational levels and contraceptive use, higher malnutrition, and significantly less access to electricity, potable water, sanitation, infrastructure, and health care.


In the 20th century the bauxite production became very important. The heavy weight industry of Suriname was the mining industry and the export of aluminium oil and gold which were good for 85% of the country export and 25% of the government revenues. The economical growth of Suriname between 2010 and 2013 is estimated to be at 4-5% per year, but the governments budget has been under-pressure due to the increase of the inflation in 2010.The economical prospects of Suriname for the middle-long term depends on a monetary and fiscal policy and the introduction of structural reforms to liberalise markets and promote competition.

Ca. 8% of the working population is employed in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. The sector accounts for 8.9% of GDP (2013). It’s restricted area cultivated to a small strip of the coastal plain. A significant part of it is occupied by large farms. The production of palm oil has shown a promising growth data from 1975. The government operates a number of banana plantations, the smaller farms are often run by Javanese and Hindustani. The country provides for its own needs for sugar, citrus fruits, rice and bananas. Livestock is of little significance. Although 85% of the territory covered with forests, forestry and timber economy of limited significance, because it is difficult to do so in a commercially attractive way. Fishing on the rivers and in coastal waters has constantly increased in significance, especially shrimp trawlers.

Apart from the bauxite processing, the Surinamese industry has little significance. There are a few food processing, clothing and shoe companies focused on the domestic market. The industry contributes about 36.8% to the GDP; 14% of the active population works in the sector (2013).

The main export products are gold, aluminium, oil and foods. The main importing countries are the United States, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Canada and Guyana. Imported products also are foodstuffs, machinery, petroleum and transportation. The main suppliers are the United States, the Netherlands, China, and the United Arab Emirates. The total value of exports amounted to $ 2.5 billion in 2013 and the total value of imports amounted to $ 1.8 billion. Suriname has a positive trade balance.


The Adult Literacy Rate 94.68% meaning that almost everyone in Surinam can read and write.

The official language in Suriname is Dutch, over 60 percent of the population in Surinam speaks dutch as their first language. but over twenty languages are spoken in surinam. The major creole language is Sranantongo. Other major languages are Sarnami-Hindustani and Surinamese-Javanese. The Maroon languages are all English-based. In their free time Surinam people like to cook and are relatively active.

For a deeper insight about the Social/Cultural aspect see Cultural analysis.


In Suriname there is a Low Technology Prevalence 40.08 out of every 100 people have access to the internet in Suriname this is lower than the global average of 44.00

Cell phone usage is popular in Surinam with 161 mobile plans for every 100 people there are more mobile plans than people in Surinam.

Another thing that is popular in Suriname is listing to the radio something everyone in Suriname does.


Suriname has a tropical climate it has dry and rainy seasons. The short rainy seasons are during December and January while the long rainy season is from April to July. Throughout the whole year the average temperature in Suriname is between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius.

To the north of Suriname, Suriname is borderd by the Atlantic Oceaan to the east of Suriname there is the Marowijne River, to the west there is the Corantijn River and to the south there are forests, savannahs and mountains, which separate it from Brazil. In the northern part of Surinam there are coastal lowlands covered with mangrove swamps.


The first elected government which was in 1975 (after independence) was ejected by the military in 1980, followed by a long period of political uncertainty and decreasing economic conditions. Popular pressure led to elections in 1988,In 2000 President Jules Wijden-Bosch resigned because of growing economic frustrations of the people.

The government has little control over the interior, where remnants of the Maroon Jungle Commando rebellion, continue to operate, together with drug traffickers and dealers, bandits, and gold miners who are illegally armed , making positive development of the country difficult and even dangerous. Governments effectiveness are being undermined by favouritism and corruption. In October 2000, 98 percent of Suriname’s gold reserves had disappeared. Foreign investors find the regulatory system inefficient and unreliable and therefore being discouraged.

Since the 1990s, relations between Surinam and the Netherlands have been strained. Surinam is being suspected by the United States of America of doing business in the cocaine industry and illegal Chinese immigrants market. Suriname is embroiled in long-standing disputes with neighbouring Guyana and French Guiana over rival territorial and maritime claims.

Suriname’s tariff regime is complex and cumbersome. The average import duties differ from 30 to 40 percent. New legislation is being drafted to liberalise and to streamline the system. To compensate for losses in tariff revenues, the government plans to apply aggressive strategies and methods for collecting taxes from the country’s large informal economy in order to compensate the losses for tariff revenues. In 1996 direct taxes accounted for a third of revenue, the government hopes to increase this by 20 percent.

Housing in Surinam:

A significant part of the houses in Surinam are made from wood or partly from wood. Wooden houses are mixed with houses made from concrete in the city centre of Paramaribo. But when you look at the villages a larger part of the houses are build from wood. Because of these wooden houses fires can spread more easily to other houses.

Forest Fires:

Surinam is rich in forests and areas full of plants, flowers, and trees. Unfortunately these places may be places where fires can start and spread to the more civilized parts of Surinam.

Creek forest along water courses in savanna areas is often reduced to “Morisi”-palm gallery forest due to frequent peat fires.

Peat fires also destroy the high swamp forest and the swam wood. Due to this, open water areas are created where new vegetation can be grown.

In Suriname during every dry season, swamps and savanna areas are deliberately set on fire in order to keep these areas easy accessible to the general population and tourists. For other control purposes side road weeds are burned, slashed forests are burned for shifting cultivation purposes or for permanent forest conversion. Grass is often set on fire by kids for fun or by adults during campfires and barbecues.

Vegetation fires may become peat fires only when it is during a extremely dry season. It destroys swamp, forest vegetations and swamp wood. These dry periods are crucial for fires to start. The forest is dryer and chance to go on fire increases, it becomes bone dry and flammable because of the hot sun. The fire can spread from one swamp to the savanna and so on…. and even worse it can spread to people’s houses.

Causes of fire in houses

14 Augustus 2016:

In Parimaribo(Flora) one whole family met their death. Father Raymond Henar (43), Mother Dianne Schuyer(27) and a twin(7 months). The fire that killed them started at the ground floor while they were on the top floor. Because they had no fire alarm they were not warned soon enough as the fire spread.

5 Januari 2016:

In Munder 1 house was completely destroyed, and one house partially. The fire department arrived too late to save both houses.

15 January 2016:

In Munder 3 people got killed. Nadier Salimoen(49), Glanisha, 1 year old and Kishan Hoesein ± 2.

They were all asleep while the fire started and did not wake up in time due to lack of a fire alarm. someone in the neighborhood noticed the fire and alerted authorities.

The upper floor was damaged beyond repairs and the groundfloor received minor fire and water damage

7 March 2016:

In Albina a fire broke out that killed one man and injured another, it destroyed 2 retail shops and 1 house completely. The fire started in one of the shops and spread out due to a lack of fire alarms.

Swot Analysis Conclusion

What we can conclude from our findings and based on our research question we found a lot of relevant information for Lumkani in Surinam.

The population of Surinam is very multicultural and there are a lot of different languages spoken. For Lumkani this can be a problem because of the warning text messages it sends to warn people.

A great part of the houses in Surinam are build from wood which can be a fire hazard.

This can be a great opportunity for Lumkani because Lumkani can help fires from spreading.

There are more mobile plans than people in Surinam, because Lumkani also warns by text message this is a great thing.

What are the main causes of death by fire in Surinam?

Most of the deaths caused by fires in Surinam have happened because the people involved were not warned in time when the fire happened due to a lack of alarms.

We also found out that the firefighters in Surinam can be rather late so it can be a problem when people are not warned on time.

Freelance Writer

I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.