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#148: Improvements in Haiti : Augustin comments

From: felix Augustin <felix_augustin@hotmail.com>


I read your post about improvements in Haitian roads.  I wonder if we can 
really call this improvement.  The important thing is not putting new 
pavement on the roads but to maintain the roads.  Where will the money come 
from?  That's a question the Haitian government always fail to take in 
consideration.  Remember the road of Bicentenaire.  In 1974, this road was 
probably the most beautiful and the smoothest road Haiti ever had.  I 
remember it very well because, I walked it every day to go to school.  10 
years later, this road was the ugliest an the rockiest road in Haiti.

Furthermore, although roads are necessary for internal transportation, 
maintaining and building new roads at this present time is not a good 
investment for the country.  It is like putting the cart before the horse.  
Building roads should be based on the country's economic growth.  Also, road 
building benefits only a minority of Haitians, particularly those who have 
access to car or who can pay for public transportation.  If some Haitians 
have a need for roads, then they must pay for it.  70% of Haitians do not 
ride cars.  Emphasis should be on agriculture, education, tourism and other 
economic factors which will help Haiti achieve economic growth in the 
future.  Rather than spending most of the money on roads, it would be more 
beneficial for our government to look at alternative transportation vehicles 
such as boats which require less investment and less maintenance.  Being an 
island, this form of transportation is very suitable to Haiti.

Felix Augustin

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