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#506: Please Read: Sign-On for Environmental Emergency in Gwo Mon, Haiti (fwd)
From: Haiti Reborn <email@example.com>
September 16, 1999
During a recent trip to Haiti, I was astounded during my visit to Gwo
Mòn by the environmental emergency that is facing the community. A cliff
that has been formed through years of erosion by the River Marcelle has
truly reached the point of urgency, as the homes of people who live
along the main road in Gwo Mòn are threatening to tumble down the cliff.
Erosion is also threatening the main road itself, Rue National One (from
Gonaives to Port-de-Paix).
A group of citizens has come together to lobby the Government of Haiti
about this issue. Their committee, the komite pote kole kont falèz anba
bouk (P.K.K.F.A.B.), drafted a letter to President René Préval, which
was delivered to the Palais.
Research on this environmental emergency has been going on since 1974,
and in 1997 the Minister of Agriculture visited Gwo Mòn and presented a
report on the problem and what actions would resolve this problem.
However, no action has been taken, and during his recent visit to Gwo
Mòn the new Minister of the Environment did not visit the cliff. If you
are interested in reading the report from 1997, I would be happy to fax
it to you. To deal with this environmental emergency before homes are
lost down the cliff, a gabion needs to be constructed. The estimated
cost in 1997 was $2 million Haitian.
The Cliff Committee of Gwo Mòn is not requesting that any organization
attempt to raise these funds. Instead, they have asked that we support
their plea to President Préval to visit Gwo Mòn and assess the situation
himself. They feel strongly that their government should take
responsibility and action. The letter below is a letter of support for
the Committee?s request, and will be sent to President Préval and other
members of his government that received the Committee?s letter two weeks
ago. Following that, you will find the text of the Committee?s letter.
Please consider signing onto this letter. Express your support as part
of international solidarity for the people of Gwo Mòn as they ask the
Government of Haiti to take responsibility for responding to this
environmental emergency. Because the Committee?s letter has already
reached members of the Préval administration, if you are interested in
signing onto this letter you must do so by noon, eastern time, September
21 (Tuesday of next week). All that is required is a response in email
(firstname.lastname@example.org) via fax (301-864-2182), or phone (301-699-0042).
Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center
P.O. Box 5206
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Mr. René Garcia Préval
President of the Republic of Haiti
Dear President Préval,
As organizations committed to the future of Haiti, we request this
opportunity to present an issue of great concern to us.
You have received the communication of the Cliff Committee of Gwo Mòn,
requesting a presidential commission to sit in conference with the
members of the Committee. We realize the graveness and urgency of the
situation presented in their letter to you, and we ask you to respond
with speed and seriousness.
The River Marcelle has already eroded a substantial part of the land
within feet on the National Highway from Gonaives to Port-de-Paix, which
is also the main road of Gwo Mòn. People in the community are concerned
for the road, and also for the homes closer to the river that have
already lost their backyards and latrines down the cliff.
In 1997 the Minister of Agriculture researched this environmental
emergency and reported that a gabion could be constructed at a cost of
$2 million Haitian. Although this price has certainly inflated over the
last two years, this is still a modest amount to pay in order to protect
the main street of the village of Gwo Mòn.
The Cliff Committee has sent a cry out to you to respond and take heed
of this environmental emergency and the impending destruction of a
national highway. This has now come to the attention of the
international community and we are standing in solidarity with the
people of Gwo Mòn. We add our voices now to their plea in hopes that we
might strengthen your resolve to visit Gwo Mòn yourself to investigate
this serious problem, and we will continue to support the people of
Haiti until this matter is resolved.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Carol L. Ries, snjm
Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center
cc: Minister of Agriculture, Francois Severin
Minister of Public Works (TPTC)
Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis
Leslie Voltaire, President?s Cabinet Particular
P.K.K.F.A.B. (komite pote kole kont falèz anba bouk) Gwo Mòn
(original text of Cliff Committee?s letter to President Préval)
Gwo-Mòn, jou ki 28 Out 1999
Mesye René Garcia Préval
Prezidan Repiblik Ayiti
Nan non peyi-a ki se youn pou nou tout, komite pote kole kont falèz
anba bouk (P.K.K.F.A.B.) Gwo-Mòn, salye-ou.
Komite sa ki chita nan Gow-Mòn depi Desanm 98, kontan ekri-ou jodia pou
poze pwoblèm Gow-Mòn avèk ou. Nou felisite Gouvènman ou lan nan tout
jefò li fè deja pou amelyore kondisyon lavi moun nan peyi-a. Pa egzanp,
pwogram refòm agrè nan Latibonit, inisyatif pou ankouraje pwodiksyon
diri ak kafe nan pey-a, bèl pwojè enfrastrikti nou tande kap fèt nan
Pòtoprens ak nan Sid peyi-a. Tout sa pote nou mande-ou si Gwo-Mòn se
pitit deyò li ye, paske nou pa janm tande Govènman nonmen non Gwo-Mòn
nan lis pwojè li genyen yo.
Fòk nou di-ou Ekselans, apa pwoblèm wout Gonayiv/Pòdepè-a ki rete yon
pikan kwenna pou moun Gwo-Mòn, apa pwoblèm mache piblik, elektrisite,
dlo potab kap boulvèse bil nou; gen yon lòt gwo pwoblèm nou panse ki
paka rete ankò.
Depi lane 74, gen yon rivyè kap manje pati Nòdwès vil Gwo-Mòn. Malgre
tout demach nou fè bò kote otorite lokal yo, depatmantal yo, anyen pa
mache. Nan kòmansman ane 98 la, Minis anvirònman epòk Ives André
Wainright te vizite falèz sa-a; nou konstate pwomès li te fè nou yo pa
abouti. Jodia Ekselans, nou menm ki kwè nou se pitit lejitim peyi-a menm
jan ak tout lòt kote yo, nou vin lanse yon S.O.S. ba-ou, pou anpeche
anvan lontan, yon katastwòf vil Gwo-Mòn.
Je fon kriye davans!!!
Avan nou tande se rèl ki gen nan Gwo-Mòn, nou swete wè yon komisyon
prezidansyèl vin chita ak komite pote kole kont falèz anba bouk
(P.K.K.F.A.B.) ak otorite lokal yo nan Gwo-Mòn, pou ansanm nou jwenn
solisyon ak gwo pwoblèm sa-a.
Nan non patria, yon lòt fwa ankò nou salye-ou.
Nou di-ou kenbe fèm pa dekouraje