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#2053: Flooding in Gros Morne (fwd)

From: Amy L Cornish <lueen3@juno.com>

>Dear Friends,
> In September, Haiti Reborn coordinated a sign-on letter about the
>environmental emergency facing the community of Gros Morne, Haiti. A
>cliff has been formed through years of erosion by the River Marcelle,
>and many families have lost their backyards and rooms of their houses to
>the river below. I reported after a visit to the cliff that the
>situation had become urgent, and that erosion is threatening the main
>road from Gonaives to Port-de-Paix as well.
> During the most recent rains the small sand barrier the community had
>erected to redirect the river away from the cliff collapsed. Massive
>flooding damaged the road, and a cemetery was washed out as well. The
>water is now against the cliff again, and the situation has grown more
> The government of Haiti has made no response to the Cliff Committee
>about this emergency yet. The Komite Dijans (Committee of Urgency)
>recently formed, and represents a broad coalition of community
>organizations, church and school officials and public officers,
>including the mayors of Gros Morne. A letter urging President Preval to
>meet with representatives of the Committee was recently delivered to the
> The Committee is not requesting direct financial aid from any
>organizations to deal with this problem. What they have asked is that we
>add our voices to theirs in calling for the Government of Haiti to take
>responsibility for this environmental emergency, and then act to prevent
>future destruction.
> In the next few weeks, several community organizations and coalitions
>in Haiti will be pressuring President Preval and several of his
>ministers to participate in a meeting with members of the Committee of
>Urgency. Please add your voices to theirs, and send a letter to members
>of the Government of Haiti as soon as possible.
> What follows is a sample letter, you can cut and paste or edit as you
>wish and then mail to:
>- President René Préval
>- Minister of Agriculture, François Severin
>- Minister of Public Works (TPTC)
>- Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis
>- President’s Cabinet Particular, Leslie Voltaire
>- Minister of Planning, Anthony Dessources
>All of these letters can be mailed to: Presidential Palace,
>Port-au-Prince, Haiti
>Please send an email response to haiti@quixote.org when you send the
>Thank you and kenbe fem,
>Melinda Miles, Coordinator
>Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center
>(Check out the Haiti Solidarity Week 2000 organizing packets on our
>website! Libète pou Ayiti: Self Rule Now!  www.quixote.org/haiti)
>Sample Letter:
>His Excellence,
>Mr. René Garcia Préval
>President of the Republic of Haiti
>Dear President Préval,
> As an (organization/individual) committed to the future of Haiti, I
>request this opportunity to present an issue of great concern to me.
> You have received a letter from the Komite Dijans of Gros Morne,
>requesting members of the government to sit in conference with members
>of the committee. The issue they are presenting was also presented to
>you in the fall of last year by the komite pote kole kont falèz anba
>bouk, and the situation has only become more urgent. I ask you to
>respond to the request of the Committee with speed and seriousness.
> The River Marcelle has already eroded a substantial part of the land
>within feet of the National Highway from Gonaives to Port-de-Paix, which
>is also the main road of Gros Morne. 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. During
>the most recent rains the small sand barrier the community erected to
>redirect the water away from the cliff collapsed. Massive flooding
>damaged the road, and a cemetery was washed out as well.
> The Komite Dijans and the komite pote kole kont falèz anba bouk have
>joined together to send their call to you to respond and take heed of
>this environmental emergency and the impending destruction of a national
>highway. I am standing in solidarity with the people of Gros Morne, and
>I add my voice to their plea now in hopes that I might strengthen your
>resolve to meet with representatives of the community to discuss
>solutions to this serious problem.
> Thank you for you time and attention to this matter.
>Text of letter to President Préval from the Comité d’Urgence:
>Comite d’Urgence
>Rev. Pere Noe Bernier
>Paroisse la Resurrection
>Eglise Episcopale d’Haiti
>Gros Morne, Goniaves
>Tel: 274-2138  Fax: 274-1684
>Mesye Rene Garcia Preval
>Presidan Repiblik Ayiti
> Nan non peyi-a kise youn pou nou tout, Komite Dijans, avek komite pote
>kole kont falez anbe bouk Gwo-Mon, salye-ou.
> Komite dijans sa a te fome depi two semen pou jwenn solisyon sou falez
>sa ak Rivye Mansel ki vle fe ravaj nan bouk la.
> Nou felisite Gouvenman ou lan nan tout jefo li fe pou amelyore
>kondisyon ak lavi moun nan peyi a. Men jodi a se pou Gouvenman ou fe
>antensyon pwoblem nou genyen nan bouk la.
> Depi lane 1974, gen yon rivye kap manjo pati Nodwes vil Gwo-Mon. Malgre
>tout demach nou fe bo kote otorite lokal yo ak depatmantal la, anyen pa
>mache. Nan jiye, 1999, depatman agrikilti te fe yon etid. Nan komansman
>ane 1998 la, Minis anvironman nan epok sa-a. Yves Andres Wainright, te
>vizite falez la kap atake wout nasyonal la.
> Nou ta vle yon renkont ak ou isit nan Gwo-Mon kote ou ka we pwoblem nan
>ak je ou. Souple kntakte Pe Noe nan nimoreo anwo osito ki posib.
>Pou Komite Dijans,
>Pe Noe Bernier, president
>Matthieu Milfort, secretaire
>Wesner Beldore, maire
>Pe Ronel Charelus, conseiller

Martin Bourque, M.A.
Sustainable Agriculture Program Director
Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First)
tel: 510.654.4400  fax: 510.654.4551
398 60th Street, Oakland, CA 94618 USA