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Haiti - Environment : The mystery of Lake Azuei resolved soon
29/12/2010 14:59:23

Haiti - Environment : The mystery of Lake Azuei resolved soon
Since December 24, dozens of dead fish were found on the shores of the "étang Saumâtre" also known as Lake Azuei and located about thirty kilometers east of Port-au-Prince, to the southeast of Haiti in the "plaine du Cul de Sac" and adjacent to the border with the Dominican Republic.

As probable causes of the death of fish, Michel Chancy, Secretary of State for Agriculture, Animal Production suggests a possible imbalance of organic materials found in the lake. Hypothesis that seems to share the agronomist Arnoux Severin, head of the Transboundary Environmental Programme (PET), citing the proportion of limestone in the tons of fill piled on the shores of Lake Azuei which could increase the alkalinity of the lake. On the other hand, the decrease of the temperature of the lake could have consequences for some fish, adding that "the Tilapia are the only species that have been affected by this contamination".

Pierre Garo Nérée, Assistant Coordinator of the association Citizen Conscience for the Protection of the Environment of Haiti (Conscience Citoyenne pour la Protection de l'Environnement d'Haïti COCIPEH) expressed concern of the entire community, facing what he calls an ecological disaster "Fish died by dozens, see by thousands at Fond Parisien and Thomazeau" indicating that turtles were also found dead on Lake. Mr. Nérée remember that this catastrophe has severe economic impacts on the lives of the inhabitants of the area "The Lake Azuei and the market of Malpasse constitute the pillars of the economy in the region" inviting the Haitian authorities to shed full light on this issue.

The director of the section"Fisheries and Aquaculture" in MARNDR, Robert Badio, said for his part that this is not a new phenomenon in Haiti and said that authorities are activated in order to know the exact cause of these deaths.

Last Minute: The initial results of analysis conducted in Lake Azuei shows a lack of oxygen due to the use of calcareous materials in the heightening work of the road section affected by the rising waters of the lake, would be the cause of death of fish. "These materials come from the hills surrounding the lake rich in limestone. The dissolution and mixing of these compounds limestone appears to have temporarily changed the natural acidity of the water in this area, causing a scarcity of oxygen at the level of the lake". Additional analysis is underway to complete and confirm the initial results informs the government. If the results are confirmed, the fishing ban, the consumption and sale of fish could be lifted soon.

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