Haiti - Environment : Uncontrolled exploitation of sand quarries to «Mòn Kabrit» - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7
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Haiti - Environment : Uncontrolled exploitation of sand quarries to «Mòn Kabrit»
14/08/2011 09:51:14

Haiti - Environment : Uncontrolled exploitation of sand quarries to «Mòn Kabrit»
The the Haitian Council of Non State Actors (CONHANE), the Civil Society Initiative (ISC) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Centre join their forces to fight against the uncontrolled exploitation of sand quarries to «Mòn Kabrit».

For several years operators and carriers, without any control of state services, without legal permits, without respect to any technical standard, without respect for life and without any concern for compliance with environmental and aesthetic criteria, continue to collect sand in this geographical area up to risk to cause a profound and irreversible destabilization of the environment. This wild and unregulated exploitation has increased in a tragic way since the rehabilitation of National Road #3 and after the closure of the quarries of sand of Laboule following the earthquake of January 2010.

The CONHANE, ISC and CCIH-Centre have made some technical observations and inquired of the causes and consequences of such a chaotic development:

  • The Bureau of Mines and Energy (BME) is the only state body designated to assign legal permits for the exploitation of quarrying of sand across the country. However, according to accurate and safe information, operators of Mòn Kabrit receive permits from the City of Thomazeau. Who should enforce the law? Which instance of the state, which power of the State controls the action or inaction of government? It is good, however, to remember here that each year, budget allocations are passed by Parliament and made available to the services concerned to exercise their legal and institutional prerogatives.

  • To Mòn Kabrit, more than fifteen sites are operated in a total anarchy : overloaded trucks and unsheeted dropping sand on the roads, formation of pile of sand on the shoulders of the RN3, obstruction of drainage channels with sand, repeated accidents involving carriers resulting to the unloading of their sand on the road etc... Considering the abrasive nature of sand on the asphalt layer, the life of the rolling surface of the RN3 will decrease drastically. And today it is already, painful to see the negative effects of sand on the running surface of the RN3 at the level of Mòn Kabrit.

  • On the site of Mòn Kabrit, operators of sand quarries have dug of manner irresponsible and criminal at the base of the pylon number 97-101, that carry high voltage electricity from the Central Péligre to Port-au-Prince. The electricity pylon bearing the number 100 threatening to fall at any time the consequences would be incalculable in term of loss of life and economic and financial losses.

      Following this finding, the CONHANE, ISC and CCIH-Centre think that it is appropriate to launch a double appeal to the competent authorities of the State:

      Firstly, a call to the responsibility. The consultations made allow to affirm that the operators and carriers are willing to collaborate with the public authority to regulate this situation. Any lack of government action must now be perceived and interpreted as unacceptable, passive and destructive of the environment. The Bureau of Mines and Energy has a duty to rectify as soon as possible of operating licenses under the rules of art, to have a permanent presence on the site of Mòn Kabrit, to collect taxes and fees required by law in order to ensure the stabilization of the siteand their redistribution in the surrounding territorial collectivities.

      Secondly a call to the adoption and immediate implementation of some coercive measures and of protection:

      • To the west and east of Mòn Kabrit on the RN3, two police stations are installed. Clear instructions should be passed to the police service to implement drastic and pre-defined sanctions against those who by their actions violate the norms and principles established and disseminated by the BME.

      • A sustainable technical solution should be implemented to prevent the collapse of electrical pylons for the protection of lives and goods. The direct operators of the quarries will have to pay penalties to the state for the immediate work to achieve.

      • The natural beauty and the aesthetic heritage conservation of the region with stunning views on Port-au-Prince, the plain of Cul de Sac and on the Lake Azuei should be preserved.

      The CONHANE, ISC and CCIH-Centre recalled that the rehabilitation of the RN3 is a donation made to the Haitian people by the European Union. The RN3 following its rehabilitation has changed considerably the quality of life of thousands of fellow citizens and other users by the increasing of their incomes and the amenities of their displacement. Let's hope a change of behavior more worthy and responsible from the leaders of the country.

      HL/ HaitiLibre

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