Touché! Haiti diverts river waters; DR turns on alternate water pumps

The water pumps of La Vigia in Dajabon province in the northwest of the border with Haiti were put into operation. The water pumps were reinstalled once it became clear businesspeople in Haiti, with the support of the gangs, were going ahead to complete the Masacre River water canal in Haiti near Ouanaminthe. The canal was built to detour waters of the Dajabon/Masacre river for particular use in Haiti.

The Dajabon River becomes the Masacre River as it crosses into Haiti for two kilometers before returning to its course as Dajabón River for another 50 km in the Dominican Republic. Diario Libre reports that the actions worked as planned, and the new Masacre River canal was left without water.

Farmers in Dajabon province had alerted the government over Easter Week that the builders of the canal in Haiti had opened the floodgates of the canal in Ouanaminthe. The construction of the canal in Haiti met with strong opposition from the Dominican people and government.

As expected, farmers on the Dominican side were affected when the floodgates in Haiti were opened. Carbonera, Los Socías, El Coco, Sanchez farmers that used the waters of the Dique Don Pedro irrigation canal and the Laguna Saladillo Wildlife Reserve all the way north to Manzanillo where the river flows into the Atlantic Ocean were impacted by the diverting of the waters, as reported in N Digital.

The Dominican government responded with the shutting down of the water source that is in the Dominican Republic.

Haitian businesspeople had built the canal despite opposition from the Dominican Republic without the corresponding studies and in violation of a 1929 treaty on the use of waters of rivers that enter both countries. Furthermore, local experts say that the construction carried out by the Haitians could cause major damages in the case of torrential rains or a storm.

The Haitians built the detour of the river waters to detour the waters that pass for two kilometers through Haitian territory before returning to the natural course that takes it for around 50 kms into the Dominican Republic.

As planned, the INDRHI, the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, put into effect the La Vigia water pumps to ensure that water remains in Dominican territory for use of local farmers.

As a precautionary measure, the INDRHI had restored the La Aduana Vieja irrigation system on the riverside near the Cesfront military post in the Dominican Republic. The system was not in service until the opening of the floodgates of the canal in Haiti, as there had been hope the Haitians would desist from the operation of the canal.

Olmedo Caba Romano, executive director of INDRHI, said he sent his director of Operations Juan Carlos Nova to Dajabon to implement the plan to connect the waters to dikes and canals on the Dominican side. He guaranteed there will continue to be water for Dominican farmers.

Dominican authorities had forewarned the Haitian builders that actions would be taken to counteract the diverting of the waters that would affect Dominican farmers.

Listin Diario reports soldiers are stationed to protect the La Vigia canal system.

The Masacre Canal construction had the strong support of gangs in Haiti. At the present times, there is no government yet in Haiti, as Prime Minister Ariel Henry is abroad, a US-UN-Caricom transition council has yet to take control, and the gangs continue in control in Port-au-Prince.

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Listin Diario
Diario Libre
Diario Libre
N Digital
N Digital
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Noticias SIN

1 April 2024