World September 21, 2023 - 10:09 am

Haitians plunder the bed of the Masacre River

Dajabón, DR.- In addition to their ongoing efforts to divert the waters of the Massacre River by constructing an illegal canal in Juana Méndez, Haitians have been observed extracting substantial quantities of sand from the river’s tributary channel.

In the municipalities of La Sal and Los Cartones, Haitian laborers were witnessed actively working in the river’s center and along its banks. They used buckets to extract sand, which they piled up on the shore before loading it onto trucks for removal from the area.

In response to the directive issued by the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, to completely close the country’s borders with Haiti, these border points have remained tranquil.

Despite the significant environmental harm caused by Haitian activities in the Massacre River, which impacts biodiversity, water clarity, groundwater levels, the landscape, and other ecological aspects, the ongoing political instability, crisis, and insecurity in Haiti have made it exceedingly challenging for environmental authorities to safeguard the tributary.

Prominent figures have voiced their concerns about these issues. Engineer Arturo Sosías, a former governor of the Dajabón province, pointed out, “They have engaged in indiscriminate extraction of aggregates from the Massacre River, which is one of the most pressing environmental offenses at the moment. The Ministry of the Environment must promptly engage with its counterparts in Haiti to protect the tributary.”

Community leader Héctor Valerio has called upon the government not only to address the construction of the canal in Juana Méndez but also to pay heed to the issue of sand extraction to prevent the river from completely drying up.

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