Local November 21, 2012 | 11:07 am

Protesters demand help as southwest lakes turn lands into swamps(Update)

Santo Domingo.- Around 100 people attended the first of several protests planned by the Enriquillo-Azuei coalition in Jimaní’s park, to demand help for the villages and towns left devastated by the unexplained swelling of the two lakes.

With chants of "we aren’t tilapia, we’re human beings" and "the worst human drama is abandonment," residents of the impoverished towns walked around the park and concluded the activity at the Jimaní city hall.

The Coalition said both Enriquillo Azuei lakes have been continuously rising with the rains from the recent tropical storm and hurricane, swamping farms and pasturelands, killing off livestock, destroying homes, roads and border infrastructure.

They said the lakes’ waters have encroached on more than 15,000 hectares in just than 10 years, leading to the collapse in production and directly affecting 108 families who dependent on farming.

The Coalition said the protests will be staged at Jimaní’s park 5pm every Tuesday, to seek a dignified solution to a drama it affirms suffer thousands of families in southwestern Independencia and Bahoruco provinces.

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