Local July 10, 2015 | 9:50 am

Dominican town fears coal plants will make their region a ‘valley of death’

Bani, Dominican Republic.- Dozens of Peravia province communityleaders and agro organizations picketed and chanted slogans in Paya township (south)during more than two hours Thursday morning, demanding access to piped water, publicworks and services, and against the coal-fired plants at Punta Catalina, whichthey warn could turn their region into the “valley of death."

Speaking at the rally Peravia business and communityleaders Juan Bayona, Wilton Perez and Hector Turbi, among others, said theircommunity has grown tired with the provincial officials’ repeated failure to fulfillpromises.

They said despite the government’s RD$70 million disbursementto rebuild the Valdesia-Nizao irrigation canals within 30 days, the work is only30% complete “when they’ve already spent 70% of that money in just five months.”

They said despite Peravia senator Wilton Guerrero’s announcementon April 15 that US$27 million was allocated to build an aqueduct and concludeit by February 2016, nothing has been done.

Coal-fired plants

The organizations also note that despite opposition to thecoal-fired plants at Punta Catalina expressed by the people of Bani and adjacenttowns, the work continues, "even if it turns Peravia into the valley ofdeath."

They accuse the government of failing to fulfill thepromise to build the beltway, the construction of the university campus and thelevy at the Bani river, and of letting farmers go bankrupt by the drought and debts.

Among the leaders andactivists who took part in the activity figured the Federación de CampesinosBanilejos (FECABA), de la Federación de Organizaciones Comunitarias, del BloquePopular de Baní, del Comité de Defensa y Desarrollo de Paya (CDEPA), de lafilial de la Asociación Dominicana de Profesores (ADP).

Also presen in the pressconference were the Sindicato de Camioneros de Baní, Cooperativa Agropecuaria yServicios Múltiples de Nizao, Bloque de Organizaciones de Productores de laZona Norte, Federación de Juntas de Vecinos de Baní, Comité para la Defensa de la Salud, el MedioAmbiente y la Agropecuaria de la Provincia Peravia, among others.

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