World September 22, 2023 | 8:05 am

Experts warn that there will be conflict between Dominican Republic and Haiti due to the canal construction

The construction of the canal on the Masacre River in Haiti is not only a point of contention with the Dominican Republic but also raises concerns among some Haitian voices. Former Haitian senator Jean-Baptiste Bien-Aimé, who supports the canal’s construction, has expressed concerns about the management of the canal and its potential impact on agricultural lands.

Bien-Aimé warned that the canal’s waters would only irrigate about 3,000 hectares out of the 12,000 hectares in the Maribaroux plain. He anticipates conflicts between farmers with irrigated plots and those without irrigation, leading to the construction of additional canals. Haitian farmers are seeking official support for creating more intakes on the Masacre River.

Despite concerns, about 80% of the canal construction is already completed, and the project is reaching its final phases. There has been no government presence or intervention in the project’s development so far.

The Haitian government has called for calm and announced its commitment to supervising the irrigation of the Maribaroux plain in accordance with rules and regulations.

This canal construction has resulted in a crisis with the Dominican Republic, leading to border closures, visa restrictions for Haitians, and increased military presence along the border. The Dominican government argues that the canal project violates international agreements between the two countries.

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