by Haiti Grassroots Watch and Inter Press Service
The population of Cardouche, a small village about 12 kilometers south of Cap-Haïtien in Haiti’s North department, is nervous about three new mining exploitation permits granted last December in an opaque and secretive process.
Located near the Morne Bossa deposit, the Cadouche economy is based mostly on agriculture. Families work day and night to take care of their needs. And they ask themselves if they are invisible to the authorities in Haiti’s capital.
Recently, over a hundred people living in Cardouche met to learn more about the mining industry. One after another, they asked questions and expressed their frustrations.
“Until today, not one single member of the government or of the company has consulted the population to hear our complaints or ask for our agreement to the mining of the Morne Bossa deposits,” said Mezadieu Toussaint, a teacher and farmer in his fifties. “If the mine benefits the population, that would be wonderful. But we are worried that it will poison our environment.”
Steno Chute, a member of the Democratic Movement for the Development of Quartier-Morin (Fédération du mouvement démocratique pour le développement de Quartier-Morin - FEMODEQ) who grows corn, beans and sorghum, said he is afraid of mining.
“Mining can have disastrous consequences,” he told the crowd. “We are really anxious and nervous. The water and environment will be polluted.”
A view of the Morne Bossa plain.