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lundi 30 septembre 2013

Fort-Ogé sauvera-t-il la communauté de Bas-Cap-Rouge ?

Nou pou Nou/Développement communautaire
Le Nouvelliste | Publié le 27 septembre 2013
Valéry Daudier
Sur l'un des mornes qui surplombent Jacmel, dort depuis deux siècles l'un des multiples forts construits par les Haïtiens tout de suite après leur indépendance. Malgré son état déplorable, quelque 800 jeunes de la zone sont déterminés à faire revivre l'endroit. Et, qui sait?, d'en vivre grâce au tourisme...
Ce n'est peut-être pas la citadelle, encore moins le palais Sans-Souci, loin de là. Mais à Bas-Cap-Rouge, sur les hauteurs de Jacmel, les grands murs de pierre en imposent, défiant depuis deux siècles l'immensité des flots indigo. C'est le fort Ogé, construit sur l'ancienne habitation de Benjamin Ogé, un colon français.
Très peu connu, ce patrimoine, dont la construction aurait débuté en 1805, selon des historiens, a subi d'importants dommages le 12 janvier 2010. Pour ne pas perdre un tel trésor, les jeunes ont mis sur pied l'Organisation sociale pour le développement de Fort-Ogé (ODESOFO).
L'organisation a une devise : réunir, cotiser et agir. Avec la contribution de ses 800 membres et celle des visiteurs, ces jeunes ont aménagé une barrière principale et réalisé quelques travaux d'entretien dans le périmètre du fort construit par Jean-Jacques Dessalines, le père de l'indépendance.
« Notre objectif principal est d'utiliser le fort pour développer la zone, indique Jean-Pierre Joseph, président de l'organisation, tout en montrant les platebandes fleuries qui accueillent les visiteurs. Nous voulons le garder propre. »
A l'entrée, des canons probablement saisis à l'ennemi prouvent que les constructeurs n'entendaient pas rire avec la sécurité de la nouvelle République. Si le fort n'a probablement jamais été achevé, il a certainement été pillé au fil du temps.
Dans la cour intérieure, un trou a été creusé au beau milieu, nul ne sait pourquoi. « Entre 1989 et 1990, un groupe d'étrangers est venu ici, expliquent des habitants, et ont encerclé le fort. C'est après leur départ que nous avons constaté ce trou. Personne ne sait ce qu'ils cherchaient, ni avec quoi ils sont partis. »
Peu importe le passé, les habitants de Bas-Cap-Rouge veulent aujourd'hui sauvegarder ce monument qui symbolise pour eux la fierté et la dignité d'être haïtien. Afin de permettre aux véhicules d'accéder au morne où est logé fort Ogé, les membres de l'ODESOFO, aidés d'autres volontaires, ont mis la main à la pâte pour réhabiliter la route de plus d'un kilomètre qui mène au bâtiment historique. Auparavant, tous ceux qui souhaitaient visiter le fort devaient gravir la montagne à pied. Aujourd'hui, c'est désormais possible avec un 4x4, l'automobiliste lambda ayant néanmoins intérêt à marcher... Un petit progrès qui stimule encore plus les jeunes du cru (de la zone) à transformer la zone en une destination touristique. Pour ce faire, certains des membres font la promotion du site auprès des touristes dans la ville de Jacmel.
« Nous recevons de plus en plus de touristes et il y a des écoles qui emmènent leurs élèves visiter le fort, souligne Frantz Jean-Baptiste, un autre membre de l'organisation. Nous exigeons un petit droit d'entrée - 50 gourdes par visiteur, 25 gourdes par écolier - afin de réaliser les nécessaires travaux d'entretien. » « Nous entendons utiliser le fort pour développer la zone, c'est certain. Des amis d'un peu partout et même des étrangers supportent notre projet », poursuit-il.
Les jeunes de Bas-Cap-Rouge, et même certains de la capitale du Sud-Est, ne sont pas les seuls à miser sur le fort Ogé. Avant même la mise sur pied du nouveau mouvement associatif, des anciens de la communauté réfléchissaient déjà aux problèmes de la zone.
Gérard Lundi, 62 ans, est l'un de ceux-là et dit supporter à 100% les jeunes. Au début des années 80, il a mis sur pied, en compagnie d'autres habitants du coin, un « conseil communautaire » pour réaliser des travaux de nettoyage sur le site du fort. Les jeunes, eux, veulent aller beaucoup plus loin. S'ils n'agissent pas, personne d'autre ne le fera à leur place. « Nous avons réalisé que le vrai changement dans ce pays repose sur la contribution de chaque Haïtien, affirme Jean-Pierre Joseph. Ici, à Bas-Cap-Rouge, nous essayons seulement de jouer notre partition! »
Valéry Daudier
http://lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=121930

L'EDH ouverte aux investisseurs

Le Nouvelliste | Publié le 27 septembre 2013
Robenson Geffrard, New York
Le gouvernement veut en finir avec le black-out. Le Premier ministre renouvelle sa volonté de donner du courant électrique vingt-quatre heures sur vingt-quatre. Laurent Lamothe ne donne pas de date. Pour atteindre cet objectif, pour le moins ambitieux, les autorités haïtiennes ouvrent les portes de l'Electricité d'Haïti (ED'H) aux investisseurs privés. Appel d'offres à venir !
Ici, ED'H à vendre. Ce n'est pas la privatisation de l'Electricité d'Haïti. Laurent Lamothe rassure. Mais sans des investissements solides dans l'ED'H, personne ne sera au courant de l'électricité et le black-out continuera de régner en maître. A New York, cette semaine, le chef du gouvernement a tenu sa quatrième rencontre sur le dossier avec des groupes économiques « qui sont intéressés à investir dans le domaine de l'énergie en Haïti ».
Les autorités sont à la recherche d'un partenariat public-privé, du genre Teleco - Natcom. Il ne s'agit pas de revenir à l'ancienne forme d'investissement qui consistait uniquement à faire de la production, a ajouté le chef de la Primature dans une conférence de presse vendredi au consulat d'Haïti à New York.
« Nous savons qu'il y a un problème de courant électrique dans le pays, a-t-il reconnu. J'avais dit que mon objectif était de donner du courant vingt-quatre heures sur vingt-quatre, en ce sens beaucoup d'efforts doivent être faits », a-t-il ajouté, soulignant que des investisseurs doivent contribuer à ces efforts. Les paramètres qualité-prix doivent également être pris en considération.
« Dans les semaines à venir, le gouvernement publiera un appel d'offres, a annoncé Laurent Lamothe, qui demandera aux investisseurs privés de venir investir dans le pays en partenariat avec l'ED'H afin qu'ils puissent travailler sur la production, la distribution et la commercialisation du courant électrique. En ce sens, on pourra donner de l'électricité et l'Etat ne sera pas déficitaire comme il l'est aujourd'hui. L'Etat perd des centaines de millions de dollars chaque année. Le pire, nous n'avons pas de courant. »
Selon le Premier ministre, dans la vision d'électrifier le pays vingt-quatre heures sur vingt-quatre, « nous sommes obligés de regarder dans différentes directions », a-t-il dit. Pour relever ce secteur, la Banque mondiale contribue à hauteur de 90 millions de dollars, la Banque interaméricaine de développement (BID) à plus de 30 millions et le gouvernement américain aussi à travers l'USAID. Ces trois grands bailleurs de fonds vont, avec le gouvernement haïtien, définir un plan d'action et de financement afin d'améliorer et d'augmenter la distribution du courant électrique dans le pays, a annoncé le chef de la Primature. « Ils seront en Haïti la semaine prochaine », a-t-il dit.
Personne ne sera exclu dans les pourparlers, a garanti M. Lamothe. « C'est un problème commun qui affecte tout le monde : les investisseurs, ceux qui ont des moyens comme ceux qui n'ont pas, les touristes, les hôtels...Il est temps qu'on s'asseye ensemble afin de résoudre ce problème lié à l'énergie. Je suis très content de voir qu'on a le support de tous les bailleurs de fonds dans ce processus. Bien entendu, la solution n'est pas pour demain, mais elle arrive avec une approche commune. »
Interrogé par Le Nouvelliste sur l'avenir des trois fournisseurs privés de l'ED'H déjà sur le terrain, Laurent Lamothe les rassure. « Ils seront invités à prendre part à ce que nous faisons, a-t-il dit. Le processus sera ouvert, c'est pourquoi nous parlons d'appel d'offres. D'ailleurs, nous voulons travailler avec eux, mais dans une formule gagnant-gagnant. La formule actuelle n'est bonne ni pour eux, ni pour l'ED'H, ni pour le pays... »
Laurent Lamothe a souligné que la compagnie est en faillite et ne couvre que 25% du territoire national. On perd 70% de l'électricité après l'avoir acheté des fournisseurs, a-t-il dit, et l'ED'H ne peut recouvrir que 40% de sa clientèle. De plus, il y a le vol d'électricité sur le réseau.
Le Premier ministre a indiqué que des investisseurs étrangers comme nationaux sont intéressés au dossier de l'ED'H. Outre les avantages dans l'importation du riz en Haïti, 40% moins cher sur le marché, le chef de la Primature envisage de coopérer avec le Vietnam dans le secteur énergétique. Ce pays, a souligné Lamothe, produit 30 000 mégawatts à environ 15 centimes par kilowatt/heure alors qu'en Haïti il est situé entre 23 et 35 centimes. Laurent Lamothe a rencontré, vendredi, à Manhattan, son homologue vietnamien sur le dossier.
Dans le même registre, le projet de l'Artibonite 4C, qui consiste dans la construction d'une centrale hydroélectrique d'une capacité de 32 mégawatts, n'est pas tombé à l'eau. En tout cas pas totalement.
A New York, Laurent Lamothe a abordé le dossier avec les autorités brésiliennes. En ce sens, le Brésil va tenir une rencontre sur le sujet le mois prochain avec, entre autres, la BID. Les autorités haïtiennes veulent à tout prix rendre l'ED'H rentable et efficace. Une compagnie dans laquelle le Trésor public dépense beaucoup d'argent pour produire surtout du black-out.
Robenson Geffrard, New York
http://lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=121935

Experts fear crisis over ruling stripping citizenship from Haitian-Dominicans

Published September 27, 2013Associated Press
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Experts warned Friday that a Dominican court decision to strip citizenship from children of Haitian migrants could cause a human rights crisis, potentially leaving tens of thousands of people stateless, facing mass deportation and discrimination.
Officials promised to create a path to Dominican citizenship, but gave no details about how it would work or who would be covered.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court is final and gives the electoral commission one year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship.
The decision applies to those born after 1929 — a category that overwhelmingly includes descendants of Haitians brought in to work on farms. It appears to affect even their grandchildren, said Wade McMullen, a New York-based attorney at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
A U.N.-backed study released this year estimated that there are nearly 210,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent and roughly another 34,000 born to parents of another nationality.
Many of those "are now effectively stateless," McMullen said. "We really don't know what's going to happen to those people ... Based on what the Dominican government is saying, these people are not Dominican citizens and will have to leave and effectively go to Haiti, where they are also not citizens. It creates an extremely complicated situation."
The majority of them don't have Haitian citizenship, have little or no ties to Haiti and likely don't speak Creole, he said. Getting Haitian citizenship can be complicated too because it is difficult to comply with requirements to prove descent from a Haitian national.
Roberto Rosario, president of the electoral commission, insisted that the government is not denying anyone the right to a nationality, saying people would be able "to legalize themselves through the national legalization plan."
However, that plan has not yet been created, despite a 2004 immigration law that called for it, and it was not clear who would be covered.
Once the plan is created and the electoral commission turns in its list, it will take no more than two years for legalization, said Immigration Director Jose Ricardo Taveras, member of a nationalist party that has long complained about the "Haitianization" of the Dominican Republic.
"Far from remaining in limbo like some critics are arguing, (they) will for the first time benefit from a defined status and identity without having to violate the law," he said.
Meanwhile, the military announced that it had deported 47,700 Haitians caught entering the country in the past year, more than double the nearly 21,000 deported in the previous year.
Roxanna Altholz, associate director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, said she was concerned about how the Dominican Republic has very deep roots of violent racism against Dominican-Haitians and Haitians.
"Are they going to do summary expulsions? Is the Dominican Republic going to conduct raids? I don't know how they're going to implement this decision," she said.
The Dominican government is currently analyzing the birth certificates of more than 16,000 people, while electoral authorities have refused to issue identity documents to 40,000 people of Haitian descent.
"To all of a sudden be told no, you're not Dominican, it's very frustrating," said Elmo Bida Joseph, a 21-year-old student who said he was denied his ID and a copy of his birth certificate because he was born to Haitian migrants.
"All my dreams have been broken," said Bida, a baseball player who needed those documents to enroll in a baseball academy.
Now he worries he'll be deported.
"I feel that's around the corner. That in any moment I'll be detained and they'll send me to Haiti," he said.
David Abraham, a law professor at the University of Miami, said the decision was part of a larger effort to keep Haitians from entering the Dominican Republic and to encourage self-deportation of those already here.
He cited the racial differences between the predominantly black Haitians and mixed-race Dominicans as well as Haiti's plight as one of the world's poorest countries.
"The fear of the Dominican Republic, of being pulled down to the level of Haiti economically and the 'blackening' of the country, has been an obsession of Dominican politicians for well over a century," he said.
Spanish-speaking Dominicans and Creole-speaking Haitians share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and have a long history of conflict and tense relations.
The office of Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe declined to comment about the ruling. The Dominican government estimates that some 500,000 people born in Haiti live in the Dominican Republic.
Until 2010, the Dominican Republic automatically bestowed citizenship to anyone born on its soil. But that year, the government approved a new constitution stating that citizenship will be granted only to those born on its soil to at least one parent of Dominican blood or whose foreign parents are legal residents.
"The impact could be truly catastrophic," said Jorge Duany, an anthropology professor at Florida International University who has studied the migration of Dominicans in the Caribbean. "They are stigmatizing an entire Haitian population."
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/09/27/experts-fear-crisis-over-ruling-stripping-citizenship-from-haitian-dominicans/ ___ Danica Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. AP writer Trenton Daniel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, contributed to this report.

Laura Carmichael visits Haiti on charity trip

DOWNTON ABBEY star LAURA CARMICHAEL has told of her heartbreak after travelling to Haiti this week (ends29Sep13) to meet orphans and survivors of the 2010 earthquake which ravaged the nation.
Published: Sun, September 29, 2013
The actress, who plays Lady Edith on the hit period drama, flew to the country on a charity mission organised by The Haiti Hospital Appeal, visiting a 70-bed medical centre in Cap-Haitien, which treated 11,000 patients last year (12).
Carmichael admits she was "truly humbled" after witnessing the efforts of doctors who have set up special units to help locals cope after the devastating disaster.
In a column for the Sunday Mirror, she writes, "In the paediatric unit I was introduced to a fragile abandoned baby struggling for life. Bety had the life-threatening condition ¬hydrocephalus. As she was placed in my arms, I could feel my heart beating through my chest. Despite (the doctor's) valiant efforts, this baby had a minimal chance of survival. In the U.K., hydrocephalus can usually be controlled. It was the first of many times I had to take a breath to stop the tears."
She adds, "While they will do everything in their power to save this fragile life, the medical team explain that it's common for children to die needlessly every day. The children treated at this paediatric unit at least stand a chance."
Carmichael is calling on her fans to give generously to a new initiative she is backing: "I'm now helping to launch
A Royal Birth - a campaign to provide women and babies in Haiti with safe births. Coming here has challenged me. I realise that like many others I had moved on too quickly from the ¬devastating images of 2010. Sunday Mirror readers were ¬incredibly generous at pledging support in the aftermath of the ¬quake, but the country needs our help now more than ever."
http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/433148/Laura-Carmichael-visits-Haiti-on-charity-trip

Pamela Anderson to Run the New York City Marathon for Haitian Relief

By MAGGIE COUGHLAN
09/29/2013 at 12:30 PM EDT
Pamela Anderson announced her plans to run the ING New York City Marathon on herTwitter account on Sunday – all in the name of a good cause.
"I'm running the New York Marathon this year and raising funds for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization," she Tweeted.
Spanning across the five boroughs, the Marathon takes place Nov. 3, leaving Anderson just over a month to raise funds to support J/P HRO, an organization that aims to save lives and bring sustainable programs to the Haiti following the earthquake of 2010.
On her fundraising page, Anderson, 46, wrote, "I'm running the New York Marathon ... (Can you believe it?). Together, I hope we can raise at least $500,000 and make a huge impact in this magical country ... keep checking my page and Facebook and Twitter to find out about all sorts of contests I'll be running from now until November – I will give updates on my training too."
The actress then adds a list of reasons as to why she's supporting Haiti.
"Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere. Just a one-hour flight from Miami. How are we not more involved? Desperate need for things we take for granted – clean water, safe school structures, medical facilities, emergency rooms, reforestation possibilities – conservation, education. Organic products allowed into Free trade market (mangoes, coffee, vanilla, vegetables). The opportunities are endless."
She adds, "To spend time in Haiti is to fall in love with Haiti. The magic of this country ... The people ... The humility ... Pride. Musicians, athletes and Artists. It has been heartbreaking to witness the poverty among people in what should be a very rich country."
She continues, "I was in Haiti shortly after the earthquake to help with local farms and food distribution in tent camps. I visited J/P HRO when it was in its beginning stages. I brought cold beer through rubble-covered streets to volunteers who were working long days surrounded by dust and death. I have known Sean [Penn] a long time ... I love him dearly. I think many people shine in Haiti. They Jumped. Took Action. Made the decision to help ... What if we ALL had the nerve? I think deep down we all do ... It feels good to help. And it heals us too."
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20740256,00.html

Haiti discovers the self-portrait

Three years after Haiti's devastating earthquake, New York-based photographer Andy Lin has taken his Self-Portrait Project to the camps for those displaced by the disaster of January 2010
The Self-Portrait Project is, according to its creator Andy Lin, a "glorified photobooth": it works by a camera shooting through a two-way mirror, the subject taking their own photo via a remote control. The result, he argues, is a uniquely honest picture: "You can't be dishonest in a picture you take of yourself, even if you're trying to portray yourself as something else."
New York-based photographer Lin has amassed more than 300,000 self-portraits in the four years he has been taking his project to parties and NGO events in his city. But when an opportunity arose earlier this month to go to Haiti, he grabbed it with both hands: "I have been wanting to use the Self-Portrait Project in the context of social change, because it allows the subject control of their own image," he says. "I've been wanting to go somewhere where people have been marginalised, or victimised, or forgotten, to remind the world beyond that they're there."
Working with Haitian housing activist groups Frakka and Under Tents,the Self-Portrait Project was set up in four encampments and shantytowns: Grace Village, Cité Soleil, Mozayik and Solino. More than 280,000 Haitians are still living in camps, three and a half years after the earthquake that struck their country. They live without clean water, at risk of cholera and crime, and with the constant threat of eviction. Lin wants to exhibit these images to raise awareness of their plight.
He sees the project as a powerful tool of self-expression, each participant presenting themselves as they wish to be seen. "It's not like me as a photojournalist, going in there and asking, 'Hey, who here was raped? Can I take your photo?' The camera was set up in each camp only after the agreement of a council of residents. At first Lin's team faced scepticism. "But once we set up and people realised we weren't trying to exploit them, they became a lot more open.
"We took a printer, and I printed out a photo for everyone who participated. It's not a lot, but we left something for the communities." "The kids were full of life," commented Teresa Lopes, who accompanied the project to Haiti on behalf of Pink Stone, the foundation that funded it. "There was only one camp we went to – Cité Soleil, the largest and most dangerous shantytown – where you could see fear on their faces. Three days earlier someone had been shot, their body left burning. Every night there is gunfire, the bullets go whizzing over their makeshift plastic tents. The kids dig holes and hide in them, because that is the only way they can feel safe."
Some people didn't see the point of the project at first, Lopes says: "Many of the Haitians in camps haven't seen themselves in a long time – I know some people don't even own a photograph of themselves; people hadn't seen the way they looked in so long."
"Pretty much every person I talked to had a similar story," Lin adds. "Almost everyone had had a family member die, they'd lost their houses, they were out of jobs. In Grace Village, there were some adolescent men, who were sceptical about what we were doing. They spoke perfect English, and one of them had been to Miami University. He'd come back to Haiti, got caught up in the earthquake, and now he couldn't leave."
These self-portraits have a unique vibrancy about them; most of the subjects have chosen to smile, a testament to their resilience. And while these Haitians have little power over their daily lives, for those few seconds they were in control.
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/sep/29/haiti-selfie-self-portrait-project