Government of Haiti Tells Diaspora Stop Investing in Canaan

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe arrived in Canaan on an exploratory mission on 6/17/13. Canaan is one of many towns near Port-au-Prince that received thousands of 2010 earthquake survivors. The survivors erected a tent city and received emergency supplies of food and water from the government of Haiti (GOH) and other non-government organizations (NGOs).


Lamothe talked about an urbanization program that will make Canaan a habitable place, supplying it with essential services such as electricity, water, and septic systems. But a conflict is brewing between GOH and the Diaspora, who have been building housing in the area. It focuses on the questionable necessity of the GOH to control the vicinity so the Unit for Housing Construction and Public Buildings (UHCPB) can perform its work. The GOH is discouraging the Diaspora from any further construction activity because it would interfere with the UHCPB's work. A collateral reason to prohibit more construction is the problem of squatters on the land.

But what Laurent Lamothe says makes no sense. Because other NGOs have built hundreds of temporary housing settlements in Canaan with assistance from the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. This conflict between GOH and the Diaspora is an example of the lack of coordination across programs and services the GOH is famous for.

Laurent Lamothe is confused if he thinks the UHCPB and Diaspora do not have common cause in Canaan. And the squatting issue is irrelevant. It is something that can be taken care of by the Haitian National Police.

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Read more: diaspora, Laurent Lamothe, Canaan, Haiti

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