NOTE: In the wake of Tropical Storm Isaac, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp residents that partner with Pax Christi Port-au-Prince are taking shelter at the Pax Christi SAKALA community center in Cite Soleil. Furthermore, many homes have collapsed due to the wind in Cite Soleil leaving many families and individuals seeking shelter. Amy Watts and Manuel Padilla, the co-coordinators of the Pax Christi USA-Pax Christi Port-au-Prince collaboration, left for Cite Soleil today to help with support and relief assistance over the next 3 weeks. During their time in Haiti, we’ll be posting several recent stories on the ongoing situation in Haiti.
By Martha Mendoza, AP
TROU DU NORD, Haiti — Its capital is blighted with earthquake rubble. Its countryside is shorn of trees, chopped down for fuel. And yet, Haiti’s land may hold the key to relieving centuries of poverty, disaster and disease: There is gold hidden in its hills – and silver and copper, too.
A flurry of exploratory drilling in the past year has found precious metals worth potentially $20 billion deep below the tropical ridges in the country’s northeastern mountains. Now, a mining company is drilling around the clock to determine how to get those metals out.
In neighboring Dominican Republic, workers are poised to start mining the other side of this seam later this year in one of the world’s largest gold deposits: 23 million ounces worth about $40 billion.
The Haitian government’s annual budget is $1 billion, more than half provided by foreign assistance. The largest single source of foreign investment, $2 billion, came from Haitians working abroad last year. A windfall of locally produced wealth could pay for roads, schools, clean water and sewage systems for the nation’s 10 million people, most of whom live on as little as $1.25 a day.
“If the mining companies are honest and if Haiti has a good government, then here is a way for this country to move forward,” said Bureau of Mines Director Dieuseul Anglade…