Over 400 houses demolished around Toussaint L'Ouverture airport to make way for Multinational Security Support Mission

By Michelson Césaire, Le Nouvelliste, May 10, 2024

Haitian authorities have doubled their efforts to demolish the houses adjacent to Toussaint Louverture International Airport. Between 350 and 400 houses have already been demolished in the northern perimeter of the airport. According to Me Wilcain Noël, who is in charge of the project for the Tabarre town council, another 90 or so multi-story houses overlooking the airport have already been identified for demolition.

"We're ahead of schedule with the house demolitions. We are 80% advanced in the demolition, evaluation and identification of the houses," Noël explained.

They are creating a 35 meter wide perimeter around the airport fence. "Certain multi-story houses that are not within the 35-metre field, but which constitute a danger to the airport, are also targeted", he said, pointing out that in the second phase of the project, 40% of the houses remain to be demolished. He guaranteed that by the beginning of next week, the process of demolishing these houses will be underway to facilitate the reopening of Toussaint Louverture International Airport as quickly as possible.

"The airport runway will be widened and a road built to secure the airport perimeter from Comme il faut to Drouillard. Police and military facilities will be built to secure the airport perimeter. We've already identified areas where police or military bases will be built in every nook and cranny of the airport," said Wilcain Noël.

"We're currently working on the northern axis of the airport, and we'll be looking at the western axis. All the houses overlooking the airport runway will be affected. There will be certain considerations for schools", continued the director of the Tabarre town hall estate.

 

"Residents who received compensation are satisfied"

"193 house owners have already received their cheques as part of this project, if Noël is to be believed. "In the first phase, some residents received up to 32 million gourdes in compensation. The lowest price was 500,000 gourdes for those with one room. In the second phase, there will be cheques for up to 285 million gourdes", he said.

"The space in which these people have built their houses is part of the State's private domain. It's an amicable agreement made by the State, which had already compensated a first group to clear the airport perimeter. Some of them tricked the State either by selling the space to other residents, or simply stayed in their dwellings", Noël claimed.

 

Translated by CHIP editors

 

Posted May 18, 2024