Haiti, Special Reports

Cap-Haitien Residents Take Frustration out on E.D.H. Workers

By Ralph ‘Onz’ Chery

Distributive electrician Donatien Alcimbert is one of the many E.D.H. workers who’s been assaulted by the Cap-Haitien residents. Photo credit: Pierre Blaise

It was Vertieres’s turn to have electricity on the night of Dec. 15, 2018, so Donatien Alcimbert and his co-worker from the country’s electricity company, drove there to turn on the power distribution box placed in the streets. 

It was a routine job for Alcimbert, who has been a distributive electrician for the company known by its French acronym, E.D.H since 2008. He climbed the ladder to flip the switch on. When he was done, Alcimbert hopped in the passenger seat. As soon as his co-worker started driving, he felt the heavy force of a rock smash his head. Alcimbert quickly turned his head and saw the two men. Then his sight started to get blurry. He could no longer focus. 

It wasn’t until Alcimbert felt the cold water his co-worker was pouring on his head that he fully regained consciousness. His head was swollen, and he wasn’t able to return to work for two weeks. Not that he wanted to return, it was a must.

For as long as one can remember, E.D.H. workers in Cap-Haitien have been getting physically and emotionally harmed because of a lack of electricity.

However, they aren’t the ones to blame for Cap-Haitien’s blackouts. The electrical center’s motors are in a terrible state. Hence, working for E.D.H. is a job in which the employees are pouring themselves out with limited resources but get severely abused in return by the own people they’re serving. Jobs are limited in Cap-Haitien, therefore leaving isn’t always an option.

To add to the assault on Alcimbert, furious Cap-Haitien residents have also attacked E.D.H.’s headquarter with rocks, seized ladders away from the workers before they could use it, and constantly abuse them verbally in the streets.

E.D.H.’s intervention agent, Pierre Blaise, said he doesn’t put his picture nor his real name on social media because he knows he will get attacked verbally. 

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Onz Chery

Onz Chery

Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, Cosmopolitan Soccer League, and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz became one of ESNY's sports journalists then joined The Haitian Times.
Onz Chery
Jul. 25, 2020