HAITI - Lastic Canyon Water Project
SILF Report Spring 2016
been some time since I’ve written about what is
happening in our Haiti project. The System Irrigation
Lastic Fond-Parisien (SILF) has been quietly (mostly)
I made two trips to Haiti in 2015. In the first trip in
June, we did some surveying for other groups to advance
their projects, and we also spent some time in Fond Parisien
looking at the system, planning upgrades, working on the
budget, and so on. While I was working around the system,
my sons hiked back into the mountains with several guides
to look for a spring whose piping system has failed. This
system, known as “Ti Source”, or “Little
Spring”, may become another work project at some
time in the future.
The second trip was in October, where I spent my entire
time with the system. The following report is a compilation
of the two trips.
The entire Caribbean has been in a drought for several
years. Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti & The Dominican Republic,
and other similar islands have all been affected. In our
area, the crops irrigated by this system were about the
only crops for a number of miles. I would encourage you
to read the Associated Press article we are attaching
together with this report.
As is usual when I set down with our administrator, Tazino,
to discuss the status of the system, we started with the
‘5 most pressing issues’. This has become
our standard way to start focusing on what’s most
important. During our discussions, we added several more
items, so we really had ‘5 plus a few more pressing
issues’. These where/are:
1. The committee
has been using our Polaris Ranger for transportation,
around, etc. This is not the right machine for their use
for several reasons. Nobody in the
area knows how to fix it, parts are not readily available,
and it’s not heavy enough for what
it’s being used for. Zack Toews from Oriani has
been keeping it in good repair for us, but it’s
expensive. We need to find a diesel 4X4 pickup that will
be more in keeping with the local’s
experience. $6000 - $7000 USD.
2. We rent
an office in town, which costs us about $1000 USD per
year. It’s not very well suited to what we do, and
has no storage space for bags of cement, rebar, tools,
etc. The village fathers have donated land to us right
next to the police station, and the committee has drawn
up plans for a small office and depot (storage place).
Having an official office in a
prominent place will also cement our status in the community
as an official, ongoing,
concern. This has been more of a concern to the SILF committee
than it has been to us in North America. We might not
realize the full extent of the cultural ramifications
of the difference of being “official” and
“unofficial”. We have been hesitant to spend
what amounts to a number of year’s rent, but the
committee ranks this pretty high. Budget $±8000
USD for 1st phase.
3. There are
26 farms across a small creek that have been mapped, and
water rights assigned, but we need to build a flume across
the creek to send get water to them. $750 USD.
a. The main
entrance hatch to the main cleanout in the riverbed needs
strengthen and made easier to access for periodic cleaning,
and while it’s being
worked on, we might as well do the annual clean up.
b. The canal
in the canyon that connects the dam to the pipeline goes
beneath a cliff that was formed when we blasted the mountainside.
Debris is trickling off the cliff and building up beside
the canal. Soon the available space will be filled, and
it debris pile will spill into the canal. Since this looks
like it will continue indefinitely, we need to cap the
canal and turn it into a tunnel. Then the debris can continue
to fall, and eventually spill off into the river canyon.
c. The canal
feeding the Le Femme district needs repairs. It will take
about 20 man days of work.
d. The fountain
in Le Roche is giving trouble again. We will try again
to get it working right.
budgets for the above maintenance items totaling about
$650 USD, which were approved on a phone call back to
the US. I left that money, and most of the items are
completed. In addition, several other small items have
been repaired or upgraded. Most
recently, several gates were concreted into several different
places where the canals divide.
These will greatly ease the moving of water from one area
a donor has come forward to assist with the building of
the Bureau, so we made plans to start that in February.
Once we ready to begin, in typical Haitian fashion a dispute
arose about the ownership of the land that was mentioned
above. To avoid a prolonged fuss, a local farmer gave
us a corner of his field, and this work is progressing
along quite well. It is not in the heart of town, but
it is along a main road and well situated relative to
the irrigation areas.