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Haiti - Environment : Real-time monitoring of the watershed of Port-à-Piment
25/03/2012 12:11:36

Haiti - Environment : Real-time monitoring of the watershed of Port-à-Piment
While the arrival of the rainy season in Haiti is imminent, efforts intensify to improve the real-time monitoring of the watershed of Port-à-Piment, particularly vulnerable. The objective is to reduce the risk of major natural events to which are faced the local communities in the south of country.

Given that the Southern Department of Haiti is mountainous and that its slopes are severely deforested, there are very few barriers to rain that will throw directly into the main river, carrying soil, sediment, and frequently crops, the livelihoods and material goods in the sea.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is one of 14 partners involved in the Initiative on the South Coast (ICS) designed to achieve sustainable goals at large-scale.

Given that basic data on rivers and aquifers in the South Coast, was insufficient to guide plans and the investments in water management, the partners of the ICS have implemented a continuous process of information gathering on the ground to improve the understanding of the behavior of river systems in the region and allow an improvement of methods of risk reduction.

Researchers at the Earth Institute, which is also part of the ICS, have installed weather monitoring stations, set up a mobile laboratory of control of water quality and established several new water control stations along major regional rivers.

These stations measure rainfall, wind speed and its direction, barometric pressure, solar radiation and the relative humidity and temperature and make available their data on the Internet in real time via satellite.

From the data obtained by this new equipment, the team of the ICS will be able to determine how quickly, a major natural events striking mountainous regions, will impact on downstream communities, particularly on those living in exposed areas close to sea level or eroded banks.

A collaborative approach between partners of the ICS and the local and national authorities, including the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture, has allowed a joint management of the equipment present on the installations as well as the understanding of the long-term use of data by all partners.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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