Etang Saumâtre also known as Lac Azuéi (Lake Azuéi)

Haiti's version of the Dead Sea is the briny Etang Saumâtre, which translates in English to brackish pond. As Haiti's largest lake, it holds second place to the Dominican Republic's Lake Enriquillo as the second largest lake in Hispaniola. Known by some as Lake Azuéi, it is known by Haiti's neighbors as Lago del Fondo, and also by the Taíno name, Yainagua.


Found in what is described as the arid part of the Cul-de-Sac valley, the pond can be found less than 30 km east of the Haitian capital in the Ouest Department. At its northern side, it forms part of the border with the Dominican Republic.

The landlocked lake is home to many endemic species of animals, reptiles, invertebrates and fishes, as well as being a habitat for flora, making it not so similar to the Dead Sea after all. It shares a pool of species with the twin lakes which are close to it in proximity as well as history.

Among its wildlife there are various fishes, including tilapia, over a hundred species of waterfowl like the flamingo, as well as turtles, Rhinoceros Iguanas and crocodiles. The habitat continues to teem with life because of its relatively stable state despite the spate of deforestation and soil erosion taking place around it. There is, however, a threat of eutrophication from algae and the problem of solid waste. There is also no program for waste management at the lake. Both governments have, however, identified possibilities for the continued preservation of the site.

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Read more: Etang Saumatre, Environment, Lake Azuei, fish, Lac Azuéi, Azuéi, Tilapia, Turtle, Rhinoceros Iguanas, Iguanas, Crocodile, Flamingo, Haiti

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