Construction of canal of morne Bienac to protect against flood risk in Gonaives

Morne Bienac isn't a particularly famous part of Haiti, but this location in the Artibonite region has become news with the announcement of plans for a canal to stop flooding in Gonaives. This MINUSTAH project is a subsection of RCV (Community Violence Reduction) and entails the building of a 220 linear meter drywall through funding from the RCV and the manpower from IOM (International Organization for Migration), and other local collaborators.


The area of Gonaives is all-too familiar with how bad it gets when there is a flood. During the yearly hurricane season, residents are often wary of the rain, which can leave behind mud up to meters high after the waters recede. The expectation is that the canal, costing a cool $400,000 US, will mitigate at least some of this flooding. In the past the damage caused by this flooding has been extensive in the region, mud being the largest residual factor. Following a particularly bad season in 2008, after four storms hit, the city was left under 1.5 meters of mud and without the resources to clean it up.

The building of the canal and its continued maintenance will help the communities around Morne Bienac against not just flooding, but from the sanitation problems that tend to follow. The work itself has proved beneficial to the community already, supplying some 650 jobs, 30% of which are being done by women. In a region where a hurricane season is akin to the stuff of nightmares, the Morne Bienac canal seems like a trusty security blanket.

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