As Source Kaara Decreases, Saut D'Eau May No Longer Exist


Saut-d'Eau falls in the Central Plateau of Haiti is at peril of running dry. Its mouth, Kaara, is not producing enough water to keep the waterfall of Saut-d'Eau at full volume, having declined in its output over the last six months.

Simon Desras, President of the Senate, worries if the falls should stop flowing, the economy of the Central Plateau will suffer. The stoppage would damage, not only the economy of the region, but affect a tradition that has taken place at the falls since 1847. In that year, an apparition of the Virgin Mary manifested at the twin falls, beginning an annual pilgrimage to Saut-d'Eau, to bathe beneath the onrushing streams that plunge down the gorge. Upwards of 20,000 bathers visit each year for this sacred rite.

Reasons are many why this decline in volume is happening in Saut-d'Eau. One is the rural population cutting down tree cover on hills above the waterfall. They do this to produce charcoal for the charcoal industry. The effect of removing tree cover is declining soil moisture. Other possible causes include global warming and something beneath the ground absorbing water at a rapid rate.

Desras called an emergency meeting at the Department of Center to inform and discuss the problem, and to develop initiatives to address the issue for both short- and long-term solutions. The government has made a commitment, and is working with local officials and citizens to save the falls from extinction, and the consequent harm that will bring to the local economy.

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Read more: economy, Central Plateau, Saut-D'Eau, Pilgrimage, Charcoal, Waterfall, Virgin Mary, Kaara, Water, Simon Desras, Energy Environment

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