Town of Torbeck and the Mighty Torbeck River

Torbeck is a cityship located in the Les Cayes Arrondissement, under the Sud Department. A coastal village, it lies on the southwestern part of Haiti's peninsula, facing the tiny Caribbean island, Île à Vache. It sustains a population of 60,012, and its highest land mass reaches 807 feet.


Torbeck's terrain is very green with rich tropical vegetation and grasslands for livestock to graze on year-round. Subsistence farming is the back-bone of its economy, and crops of sugarcane, mangoes, citrus fruits, rice, and melons are harvested.

The transit system in Torbeck depends on pack animals as transportation to carry produce. The residents either walk, or catch rides from trucks to get from one place to the next. The roads are unpaved, rutted, and strewn with pebbles. But villagers manage to make it to the weekly market to trade goods and buy farm supplies.

The main source of drinking water comes from the Torbeck River, both a blessing and a curse to the village. Yearly flooding caused by massive amounts of rain overflows the river's banks, swallowing all objects in its path. The inhabitants of the village anxiously wait out the rainy season, never knowing when the overflow may start.

The United Nations Development Program finally sponsored a water project to stem the river's tide, completed in 2011. The construction company built a drainage ditch and retention wall, while the Taiwanese government paid for a bridge to span the Torbeck River, which was completed earlier in mid-2007.

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