Expanding Access to Water in Haiti.

January 4, 2017

84

master farmers certified

30,000

linear meters of Canal Artibonite Sud irrigation cleaned

400

temporary jobs created

Beginning in April 2016, project staff partnered with ODVA to clean the Canal Artibonite Sud, one of the major primary irrigation canals in the Artibonite Valley. The canal has the potential to irrigate 7,000 of the 9,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Bocozèle area. However, the lack of regular maintenance over the past several years has left areas of the canal clogged with sediment and vegetation, causing floods and drought in different places.

From May to August 2016, CLP and ODVA worked together to address this issue. ODVA staff members and workers from two local water-user associations (the Water-User Association of the South Artibonite Canal and the Water-User Association of the North Artibonite Canal, fifth section) cleaned much of the canal, removing sediment and trash buildup. They also used heavy equipment to help speed the process along.

In addition to the short-term work of cleaning the canal, ODVA worked closely with the two water-user associations to improve how they collected water-user fees and conducted regular canal maintenance. As a result of this assistance, these water associations can now provide high-quality inputs — including TCS-10 rice seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides — to sell to local agro-supply stores.

Farmers in the Artibonite Valley are also learning new growing techniques. With support from the project and the University of Cornell, local beneficiaries are adopting best practices for doubling their yields while reducing the amount of seeds and water they use. Notably, 84 master farmers were certified and are now actively teaching others in their community.

ODVA itself is improving its internal processes, including how it does reporting, invoicing, and community outreach. Through these new approaches, ODVA staff members are applying environmentally sustainable methods for sediment removal and reuse.

“After three years, this is the first rice crop I am about to make. Due to the irrigation problems in Poirier, I had abandoned the production of rice in favor of other crops that are easier to grow on dry land. Thanks to the water access, it is with great enthusiasm that I start rice production again. I am also happy to apply and practice new and more efficient techniques.”

Julien Alain Clerveillus, farmer

As of November 2016, ODVA had cleaned 30,000 linear meters of the Canal Artibonite Sud irrigation system. The project has also created 400 temporary jobs, enabling farmers to purchase seeds and fertilizers for the new planting seasons.

As Franco Jean Pierre, director of ODVA, explained, “Thanks to these efforts that support the numerous initiatives from ODVA, farmers in Bocozèle can expect to increase their agricultural yields to improve their economic situation.”

Now that water is more accessible year round, the dry season no longer poses as great a threat. Ensuring that these practices continue will be critical to long-term sustainability: CLP and ODVA plan to continue their work in the Artibonite Valley, which includes developing a long-term maintenance plan for the Canal Artibonite Sud. But for now, many Haitian farmers have access to water that they have not had in years.

“After three years, this is the first rice crop I am about to make,” reflected Julien Alain Clerveillus, a local farmer in the area. “Due to the irrigation problems in Poirier, I had abandoned the production of rice in favor of other crops that are easier to grow on dry land. Thanks to the water access, it is with great enthusiasm that I start rice production again. I am also happy to apply and practice new and more efficient techniques.”