AMURT realized its first large-scale watershed protection program in 2006, focusing on the Sources Chaudes area of the NW Artibonite Department.  Since then, this 5-year environmental initiative has resulted in what both the Ministry of Agriculture and the local authorities call “the most significant reduction of disaster risk in the region ever”.

To witness the transformation as a result of this large scale disaster risk reduction initiative one has to visit one of the 14 watersheds where soil conservation work took place over 2009 and 2010.  Several communities have experienced a transformation since choosing to participate in the initiative.  The decades leading to this effort had been marked by a dropping water table and decreased flow of their water sources, which the communities attributed to the rapid and massive deforestation of their slopes. 

Using a participative process to define the challenges and priorities in front of the community, in 2006 AMURT helped the village of Ti Plas to build soil conservation terraces and contour canals, plant thousands of trees, and ultimately reduce the erosion and soil loss for the area.  Since then, the water table of the entire watershed has been rising, resulting in a stronger flow of its spring, and increased farm production yields due to the newly built irrigation canals.

The ongoing initiative has planted more than a million tree seedlings and 31 million seeds through the twelve community-based tree nurseries it supports with the help of Trees Water People.  It has resulted in more than 1 million linear meters of canal contours, 800,000 linear meters of barrages and 30,000 linear meters of check dams, protecting and improving the agriculture-based livelihoods of farms and salt basins.

From 2012 onward, AMURT supports its implementing partner LOCAL-Haiti in implementing large scale economically-driven watershed protection projects, in order to preserve the fragile ecological balance of the rural area.

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