Modelle village, located on the river Artibonite, is affected yearly by massive flooding (20 cm in 2008) which isolate the village, destroying crops, weakening mud houses and favoring the development of water-borne diseases. These regular catastrophes burden the development perspectives for the inhabitants of Modelle. In March 2009, ACTED started the rehabilitation of one kilometer of the river embankments alongside the village, in the framework of the project 'Emergency intervention to improve the living conditions of the communities affected by flooding in the Lower Artibonite.'
The aim is two-fold. First, temporary employment enables the injection of cash within the isolated communities which lack funds for investment purposes. According to Louis Saint Charles, a father of 9 who benefits from this working scheme, “this is an important improvement in my life. Indeed, thanks to this cash, I have been able to afford the tuition fees for my children”. Furthermore, the project aims at preventing flooding by reinforcing the embankments of the river Artibonite. Further than the short term revenues the workers earn, it is first and foremost the impact of the embankment rehabilitation which motivates the beneficiaries of the project. Merci Edner, one of the workers thus explains: “CFW is not the most important thing for me. What is more important is that we shall not be flooded anymore”.
In order to be sustainable and have a long lasting impact, disaster risk reduction projects must be implemented in strict coordination and with the participation of the local communities, thus the commitment of the local populations in the rehabilitation of the embankments. Lacking such participative approach can have serious consequences. For example, Grande Salines-Robinet was flooded in 2008, following the Ike and Hannah hurricanes, because local farmers dug a hole in the dyke to water their crops as they did not want to wait for the water irrigation canals to be cleaned up. Thanks to the commitment of the communities, Modelle should avoid these kinds of events.
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