Good water management : a priority

"Dlo se lavi!" Without access to water, the living conditions of peasants in Central Highlands are very difficult. The Peasant Movement of Papaya’s mission is to educate people to make better use of this vital resource, particularly through a program to support rural development.

Teaching agroecology and water management

Having already trained 23 people, the agronomists at the MPP will continue sharing their expertise and know-how until June 2013 with 67 men and women participants. The objective is to teach techniques of agroecological production and forestry.

During a 12 month apprenticeship, these young people receive full training, with theory taught at the MPP’s “Lakay” centre and practice on the trainees’ own land. Of the 18 modules offered, over half provide solutions to the problem of access to water: irrigation systems, soil conservation, tree planting...

The construction of water reserves

In 2010, 29 apprentice builders were trained in the construction of covered water reserves in iron and concrete, with a 15 cubic meter capacity, for the collection and storage of rain water. Their toolkits in hand, they joined the MPP’s team of experienced builders.

48 reserves were built during the first phase of the program. Between April and October 2012, the rainy season, 72 reserves will be built. In total, 120 reserves will have been built: 90 on land belonging to young farmers trained in agroecology and 30 on “prekay” [1] gardens belonging to local farmers.

Store and save water

Farmers must overcome the dry season, which can last up to 5 months, followed by rains that are often torrential. To accompany the 150 “prekay” gardens, which need little water, the MPP is putting forward two water management solutions:

  • attribution of covered reserves (built by apprentice builders) to extend the period of vegetable production
  • installation of eco-irrigation, drip systems and stilt gardens, which contribute to saving water.

Fight soil erosion and protect the environment

On finishing the course in agroecology, each of the 90 young participants will become responsible for an agro-forestry team of around 10. Their objective is to relate installation, maintenance and irrigation techniques learnt on the course to families of farmers, and to organize local projects for soil conservation and for the protection of the environment.

In the next few months another 67 teams will be formed, and by June 2013 90 groups will be active on the Haut Plateau Central. Some 900 farmers will be in charge of packets of forest and fruit trees, reforesting the land, constructing walls with trees or rocks to protect fields and stop soil erosion.

[1“prekay” garden (Haitian Creole): farmer’s garden situated close to dwelling using little water.

See more