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Hazard Mitigation & Vulnerability Reduction Plan
Jérémie, Haiti

A Programme to Mitigate the Impacts of Natural Hazards
Report


Note: the electronic version of this report is divided into four parts. This page is the second part and contains the body of the report. The other three parts are the executive summary, the appendices and the photo inventory. Larger versions of all figures can be viewed by clicking on the image.


1. OVERVIEW AND APPROACH

1.1. BACKGROUND

Communities play a vital role in assisting government efforts in preparing for natural disasters and mitigating their effects. The Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP) seeks to promote public/private sector disaster mitigation and preparedness initiatives and to carry out pilot projects in specific communities, with the goal of establishing community-based, sustainable disaster preparedness and prevention programs. CDMP began work with community preparedness in Haiti in 1996. The project has assisted with the establishment of disaster management committees in three communities in the southwest peninsula. To further the work of these committees, CDMP has begun to support community-based hazard assessments. The overall goal of this project is to assist the Jeremie Disaster Management Committee to develop a Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan which:

This study was conducted at the request of the Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project upon completion of Project JAC17177, wherein various options for hazard vulnerability reduction activities were presented and discussed in relation to priorities and partnership opportunities in the focus point (Jérémie, Haiti).

1.2. GENERAL APPROACH

Jeremie is trying to develop under difficult conditions. Disasters, whether caused by natural or technological hazards, have the effect of setting most people back and stifling development. Due to the difficult economic, social, and political situation in Haiti, it is often not possible to fully recover after a disaster.

Four essential dimensions capture the most significant effects of disasters:

Life: Prevent the direct and indirect loss of life because of natural or technological hazards. Measure: number of lives lost (including indirect loss of life that can be related directly to disaster).

Livelihood: Reduce the extent to which livelihood systems are disrupted or made less resilient (more vulnerable) through direct or indirect effects of natural or technological hazards. Measure: number of working days lost or spent on recovery, and increase in dependence on single income source

Health: Reduce the extent to which human health is affected by natural or technological hazards. Measure: number of infections (note that large number not officially reported)

Property: Reduce the extent to which property (houses, land, crops, animals, goods) is damaged through natural or technological hazards. Measure: number of houses damaged, percent of land lost, value of crops damaged, number of animals killed/infected, value of goods damaged or destroyed).

The disaster cycle outlined in Table 1 indicates that disaster management that seeks to achieve the goals outlined above, needs to concentrate on different management actives and different interventions, depending on the phase of the disaster cycle.

Table 1: Disaster Cycle

Phase

Types of Possible Interventions

Management Role

  1. Normal Conditions
  • reduce magnitude
  • reduce risk
  • increase coping ability/(during and post event resilience)
  • guide development away from high risk areas
  • Mitigation Planning
  • Training/Drills
  • Dissemination of Information
  • Awareness Campaigns
  • Data Collection
  • Monitoring
  • Project Co-ordination
  • Project implementation
  • Decision Making-Resource Allocation
  1. Imminent Disaster
  • increase preparedness
  • evacuate
  • Warning
  • Co-ordination of activities
  • Communication
  1. Disaster
   
  1. Relief and Response
  • clean up
  • emergency supplies & care
  • search and rescue
  • shelter
  • bring critical facilities on-line
  • Co-ordination of activities
  • Dissemination of Information
  • Priority Setting and Resource allocation
  1. Recovery and Rehabilitation
  • supplies for reconstruction
  • loans for redevelopment
  • wider outreach for victims
  • Co-ordination of activities
  • Dissemination of Information
  • Training
  • project Implementation
  1. Return to post-disaster level of "normal conditions"
Same as #1
  • Review: Auditing disaster
  • Analyzing performance/trends
  • Information Dissemination

This mitigation and vulnerability reduction plan concentrates on the "Normal Conditions" phase of the disaster cycle for two related reasons:

The other phases of the disaster cycle are only covered to the extent that they are directly related to effective hazard mitigation and vulnerability reduction management.

There are many factors that make hazard mitigation and vulnerability reduction in Jeremie difficult. These include difficult and worsening economic conditions, the lack of an effective local or national government, repeated exposures to natural and technological hazards which have produced great damages and much loss of life, and from which the people of Jeremie seem to be able to recover to in smaller and smaller measures.

Under such conditions, very little systematic hazard mitigation planning has taken place in the past. There is some evidence of vulnerability reduction efforts in the "Imminent Disaster" phase (for e.g. Red Cross volunteers have been going to different communities to alert them about the coming hazards, and there have also been radio announcements, and various other interventions related to awareness raising etc).

1.3 LIMITATIONS

Among the limitations of our methodology are the following:


2. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS: Basic Studies

In order for disasters to occur, natural phenomena must intersect with people who are exposed to it. To understand the processes by which these two elements interact and to identify effective mitigation interventions, natural and social phenomena need to be examined in tandem and the two perspectives must inform and guide each other in an iterative way. In this section we first present a situational analysis of the natural or technological phenomena which constitute the different types of hazards, and we then turn to the vulnerability analysis which examines the extent of and reasons why different stakeholder groups or zones of Jeremie are exposed to the hazards.

2.1. MULTI-HAZARD ASSESSMENT

The range of potentially disastrous phenomena to which it is exposed includes:

Hydrometeorologic events

  1. hurricane force winds;
  2. storm surges associated with low pressure systems (including hurricanes);
  3. landbourne floods (in terms of channels and sheetfloods), particularly flashfloods; and
  4. droughts and related food insecurity.

Geological hazards

  1. earthquakes;
  2. riverbank erosion;
  3. subterranean cavity collapses
  4. slope instability;
  5. shoreline erosion

Technological hazards

  1. groundwater contamination and related epidemics
  2. boatwrecks and accelerated sedimentation/shallowing conditions in the harbour; and
  3. fires.

For each of the hazards identified, the physical nature of the hazard is described, including a discussion on its likely cause, historic record of magnitude, and the risk or likelihood of occurrence of an event of any given magnitude (frequency, seasonality, and spatial variability). In relation to the causes of hazards, attention has been paid to human activities or land uses that exacerbate the dimensions of the hazard.

Table 2 Causes of Direct and Indirect Hazards

Cause

Primary Hazard

Secondary Hazards

  Hydrometeorologic hazard  
high sea surface temperatures hurricane force winds; Fires
low pressure systems storm surges Flooding
high rates of run-off landbourne flashfloods;  
Reduced rainfall-reduced aquifer recharge   droughts and related food insecurity;
     
  Geological hazards  
tectonic displacement earthquakes; subterranean cavity collapses
exposure of erodeable earth materials riverbank erosion; accelerated sedimentation in the harbour
steep slopes-brecciated material rock falls and rock avalanches; flooding related to diminished storm water disposal capacity
steep slopes clastic sediments and slope disturbance or loading slope instability  
karstification subterranean cavity collapses  
     
  Technological hazards  
high faecal coliform groundwater contamination; Epidemics
overcrowding of boats boatwrecks and,  
poor storage of fuel fires;  

HYDROMETEOROLOGIC HAZARDS

2.1.1. Hurricanes and High Winds

The main hazard considered under this heading is hurricane force winds, flooding and surges are dealt with in respective sections below.

In this century, 14 major hurricanes have affected the southwestern peninsula of Haiti (the tracks of the ones directly affecting Jeremie are given in Figure 1). Table 3 below gives the details of these hurricanes, as they were recorded as close as possible to the latitude and longitude of the town of Jeremie. Forty-two percent of these storms have been more intense than a Category 3. There is a 14% chance in any given year that a hurricane will affect the region. Since the 1950's, there is an increased likelihood of between 1 and 3 hurricanes striking per decade.

The most intense of these has been Hurricane Allen, which was a Category 4 hurricane, with winds gusting up to 260 km/hr (140 knots) and the lowest recorded pressure (for Jeremie) of 945 Mb. Survey respondents also indicated Hurricane Allen as one of the most catastrophic events affecting Jeremie, despite the fact that it occurred almost 20 years ago. In this century, hurricanes affecting Jeremie have been limited to the period August to November, with 9 of these occurring in September and October.

Table 3 Hurricanes affecting Jeremie

Lifespan (Dates)

Impact Date

Month

Year

Name

Category*

Winds (knots)

Pressure (Mb)

31/7-11/8

6th

August

1980

Allen

4

140

945

Through the Jamaica passage
20/8-5/9

25th

August

1964

Cleo

4

130

950

Landfall across the SW Peninsula
26/9-13/10

4th

September

1963

Flora

4

125

944

Landfall across the SW Peninsula
15-29

23rd

September

1998

Georges

4

Nd

Nd

25/8-8/9

1st

September

1979

David

3

130

953

Landfall across DR - N./ Port au Prince
8-20

12th

September

1988

Gilbert

3

110

960

Through the Jamaica passage
30/8-6/9

1st

September

1958

Ella

2

95

Nd

Landfall across the SW Peninsula
21/9-11/10

29th

September

1966

Inez

1

80

987

Landfall across the SW Peninsula
19-27

21st

October

1935

-

1

75

Nd

5-18

11th

October

1954

Hazel

1

60

994

Landfall across the SW Peninsula
8-21

13th

November

1994

Gordon

1

40

1001

Through the Jamaica passage
30/10-7/11

31st

October

1956

Greta

1

Nd

Nd

Through the Jamaica passage
8-14

November

1909

-

Nd

Nd

5-23

August

1915

-

Nd

Nd

Data source: Unisys Weather Database http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/index.html
*based on the Saffir-Simpson Scale
Nd = no data
Ts - tropical storm
(Data given for co-ordinates when closest to Jeremie - 18o38'/74o06')

Figure 1 Historic Hurricane Tracks affecting Southwestern Haiti

Figure1: Historic Hurricane Tracks affecting Southwestern HaitiIn terms of tracking patterns, hurricanes that have affected Jeremie fall into three main categories:

Whether a system makes landfall is important because once it makes landfall it loses strength, and may become less organised. Therefore the most dangerous ones are those that pass through the Jamaica passage, heading northwards toward the Windward passage (sea between the northern peninsula and eastern Cuba). More than half of the hurricanes affecting Jeremie this century made landfall on the south coast of Hispaniola. Hurricanes that make landfall across DR and travel north of Port au Prince, like hurricane David, are likely to have the lowest impact on Jeremie. Hurricanes that make landfall on the SW peninsula pose a lower hazard of storm surge and high winds (discussed below) as they become less organised and gain pressure. However, rising to cross the mountain ranges of the peninsula results in orographic rainfall in the interior, which would lead to possible floods in the Grande Anse catchment. This would depend on how much rain is associated with the system.

The worst-case scenario for Jeremie is the system that travels close to the Jamaica passage. Hurricanes Gordon, Greta, Allen and Gilbert all did this. These systems have the potential for the low pressures as they come closest to Jeremie, producing the strongest winds, lowest pressures (therefore high surges), and greatest levels of rainfall near Jeremie.

2.1.2. Storm Surges and Coastal Flooding

Hurricane-related low pressures that have affected Jeremie in the past range between 1001 (Gordon) and 945 Mb (Allen). The minimum atmospheric pressure recorded for the region has been ~880 Mb (Gilbert, 1988).

Coastal flooding is more likely to be the result of strong winds rather than surges in this area. The zone that is most likely to be affected by the combined effect of likely storm surges, and wave action will be estimated using the Taos model. The CDMP is currently developing a Caribbean regional analysis of storm surge estimates for the entire Caribbean. Once this is complete, available bathymetric and topographic charts, the storm surge model (TAOS) can be used for the determination of areas at risk from coastal flooding resulting from storm surge. Spot depths have been taken using a calibrated 4.5-m pole and a compass for triangulation. It is not likely that the zone most vulnerable to coastal flooding will exceed the 3-m contour, which has been tentatively indicated on the multi-hazard map as the zone most vulnerable to coastal flooding.

There have been reports of coastal flooding as a result of bad weather in the waterfront communities of Mackandal, Basse Ville, and Cote de Fer in particular.

2.1.3. Landborne Floods

The incidence of floods was estimated from reports of flooding, rainfall data, and floodplain mapping. Unfortunately the rainfall data was discontinuous and appears to be unreliable.

Table 4 Mean monthly rainfall for Jeremie and Jacmel (mm)

Month

Jeremie*

Jeremie***

Jacmel**

January

69

116

36

February

90

26

46

March

74

214

87

April

102

218

149

May

135

35

212

June

89

14

114

July

101

88

81

August

72

18

137

September

68

230

155

October

101

52

160

November

123

63

75

December

107

128

35

Total annual

1131

1202

1287

*Mean monthly (1960-1979)
** Taken from the CDMP study on Jacmel (1906-1987)
*** Ministry of Agriculture Chateau Station 1998 data only

The mean annual rainfall of Jeremie is 1131 mm, and appears to be slightly less than the mean annual rainfall for Jacmel. Mean monthly rainfall is below 100 mm for six months (January, February, March, June, August, and September). According to the mean monthly data, the wettest months are May and October-November. Rainfall data from a Ministry of Agriculture station at Chateau/Jeremie indicated that in 1998, September recorded the highest rainfall of 230 mm. In 1998, the rainy season appeared to be early, with a peak in April and a relatively dry May. A more detailed variance analysis of the daily data could not be undertaken due to the quality of data available. On average, there are about 105 rain-days per year in Jeremie.

Using available reports it is often possible to compare the reported flood dates with rainfall data, newspaper reports, or peak spontaneous river discharges. Insufficient auditing of natural events, specifically rainfall events, means that there is inadequate data to use in the quantification of risk and, in planning and mitigation. An analysis of all available data for Jeremie for the period 1960-1979 (1710 recorded rain days) was undertaken to be able to estimate the range of rainfall intensities that are likely to occur. This period is believed to be the most reliable data set for the area, and represents 18 years, which is a reasonable period to make generalised statement about overall patterns and seasonality. Because the data set does not extend to the last two decades, it is not possible to undertake an analysis of the most relevant long-term trends in the rainfall. It is difficult to say, for example, whether Jeremie has been receiving less rainfall, as appears to be the case in Jamaica.

Of the data studied, it is uncertain whether blanks represent instances where no record was taken, no rain, so much rain that the rain gauge was overtopped. These blanks represent a major source of uncertainty in the analysis of risk and probability of exceedence. If we assume that blanks are the equivalent of no rain, then there is an average of ~105 rain days per year. Using this analysis, it is possible to estimate the probability of occurrence of high magnitude rainstorms. There appears to be less than a 1% chance (17 of 1710 events) that any rainy day will result in the accumulation of over 100 mm of rain (the maximum record was 402 mm, for which there is 0.06% chance of exceedence on any rainy day). By comparison, with other regional data (Jamaica and Puerto Rico) the figure of 100 mm of rain being the 100-year event (1% chance) seems very low, and the reliability if the data is further questioned by the authors of this report.

With respect to the town of Jeremie, residents report that there is a 100% chance of a major flood occurring in any given year. Some reports (personal communications with residents) suggest that there is a 100% chance that there will be more than one flood event in any given year. Again, this suggests that the data available for analysis is spurious.

It must be emphasised that flooding in the context of rapid environmental degradation may not be the result of the high magnitude, low frequency events, but rather increasing volumes of overland flow. Experience elsewhere suggests that high volumes of overland flows are most likely to occur under two sets of circumstances:

  1. In the wet season or a period of extended rainfall, that has resulted in high antecedent moisture. In this case, as the aquifers become fully recharged, more and more rainfall runs off as overland flow, and thus contributes to flooding. Flooding under these circumstances may occur in response to a rainfall event following an extended period of rainfall.
  2. Where intensity of rainfall (mm/hour) exceeds the infiltration capacity of the soil (also in mm/hour). In this case, much of the precipitation runs off before it could enter the aquifer. This could occur under conditions of high intensity rainfall, or where the infiltration capacity of the ground surface is diminishing. In the case of Jeremie, the infiltration capacity is becoming increasing lower because of the introduction of impermeable surfaces such as roads, or clearance of land. It seems to be a common practice in several Caribbean urban areas to sweep yards bare, rather than to plant lawns. In Jeremie, the lack of grass and other vegetative ground cover may be due to overgrazing by pigs and goats. Declining infiltration capacity is a normal phenomena associated with town, as impermeable surfaces (roads, pavements, houses, bare rock slopes) often exceed green areas. However, as these impermeable surfaces increase, it is important to understand the need for adequate drainage is critical to prevent flooding.

Flooding in Jeremie results from high volumes of overland flow, which cannot be accommodated by the existing drainage infrastructure, and not from the incidence of unusually high magnitude rainfall events. Due to the cause of the problem, the situation is likely to become worse unless steps are taken to increase infiltration, and accommodate the storm water discharges. Additionally, under both sets of circumstances, particularly the second, the potential for flash flooding is great. Flash flooding refers to the response of overland flow systems (including channels) to particular rainfall events: in the case of a flashy response, there will be rising stage (water levels) within a short period after the event. As land use patterns in the town result in the creation of less permeable surfaces in the catchments of Madam Codo/Berquier, the flashiness of the response will increase (i.e. the time lag will decrease), and there will be greater volumes of overland flows for smaller storms.

Figure 2      Drainage of Jeremie

Figure 2: Drainage of JeremieHurricane seasonality may also affect the seasonality/temporal variability of flooding, assuming that hurricanes produced heavy rains. There is insufficient data to determine whether there is a correlation between specific hurricane systems and high rainfall events. The little available data suggests that Jeremie does not suffer extremely high rainfall events during hurricanes. The converse appears to be true for Jacmel, where the mean monthly rainfall (for the month in which the hurricane occurred) appears to be significantly higher than average monthly rainfall. This may be explained by the fact that Jeremie is located in the rain shadow of the Grande Anse mountain range, is on the leeward coast, and receive less rain from systems originating in the south. In spite of seemingly lower hurricane related rainfall in Jeremie & Marfranc, high levels of orographic rainfall in the upper catchment of the Grande Anse may produce flooding in Jeremie.

Table 5 Floods resulting from heavy rains associated with hurricanes

Rainfall (mm)

Date

Month

Year

Name

Jeremie*

Marfranc*

Jacmel**

Jacmel ***

11th

October

1954

Hazel

Nd

Nd

687/160

31st

October

1956

Greta

30-30-30

4

418/160

181

1st

September

1958

Ella

Nd

Nd

273/155

168

4th

September

1963

Flora

14

Nd

101/155

231?

25th

August

1964

Cleo

24-12-Nd

Nd

269/137

128

30th

September

1966

Inez

68-5.2-Nd

25-50-25

397/155

225

1st

September

1979

David

6.6

17-6-23

308/155

6th

August

1980

Allen

Nd

Nd

Nd

12th

September

1988

Gilbert

Nd

Nd

Nd

13th

November

1994

Gordon

Nd

Nd

Nd

233

23rd

September

1998

Georges

Nd

Nd

Nd

* main impact dates rainfall are bracketed by values for the previous and following day.
** total rainfall for the entire month/mean monthly rainfall for 1906-1987 - data taken from the Jacmel CDMP study
*** mean daily rainfall (from the Jacmel CDMP study). The daily value for Flora is questioned because it is higher than the mean for that month.

The mapping of floodprone areas is usually done with a combination of remote sensing (aerial photo interpretation and topographic map analysis) and ground truthing techniques (transect walks). In the absence of up to date topographic information and aerial photographs, oblique aerial photos were made. Based on discussions with residents of the town (concerning where the problem areas were), existing topographic maps and information from the oblique aerial photographs, transect loops were selected for ground truthing. Along the transect walk data were collected by:

Mapping of the 50-year floodplain of the Grande Anse was done by terrain analysis. The bridge at Plaine Bac was built in 1950, and is approximately 15 m above sea level; as this structure has never been inundated it can be assumed that the 15-m contour at least represents a greater than 50-year event. Geomorphological evidence indicated that the annual event (i.e. that with a 100 % chance of being exceeded in any given year) occurs at the 7-m level. These levels are shown on the multi-hazard map.

There are several sections of the town of Jeremie that have been mapped as floodprone. These include:

In all cases, flooding affects roads, causing major disruptions in people's ability to travel to work, markets, and school. In the case of Rue Martineau some fatalities have been caused by floodwaters. Flooding of buildings has only been reported from the Berquier area, and around Rue Sacre Coeur College at Source Dommage.

Although high levels of overland flows cause flooding, the major problem in the town is that the storm water disposal capacity in most drains is grossly inadequate. Gabions are typically placed across gully sections in order to slow down the speed of the floodwaters, rather than to stabilise the banks. The effect of this is to reduce the volumetric capacity of the stream, and this ultimately results in localised flooding. Use of small covered drains also seems to create problems as covering the drains precludes easy removal of debris (which builds up very rapidly), and this has the effect of reduced volumetric capacity. Culverts become similarly blocked.

2.1.4. Droughts and Related Hazards

Drought generally refers to lower than expected levels of rainfall or available water. In an urban setting like Jeremie, the impacts of inadequate rainfall include:

Severe droughts have been reported in 1980, and March-July 1993, and March-August 1996. It is likely that droughts are experienced in the months when effective moisture is lowest (i.e. not the driest months, but the months when evapotranspiration rates exceed rainfall), (March to August). The mean total rainfall for the dry season months for 17 years between 1960 and 1979 is 589 mm (ranging from 280 to 1491 mm). Based on this analysis the 2-year drought (or the event with a 50% chance of occurring) is 540 mm. The 5% chance or 20-year event is ~280 mm total rainfall for the period March to August. Using exceedence probabilities or recurrence interval analysis of a historic dataset to predict and manage either floods or droughts is fraught with difficulties:

Because of this, other early warning systems for droughts are used, e.g. in Northern Haiti CARE monitors the price of selected food items in the market. In general, the Grande Anse is less susceptible to drought than elsewhere in Haiti although increasing watershed degradation results in the "double edged sword" of flashflooding and drought. Flashflooding during times of high rainfall reduces aquifer recharge, leading to higher risk of drought in times of lower rainfall.

In the vulnerability survey many respondents named drought as a major hazard affecting their lives. However, upon discussion with individuals it appears that the word "sechresse" to some extent was also used to describe water insecurity. Official sources claim that true drought is not in fact a major problem in Jeremie. The issue of water insecurity involves a situation where there is inadequate supply of potable water to the municipal population of Jeremie, despite a natural high yield aquifer. At present, only 992 houses and 29 public standpipes are supplied with water in the commune of Jeremie, many of these located within the actual town; this suggests that more than 80% of the households in Jeremie are without access to piped water under normal conditions. There is an output capacity of ~946,250 litres (250000 gallons) per day (Edner Casseus, Director of SNEP, personal communication). The main supply for the town comes from Number 2 (at La Source), which is spring fed. When discharge rates from Number 2, which discharges at a rate of 38 litres/sec, fall below 10 litres/sec, then drought rationing is effected. A secondary reservoir system is located in upper Bordes.

GEOLOGICAL HAZARDS

2.1.5. Slope Instability

The dominant lithology of the area comprises a fine-grained white limestone (micrite). This lithology is generally well indurated and hard; it becomes case hardened with weathering. In general, this rock is stable and competent at near vertical slopes. Rockfalls occur where the rock is brecciated mainly in association with NW trending fault escarpments, in areas near Bordes, Berquier, and Versailles in particular (shown on map). This rock has a low permeability and primary porosity.

2.1.6. Riverbank Erosion

Within the town of Jeremie, this phenomenon is restricted to the banks of Madam Codo, where highly erodeable sediments and high seasonal flows have created deeply incised valleys. The hard white micrite that forms the bedrock in this area is interbedded with relatively thick clastic sequences, which comprise conglomerates, sandstones, and siltstones. These clastic units are more erodeable and therefore develop negative relief in relation to the white micrite. Vertical incision of more than 20 m was observed along the course of Madam Codo. This high rate of erosion appears to have been exacerbated within recent times, as the remains of houses (foundations) and still living (toppled) trees have fallen into the incised valley of Madam Codo (see map for areal extent of this phenomena).

2.1.7. Subterranean Collapses

Younger more impure limestone occurs at elevations below 30 m, especially towards the western section of the study area, and along the shoreline. This rock contains corals, as well as rubble from the older white limestone. Numerous smaller subterranean caverns have been reported in the vicinity of La Source, e.g. near Sacre Coeur. Some of these are now used as natural soakways for sewage. These features appear to be restricted to the coralline limestone. Two very large cavities appear to have collapsed in the area:

  1. Gra Gra Mora, the largest and most recent major collapse (reported failure in 1980) affected area of the order of 15, 625 m2. This particular cavern was probably over 50 m deep.
  2. Bouette near Nord Alexis Highshool - much older collapse with no historic record.
  3. Minor debris slumps are also associated with this unit.

2.1.8. Earthquakes

Earthquakes are known to occur in the interior of the Grande Anse (near Chambellon), where possible evidence of ground ruptures may be observed. There is one reported case of a felt earthquake affecting the town of Jeremie, in 1980. There is a very low risk of liquefaction because most of the bedrock comprises competent limestone. The highest risk of liquefaction probably occurs in association with the wet sandy soils along Madam Codo, and along the beach at Versailles; the actual risk of liquefaction is even lower because of the low incidence of felt earthquakes to cause ground shaking.

The area appears to have undergone significant uplift in the last 125 ka.

2.1.9. Shoreline Erosion

Shoreline erosion may be related to beach mining in the area west of the mouth of the river. Because of shoreline erosion revetments have been placed along the shoreline between Versailles and the bridge at Berquier (see map), where the main road runs parallel to the shoreline. The maximum elevation of the road at this locality is 3 m above sea level. Erosion in this area is likely to increase as sea level rises.

TECHNOLOGICAL HAZARDS

2.1.10.    Groundwater Contamination

Due to the lack of groundwater monitoring it was not possible to determine any trends in groundwater quality in the town of Jeremie. It is estimated that less than 20% of the total population of the commune is connected to the municipal water supply system (992 households of an estimated 6200 household, plus 29 standpipes). Many of those served by municipal water supply live in and close to the town of Jeremie, and some areas of the town are better served than others.

For those supplied with piped drinking water the risk of groundwater contamination may arise:

The rest of the population depends on surface waters and rain fed water storage systems; the use of private wells did not seem to be a common practise. Health hazards caused by drinking contaminated water are much more likely to affect the population without piped water. Although the piped water supply is also at risk because of the factors mentioned above, extending the piped water is a valid means of reducing the exposure of the population to the contaminated groundwater, because it is a lower risk. The risk of health problems related to contamination of surface waters (springs, gullies, and rivers) is again a serious issue because:

Water quality related diseases such as diarrhoea; typhoid and gastro-enteritis accounted for 40% of all morbidity reported in the town of Jeremie (Table 6). Significantly, lower deaths appear to be the result of food/water contamination. It is likely that this statistic is very conservative as many people use alternative health care such as voodoo (personal communication, Dr. Ernest Denerville).

Table 6 Reported Morbidity in the Town of Jeremie (Hospitals & Clinics), 1998

Disease

Morbidity

Deaths

Malaria

101

7

Diarrhoea

61

7

Typhoid

41

 
Gastroenteritis

40

 
Pneumonia

31

 
Heart Failure

25

 
Parasites

21

 
ACV

16

8

Anemia

12

3

Respiratory arrests

10

Respiratory lung infections

7

Lung diseases

6

Tetanus

6

Respiratory-cardiac arrest

4

Malnutrition

3

TOTALS 348 47

Source: Jean Phillipe, Picard Léoné, and Charles Luc (5 March 1999), Statistical Section of DSGA

2.1.11. Boatwrecks

There are wrecks of at least five ships in the bay east of the wharf. Amongst these is the Seli (wrecked in 1970?), when many lives were lost as well as cargo. The wreck of the Neptune (1993) was another similar event, which involved over 2000 persons. The Neptune, a 150-foot boat was making its regular 12-hour, 150-mile route from Jeremie to Port au Prince, laden with commuters and cargo (including charcoal)

The tragedy of the Neptune, underlies several problems, including:

Other smaller mishaps, including beaching of ships (which then have to be tugged back out to an adequate depth) are also periodically reported. These accidents represent significant losses in terms of human lives (in the case of the large ships like the Neptune), cargo losses, as well as losses in terms of time.

The likelihood of overcrowding boats may be greater during times of food insecurity or political strife, when destitute people try to escape from the countryside. Bad weather (strong winds and rough seas) coupled with shallow waters (resulting from harbour sedimentation) increase the likelihood of an overloaded ship running aground.

Several spot depths were taken in the bay east of the wharf, using a calibrated pole and compass (to triangulate location of the spot). Spot depths taken of the edge of the wharf indicate that the western side is up to 2 m deeper than the eastern side of the wharf, where ships berth (maximum depth measured here was 1.5 m). The wharf at Jeremie is classified by this report as a critical facility (transportation node) which is important to the economy of the region. Because of the inadequacy of the roads between Port au Prince and Jeremie, and the high cost of air travel (US$100 per passenger), travel by boat is the most feasible option for many, especially for the shipping of produce and charcoal to Port au Prince. The wharf is also widely used by smaller fishing vessels.

2.1.12. Fires

There are number of factors that make fires a high risk in the town:

Devastating fires have been reported in St. Helene in 1984 and 1998.

Figure 3     Hazards Affecting Jeremie

Figure 3: Hazards Affecting JeremieFigure 3 shows the zones where natural hazards are most likely to occur. Although many of the hazards discussed may be represented on the map, the most "at risk" areas for some hazards cannot be easily mapped (fires, droughts, water/food insecurity, hurricane force winds, groundwater contamination). Although these hazards may affect a geographic area with a uniform magnitude and frequency (because of the small scale of the area being examined), their impacts may not be spatially uniform across the same area. Spatial variation in the effects of, and losses caused by these hazards is fundamentally determined by aspects of vulnerability of the populations being affected rather than physical characteristics of the event. These aspects of vulnerability are discussed in the following section of the report.

2.2. Assessment of Vulnerability

The objectives of the vulnerability assessment we conducted were to identify:

Through the generous help of the committee members and the kind assistance of CARE we were able work with 12 volunteers from the Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, the Haitian Development Foundation, and CARE. Of these 12, two were disaster committee members, and the others belonged to participating organisations. These twelve were given 3 days of exhaustive training in the techniques of Rapid Rural Assessment, and surveying using participatory learning techniques. Also using experiential learning methods, the team was introduced to the concept of a map, and the types of information that could be stored in maps. We also reviewed and explained the rationale behind the survey, and invited the participation of the team in refining this instrument. Having Haitians help refine and administer the survey (rather than consultants with a translator) was critical because:

One of the most useful practical results from the hands-on training exercise was the development of maps indicating 13 different communities in Jeremie. Communities form the basic organisational units of the survey. Although delimitation of these communities was primarily based on the layout of the major roads around which communities have developed, a number of other characteristics make these units discrete and distinguishable to residents of Jeremie. These include:

Figure 4     Surveyed Zones with Road Overlay

Figure 4: Surveyed Zones with Road OverlayThe 13 zones identified represent geographic areas in the town in which people living there perceive a sense of belonging and outsiders perceive the community. This study has developed a mitigation plan out of the survey of vulnerability characteristics and hazards in the town of Jeremie. Because the CDMP seeks to enter meaningful partnerships with direct stakeholders, it was important that the communities were delimited in a way that was consistent with how these primary stakeholders define their own basic social organisation, rather than obscure official or administrative boundaries. These communities/geographic zones are given in Table 7.

In consultation with us, the consultants, four groups (of three) agreed the sections of the community they were going to cover. Once in the field they measured a transect (purposefully not following main roads unless absolutely necessary so as to capture a true cross-section of that area), surveying 15 households that were equally spaced from each other for the survey. Team members rotated three types of roles during the survey: interviewer, recorder, and observer. After each interview they consulted with one another, gave each other comments, and made additional comments on the survey instrument if necessary.

Table 7 Communities of Jeremie

Basse Ville (9) Berquier (9)
Bordes (29) Brouette (15)
Caracoli (30) Gebeau (16)
La Digue (14) La Point (28)
La Source (30) Mackandal (29)
Rochasse (30) St. Helen (28)
Versailles (29)  
Note: numbers in brackets represent the number of interviews conducted in each area

The survey instrument was a questionnaire, (Appendix I) which we improved iteratively over the first few days. The volunteers tried the survey on themselves, using this pilot test to refine and practice their interview technique. Despite pilot testing the survey and refinement, we have found, based on a detailed analysis of the survey data, some answers were not posed precisely enough and therefore could not be used for this evaluation.

The vulnerability survey was organised into 8 broad sections:

A General Demographic Data: this section gave an indication of the general characteristics of the respondent, including sex, occupation, whether they were the household head, and tenurial arrangement, the time that they had spent at that locality.

B Identification of the range of hazards affecting the household and premises. They were asked three main questions in this section: what hazards they feared the most, whether they could give a historic account of the worst events, and why they felt that they had been badly affected. These questions were intended to give an indication of perceptions of hazard and, to supplement a poor disaster history. The over-riding concept here is that people who are affected by hazards have a reasonable idea of the nature of the hazard, and why they are affected, although they may not understand the physical details of the hazard.

C Specific Threats, Impacts, and Costs: Life, Health and Sanitation, and Property & Livelihood. In general, people were asked how these general areas of their lives were affected (specific details in each case), and how much it cost them in terms of time and money.

D Coping with Disasters. Seven questions were asked in this section, which addressed the mechanisms by which people cope with disasters, the success of these, and difficulties experience in implementing these. They were also asked about what ideas they had about how to reduce their vulnerability and, what resources they could offer. The intention here was to identify indigenous best practices and resources. More importantly, we sought to determine what were the existing impediments, as these could potentially affect the sustainability of projects proposed by this project.

E Awareness. This section sought to determine people's awareness of the disasters, causes of disasters, and their impacts on the wider community; in after thought, these questions probably replicated information gathered in Section B (and have been discussed therein in this report). Questions were also asked in this section about how people find out about disasters.

F Connections. This section attempted to determine whether people were connected to people outside their immediate community or larger social groups. The hypothesis here is that such connections (or lack thereof) affect the vulnerability of individuals who form a community, by virtue of the nature of the support network at their disposal. These networks also have implications for the organisation and implementation of projects suggested by this report.

G Observations about the structure (house), immediate environment and landuse.

Additionally, metadata was collected, in terms of zone, surveyor, and date of each survey. Each survey team comprised three: an interviewer, a recorder (who wrote down all responses to the questions), and an observer (who compiled Section G data).

In terms of primary vulnerability data collected (aside from the hazard mapping) in the 3-week period:

Two volunteers showed great determination, skill, and understanding when they interviewed another 1,029 persons in various public places of Jeremie over the course of two days in order to get some idea about the sphere of influence of Jeremie. A number of volunteers also took the opportunity to record some their impressions and the opinions and views of the people they met on photographs and video. This material was exhibited at the preliminary presentation (3) and the photographs within this report and the video footage is evidence of their efforts.

In addition to working with the volunteers in gathering data, the consultants worked closely with the local disaster management committee to facilitate their exploration of potential roles and responsibilities that a volunteer community based disaster management committee could undertake. Committee members assisted in terms of procuring data, setting meetings and showing us various hazard prone sites. Many offered detailed knowledge about previous disasters; this was particularly useful, as there is very little documentation of the nature and impacts of previous disasters in Jeremie.

2.2.1. Demographic Characteristics

The total number of persons estimated to be living in Jeremie is ~40,000 (UNCHS, 1997). The World Bank (4) indicates that there is an average growth rate for Haiti (1990-97) of 2.1% per annum. This is a higher growth rate than many other Caribbean countries, and is more similar to population growth rates calculated for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our survey indicates an average household size of 6.8 persons per household in Jeremie. Therefore, there are about 5900 households in Jeremie, and our survey probably represents ~5% of all households in Jeremie.

Of the 296 individuals randomly chosen by the survey team, ~61% (180) were women. Seventy-three percent (73% or 215) of the total number surveyed were household heads. Women accounted for 56% of household heads surveyed (120 women household heads out of 215 household heads), with an overall ratio of 1.3 female household heads to for every male household heads. Only in the communities of La Pointe, Rochasse, and La Digue is the ratio of female to male household heads lower than 1:1. This is information is particularly important as it demonstrates that women play an important role in society, on par with men, and provisions should be made to ensure and encourage their inclusion in the process of resource allocation for disaster mitigation projects.

Table 8 Ratio of Female Household Heads to Male Household Heads

Community

Ratio of female/male household heads

Versailles

3.5

Brouette

1.7

Bordes

1.6

St. Helene

1.6

Caracoli

1.5

Mackandal

1.4

Gebeau

1.2

La Source

1.2

Base Ville

1.0

Berquier

1.0

La Pointe

0.8

Rochasse

0.8

La Digue

0.1

Overall ratio:

1.3

In terms of employment about 30% of all the respondents indicated that they were unemployed. Another 32% indicated that they were "vendors". Seventeen percent (17%) indicated that they were either a farmer or an agricultural worker. The other 17% comprised artisans (masons, blacksmiths, carpenters, tailors, dressmakers, butchers etc.) and professionals (teachers, nurses, lawyers). Approximately 4% of the respondents indicated that they were "workers". Many of the unemployed try to survive by engaging in small commercial activities, so it is therefore hypothesised that in Jeremie "vending" as an occupation is a form of hidden unemployment.

Women play very different roles in the economy than men. Table 9 shows the gender breakdown of the major occupations. More women report themselves to be unemployed than men, although this is probably a false statistic in that housewives who work at home are not really "unemployed". Women dominate the vendor category, whilst men dominate the farmer category. In addition, a higher percentage of men fall into the "other" category that includes artisans, professionals, and workers.

Table 9 Occupations by Gender

Occupation

Number of Females

% (f)

Number of Males

% (m)

Unemployed

68

38

20

17

Vendor

70

39

26

23

Farmer

11

6

33

28

other

31

17

37

32

Total number surveyed

180

100

116

100

In terms of land tenure, 61% of all respondents indicated that they owned the house in which they lived. Another 23% indicated that they leased or rented the house in which they lived. The remaining 16% either did not respond, or fell into the categories indicating that they squat, or borrow the house in which they lived. The high percentage of house ownership indicates that people do tend to build their own houses in the town, and therefore have a personal stake in the structure in which they live, aside from the possessions contained therein.

2.2.2. The Range of Hazards

In general, the data collected from this section was not as good as hoped, people tended to be vague about the historic account of the worst events, being unclear about the dates in which they occurred, or the main impacts on their lives. Many did however indicate the events that they feared most. These are given in Table 10 below.

Table 10 Most Feared Hazards in Jeremie

Rank

Hazard

% Positive Answers of total survey

hurricanes/strong winds

70

fire

61

drought

57

flooding/heavy rain

52

epidemics

51

food shortage

50

erosion

17

Most people (70% of all) feared hurricanes and the effects of strong winds on their homes. Ranking second was fire. The fear of drought was indicated more times than the fear of flooding, although official sources indicate that drought is not a significant problem in this area. This is attributed to the fact that "sechresse" may have been interpreted to mean poor access to safe water. In fact, the World Bank 1999 Development Report estimates that the more than 70% of the Haitian population does not have access to safe water.

Each area was ranked based on the relative number of positive responses with respect to the main hazards that affect local areas (fires, flooding, and erosion) as an indicator of where these hazards may be the most prevalent.

Table 11 Relative Importance of Hazards in Areas of Jeremie.

Flooding

Fire

Erosion

La Digue

1

10

6

Versailles

2

13

2

Gebeau

3

5

11

Rochasse

4

9

4

Brouette

5

1

7

Caracoli

6

9

9

Base Ville

7

2

5

Berquier

8

6

1

La Source

9

12

8

La Pointe

10

4

12

Mackandal

11

8

13

Bordes

12

7

3

St. Helene

13

3

10

(Nb: values in the table indicate the rank, with 1 being the community with the highest percentage of positive responses for each hazard, and 13 being the least)

As expected the floodplain districts of La Digue and Gebeau ranked the highest for flooding. Versailles was surprisingly ranked second. The fear of flooding here is attributed to a fear of coastal flooding as there are no major rivers or gullies threatening the area. Rochasse is the area through which Madam Codo runs, so a fourth place ranking is not surprising. It was expected that Berquier might have ranked more highly given the flooding situation along the Berquier gully. In terms of fear of erosion, the three highest ranked areas are all areas in close proximity to escarpments that have been mapped. Berquier and Versailles are at risk from rockfalls. Erosion in Rochasse is probably related to the dramatic river bank erosion associated with Madam Codo (see Photo Inventory). In terms of fear of fire, the data is very telling, in that the four highest-ranking areas are all either lower income or older districts (Brouette, Base Ville, St. Helene and La Pointe). Surprisingly inhabitants of Mackandal did not commonly report fears of major hazards.

Section E of the survey sought to determine people's awareness of the disasters, causes of disasters, and their impacts on the wider community. The vast majority of people in Jeremie (92%) are of the opinion that disasters have become worse over time. We asked them to indicate which hazards had, in their experience, become worse in relation to the four main vulnerability dimensions. Table 12 summarises the number of times that the various hazards were listed as having become worst in that they either increasingly threatened life, damaged health, property, or livelihood (in other words, does not include second, third, or fourth worst rankings).

This analysis suggests that people perceive that threats to life have become worst over time, followed by threats to health and property. Fires, strong winds, and epidemics would seem to be the three hazards or threats that have increased most over time.

One reason why one needs to be cautious in the interpretation of this question is that we are not sure precisely how respondents understood the question: our intention was to find out which got worse; however, respondents may have also interpreted the ranking in terms of overall importance or relation between specific hazards and vulnerability dimensions. While this uncertainty prevents us from using this question as an indication of relative importance weighting, we can, nevertheless ascertain some important information about relative proportions.

Table 12 Responses Indicating Worsening Disasters

Hazard/Threat

Life

Health

Property

Livelihood

Sum

Fire

104

34

57

25

220

Landslides and Erosion

13

7

12

8

40

Epidemics

60

87

32

23

202

Drought

50

38

30

23

141

Floods (& heavy rains)

46

27

52

27

152

Isolation

16

11

8

9

44

Food shortage

78

37

22

22

159

Strong winds (hurricanes)

53

44

84

30

211

Sum

420

285

297

167

 

(Nb this table gives actual counts of positive answers, rather than rank or percentage data)

In terms of the respondents' suggestions about the reasons why the disasters have become worse over time (question 29 of the survey), 33% thought that the natural causes were becoming worse over time, and 26% thought that only government policy (or lack thereof) was the reason. Several persons explained that this was because the government did not control deforestation enough, nor did they provide enough information. As before, very few thought that either their own activities or those of the neighbours (or others) were at the root of the perceived worsening.

2.2.3.     Impacts of Hazards

Vulnerability to disasters is not defined herein simply by an individual's inability to withstand the physical force of hazard, but by an inability to cope with the impacts and consequences once the event has occurred. The event itself is usually not the disaster. What makes a hazard or event (either natural or technological) a disaster is the magnitude of the cost or impacts on (arranged in order of importance):

  1. Human life: directly or indirectly
  2. Community health: trauma from hazards, and impacts on environmental conditions that affect health
  3. Property: impacts on structures, land, crops, animals and goods
  4. Livelihood: disruption of people's ability to earn a living and take care of their family because of the occurrence of an event

Social, economic and environmental conditions vary from zone to zone, and can create disasters of varying magnitudes in consequence to a specific event (e.g. hurricane), which may have physically impacted on the entire town in uniform manner. In other words, some communities may be more vulnerable, or less resilient than others, and therefore any given event may have greater costs, and further reaching negative impacts. This study seeks to determine which communities in Jeremie are more vulnerable to specific events, as a consequence of social, economic or environmental factors. This information can help us to develop more relevant disaster mitigation/vulnerability reduction interventions that are highly cost-effective and smart.

The general approach of the disaster management plan developed by the CDMP is to establish reduction of loss in each of these categories as major objectives of the plan, as these are what we ultimately care about.

2.2.3.1. Life

This study aims to assess potential effects of hazards, specifically in terms of impacts on human mortality. The prevention of direct and indirect loss of human life because of natural and technological hazards is the foremost objective of disaster mitigation/vulnerability reduction planning. In the survey, 26 households reported at least one death in the family that was caused by a natural or technological hazard (in their lifetime). This works out to be 1 in every 11 households in Jeremie has had at least one family member die as a result of the incidents of hazardous events. A total of 33 persons were reported to have died, 5 of which occurred as a result of the 1994 sinking of the Neptune ferry (although between 800 and 2000 people reportedly died in the Neptune incident, very few were actually from the town of Jeremie). The greatest number of deaths was reported in La Source (12 counts). Unfortunately, respondents were not very precise about the causes, circumstances, and dates of the deaths and therefore it is not possible to reliably ascertain from this information which zones are the most vulnerable to direct loss of life.

Table 13 Reported Deaths from Natural or Technological Hazards

Community

Reported Deaths

La Source

12

Versailles

5

Caracoli

4

Bordes

4

Mackandal

3

Berquier

3

La Digue

1

St. Helene

1

Aside from death resulting directly from the incident of a hazard, there may also be indirect loss of life brought about by the impacts of disasters. Many people who get sick after, for example, hurricanes or floods become ill and may die. Unfortunately, we were unable to ascertain what percentage of people who get ill because of natural or technological hazards also die. Since human death is probably the most important vulnerability dimension, it is important to improve post disaster auditing to allow for the collection and analysis of this kind of data. No deaths were reported from Brouette, La Pointe, Base Ville, Rochasse, and Gebeau (the main floodplain area).

2.2.3.2. Community Health

The second critical objective of disaster mitigation/vulnerability reduction planning is to reduce human morbidity resulting from hazards. Responses describing impacts on health included disaster related changes in environmental conditions that could exacerbate vector borne diseases, as well as indications of the actual illness that are likely to occur in the aftermath of a disaster:

  • lack of clean drinking water
  • diarrhea
  • dead animals are not disposed of
  • typhoid
  • limited access to doctors
  • physical trauma
  • prevalence of mosquitoes & flies
  • dysentery
  • prevalence of rats, mice and roaches
  • malnutrition
  • limited access to medicines
  • hunger
  • gastroenteritis

A major factor affecting the vulnerability of communities in Jeremie and the scale of the disaster is environmental conditions after the occurrence of an event like a hurricane or a flood. Most people (82%) cite "lack of clean drinking water", "prevalence of mosquitoes and flies" (93%), and "prevalence of rats, mice and roaches" (73%) as serious health impacts of disasters. The "disposal of dead animals" is particularly problematic in La Source (30%), Berquier (56%), and Rochasse (33%). These are clear indications for actions or programmes that could be planned and implemented to reduce the magnitude of a disaster that results from a given event.

With respect to specific health effects respondents most frequently reported hunger (median 63%), typhoid (median 60%), and diarrhoea (median 24%) as affecting their households after hazards have occurred. The incidence of typhoid and diarrhoea are related to poor access to safe water.

In order to determine relative vulnerability of each community with respect to each of the illness reported, the frequency of positive responses for each zones was ranked (1 being the zone where the illness most frequently cited and 13 being the zone where it was least reported). Given this ranking system, the sum of the ranked values would be reasonable index to compare overall vulnerability of communities to disease, with the lowest (i.e. being more highly ranked with respect to the various diseases) being the most vulnerable. The minimum possible score was 7 (most vulnerable community), and the maximum (most resilient community) possible score was 91. The results of this analysis are presented in Table 14.

The data can be organised into four broad groups: less than 40, 40-49, 50 and greater. Those falling below 40 included the two floodplain communities (La Digue and Gebeau). These communities have a more rural character and have less access to safe water. Berquier was also in this group, mainly reporting high incidences of trauma, malnutrition, and hunger as affecting them in the aftermath of disasters. Malnutrition and hunger are not really indicators of post-disaster environmental conditions, but rather indicate economic vulnerability, as households may be unable to purchase food after the disaster. All three communities in this group occur in a roughly contiguous zone on eastern side of the town, which appears to be the most vulnerable area in terms of community health issues.

Table 14 The Incidence of Illnesses in the Household After Hazards Have Occurred (community ranks)

Gastroenteritis

Diarrhea

Typhoid

Physical Trauma

Dysentery

Malnutrition

Hunger

Score

La Digue

10

1

13

1

1

2

2

30

Berquier

9

2

11

2

7

1

1

33

Gebeau

2

13

1

4

2

8

7

37

Bordes

6

3

4

10

3

6

10

42

La Source

7

6

8

6

10

3

3

43

Brouette

13

8

7

3

9

5

4

49

St. Helene

11

5

9

5

4

9

8

51

Mackandal

4

9

12

7

5

11

5

53

La Pointe

3

7

10

11

6

7

12

56

Caracoli

5

11

3

13

11

4

11

58

Rochasse

12

4

2

9

12

10

9

58

Versailles

1

10

6

8

8

12

13

58

Base Ville

8

12

5

12

13

13

6

69

The second group includes Bordes, La Source and Brouette. These three communities form a contiguous zone on the western side of the town of Jeremie.

The third group is the largest, and surprisingly include the low income areas of St. Helene, Mackandal and La Pointe, in which social and municipal services are expected to be in short supply, which would normally cause poor environmental and sanitation conditions. This data is regarded as somewhat anomalous. Caracoli, Rochasse, Versailles, and Base Ville are all parts of the town, and reasonably well served with piped water and other social amenities.

Using a similar ranking scheme to determine which communities believed they had the least access to doctors and medicines after a disaster, we determined that La Source, Versailles, Berquier and Rochasse all ranked highly, indicating that these communities perceived that they had poorer access to health care than other communities (Table 15). As before, the residents of La Pointe, Mackandal and St. Helene did not report poor access to health care, although many in these communities cannot afford doctors and medicines.

Table 15 Lack of Access to Health Care (Community ranks)

Community

Doctors

Medicine

La Source

1

1

Versailles

2

2

Berquier

3

5

Rochasse

4

4

La Digue

5

9

Caracoli

6

3

Brouette

7

13

St. Helene

8

10

Gebeau

9

6

Bordes

10

7

Base Ville

11

8

Mackandal

12

12

La Pointe

13

11

Access to health care is particularly important, as it can serve to stem the worst effects of an event, and thus limit the magnitude of losses in terms of possibly life lost, human discomfort, as well as person-days and earnings lost due to an inability to work. Table 16 summarises the officially reported capacity of medical facilities.

Table 16 Medical Personnel employed by Medical Institutions in Jeremie

Medical Personnel

Saint-Antoine Hospital

Haitian Health Foundation

Ste Hélène Health Centre

Mackandal Dispensary

Total

Doctors

9

2

0

0

11

Doctor SS

2

0

0

0

2

Dentists

3

1

0

0

4

Hygienic Nurse

1

0

1

0

2

Nurses

25

3

1

1

30

Nurse SS

4

0

1

0

5

Assistants

41

8

1

2

52

Lab Technician

7

1

1

0

9

Pharmacists

0

0

0

0

0

Radiologists

0

0

0

0

0

Number of Medical Staff

92

15

5

3

115

Number of beds

91

0

0

0

91

Source: Jean Phillipe, Charles Luc, and Picard Léoné (5 March, 1999), Statistical Section of DSGA

There are 11 doctors in the town, which gives a ratio of 1 doctor to 3,636 persons. The ratio of hospital beds to population is 1: 439. In the event of a major hurricane or fire affecting the town, the limited supply of health services could result in the disaster being exacerbated.

2.2.3.3. Property

The question that was posed to determine the relative vulnerability of property was "What do you fear could be damaged, or what has been damaged in the past?" (Question 16). The data generated by this question is particularly difficult to interpret, people may have indicated by a positive response to whether they fear high losses because:

A ranking scheme was applied to evaluate the relative vulnerability of communities, in terms of structural aspects of their homes. According to this scheme, the lowest values represent the highest ranked. Therefore the lower scores (with a minimum of 4) indicate higher vulnerability, and the higher scores (maximum of 52 represent relative resilience) (shown in Table 17). Berquier appears to have the highest structural vulnerability, reporting the high losses or feared losses in terms of all four aspects considered (roof, walls, floors, and windows/doors). Mackandal, as before, anomalously reported lower feared losses than expected. Residents of Gebeau had the greatest fear for loss of furniture, possibly because of previous experience with flooding.

Table 17 Relative Vulnerability of Structures

Roof

Walls

Floor

Windows

Furniture

Berquier

1

1

3

1

5

Caracoli

2

3

8

9

9

La Pointe

3

4

4

2

10

Versailles

4

10

13

13

8

La Source

5

6

12

5

2

St. Helene

6

5

5

6

3

Rochasse

7

7

10

10

12

Mackandal

8

12

9

12

11

Gebeau

9

2

1

8

1

Bordes

10

9

2

4

4

Brouette

11

8

7

7

13

La Digue

12

11

6

3

7

Base Ville

13

13

11

11

6

Table 18 shows the rankings for perceived vulnerability of infrastructure. Berquier, La Digue, and Rochasse had the greatest fear of losing access roads - and all occur within floodprone areas. Water supply is less than secure under normal conditions in the La Digue-Gebeau area, hence was ranked highly in this area. The residents of Mackandal do not presently have either good roads or reliable water; hence, they do not consider this a great loss after disasters.

Table 18 Relative Vulnerability of Infrastructure (community rank)

Community

Access Roads

Water supply

Base Ville

6

1

La Digue

2

2

Gebeau

11

3

La Pointe

12

4

St. Helene

9

5

Rochasse

3

6

Bordes

7

7

Caracoli

4

8

La Source

5

9

Mackandal

13

10

Berquier

1

11

Brouette

8

12

Versailles

10

13

Animals represent the major form of saving for many individuals, despite the fact that Jeremie is an urban place. Loss of animals was most frequently reported in La Source (57%), Base Ville (33%), Berquier (44%), Gebeau (63%), La Digue (43%, and Bordes (41%).

2.2.3.4    Livelihood

The question of "How have natural events affected your ability to earn a living and provide for your family?" was posed and the survey teams were instructed to classify the response according to a range of possible answers.

For Jeremie as a whole, the two most frequent effects on livelihood that result from natural hazards are limited access of markets and shortage of fuel (median for both is 67%). The third greatest impact on livelihood is a reduced access to the workplace (median 55%). The medians for limited access to crops and land, limited access to goods, and destruction of land are 44%, 40%, and 33% respectively. The relative differences of the importance or perceived potential impacts on livelihood in each of the different zones is presented in Table 19 below. A fear of loss of access to workplace probably reflects a perceived potential negative impact on roads between the community and their workplace. Surprisingly, central areas (Brouette, Berquier, La Pointe, and St. Helene) report this as a major factor, more so than more peripheral areas (Gebeau, Bordes, and La Digue). This may reflect the fact that some of the central business district roads like Rue Martineau, and parts of Rue Stenio Vincent become impassable when it rains.

A feared loss of access to market (as opposed to feared loss of access to goods) indicates that vendors perceive a threat of getting to market in the event of a disaster. Again, this may indicate problems with access routes between the market place and the communities. More rural peripheral areas such as La Source, Gebeau and Bordes are expected to be in the top six because of agricultural productivity in these areas, or a large number of farmers living there (whose farm plots may be there or further away from the town). Other central communities also expressed a concern (Berquier, Brouette, and St. Helene) with getting to market. Residents of these communities are often farmers and vendors, and many may be recent immigrants from the countryside, come to town for better access to social amenities and economic opportunities. It is likely that there are strong links with the countryside, and many of these vendors are middle men or resellers of produce, and are concerned with getting to market although they may not be involved in primary production. This point is reinforced by the ranking of communities in terms feared loss of access to farms. Again, the peripheral communities of Gebeau, Bordes, and La Source are in the top six, as are central seemingly urban communities like Berquier, Brouette, and Rochasse. Normally it is expected those people living in the countryside commute to the urban area for work, services or trade. However, in Jeremie, many individuals come from the countryside to have basic amenities, living in the rapidly growing central urban communities. Unable to find work in the town, many of these farmers/immigrants tend to commute back to the countryside to grow food on subsistence plots, and sell this produce in the town or ship it to Port au Prince. This relationship appears to maintain a rural character in many urban communities. This has implications for understanding why sub-populations in urban places may have different levels of vulnerability. We must appreciate that the vulnerability of several urban communities in Jeremie, in terms of livelihood, is not limited the town itself. Conversely, the strong rural-urban linkages increase the sphere of influence of Jeremie, such that a major disaster that affects Jeremie will have far-reaching impacts in the surrounding hinterlands.

Feared impacts on communication networks probably arise from a fear of isolation after a disaster. The same six communities arise (Berquier, St. Helene, Rochasse and Gebeau, La Source and Bordes). This is a good indication that disaster mitigation outreach work will be welcomed in these communities. Attention must also be paid to reduce the vulnerability of communication links between these areas and the town, and to ensure that they are not isolated in case of a disaster.

Table 19 Fears of Loss of Access to Livelihood Earning Factors (community rank)

work

market

farm

Communication

Berquier

2

2

3

1

Gebeau

12

1

1

2

La Source

5

5

2

3

St. Helene

4

4

12

4

Rochasse

10

10

6

5

Bordes

11

6

5

6

Caracoli

8

11

8

7

Brouette

1

3

4

8

Mackandal

7

8

11

9

La Digue

9

12

10

10

La Pointe

3

9

13

11

Base Ville

6

7

7

12

Versailles

13

13

9

13

Using the ratio of number respondents who grow food to the number of respondents who trade in each area, a "rurality index" was devised. Values greater than 1 indicate the predominance of rural land use over urban land use. Values of 1 possibly indicate mixed zones or rural areas where marketing is also done. Values between 0 and .9 indicate the predominance of urban land activities/land use over rural types. The ratio of occupations (farming: vending) is also shown for comparison, but is thought to be less definitive as individuals could be commuting to work. This index is consistent may be organised into groups that are consistent with the overall analysis of animal rearing etc. Mackandal, St. Helene, and La Pointe, all which had higher numbers of goats and pigs, are basically urban places where rural activities are done by many.

Table 20 Rurality Indices

Area

Food grown/trade on premises

Farmer/vender

Comment

La Digue

3.3

5.5

Peripheral farming area

Bordes

1.8

4.0

Peripheral farming area

Gebeau

1.0

2.5

Peripheral farming area/marketing of produce

La Source

1.0

0.6

Peripheral farming area/urban transition zone

Rochasse

0.7

0.3

Mixed urban area

St. Helene

0.4

0.3

low income/high density urban area

Caracoli

0.3

1.0

low income/high density area

Versailles

0.2

0.7

Mixed urban area

Mackandal

0.1

0.4

low income/high density urban area

La Pointe

0.1

0

low income/high density urban area

Base Ville

0.0

0.5

Old coastal town centre area

Berquier

0.0

0

Old coastal town centre area

Brouette

-

0.5

1 survey indicated food trees, none indicated trading

This analysis is important in assessing the relative vulnerability of the populations of each of these areas especially in terms of their ability to earn a livelihood, and in assessing how resilient these populations might be. For example the areas with an index value of greater than 1 (La Digue, Bordes, Gebeau and La Source), and those with 0 (Base Ville, Berquier and Brouette) may be worst hit in the event of a major disaster because of the dependence on either farming or trading of goods.

2.2.4    Coping with Disasters

Being able to cope with disaster must involve an understanding of the nature of the risk and vulnerability. The reasons people give for their own vulnerability are very important in determining what types of interventions might be most useful and valuable to the survey population. When people were asked why they thought they had been badly affected the answers shown in Table 21 given (ranked in order of frequency) were given.

Overwhelmingly, respondents cited the magnitude of the event as the main reason why they were badly affected. Similarly the physical location of the premises, also ranked high. The disaster mitigation plan (Section 3) addresses magnitude and location, in terms of modifying the event and exposure respectively. Interestingly, the lack of resources, support and information all ranked as high reasons (in the top 5) why people felt they were affected. The disaster mitigation plan addresses these reasons for vulnerability in terms of modifying coping mechanisms. In general people tend not to blame the government, neighbors or themselves for how they are affected by disasters. This suggests that awareness campaigns need to emphasize the systemic nature of the natural environment, and the fact that human activities and environmental degradation significantly affect the magnitude of hazards.

Table 21 Reasons Why People are Affected by Hazards (counts)

Rank

Reason why they were badly affected

Frequency of positive responses

1. magnitude of the event

146

2. lack of resources to help yourself

84

3. you were isolated (no support)

81

4. location of premises

52

5. lack of information

41

6. compound events (events following in quick succession)

37

7. timing of the event (unprepared)

27

8. respondent did not know

17

9. government policy or lack thereof

11

10. your own activities

10

11. actions of your neighbors

9

Among the respondents there was a consensus that the poor people were most affected by natural hazards because they did not have money, good houses, or a general ability to cope. Our intention was to identify specific neighbourhoods in the different zones which are particularly badly affected (or at least use this information to triangulate the information we obtain from other interviews and from direct observation). This question would need to be revised and made more specific in future vulnerability assessments.

When asked what could be done to reduce their vulnerability answers included:

In response to how they coped with disasters, people gave a range of answers including:

In terms of coping mechanisms, respondents placed greatest emphasis on recovering from the disaster, as they had a fatalist attitude that there was little or nothing that they could do before and during the disaster to reduce their own loss. Only 8% reported that these measures were successful, 5% reported a slight improvement of conditions, 31% did not comment at all on the success, and 48% thought that their coping mechanism was not successful. The most commonly reported reasons are lack of money (median 78%), lack of necessary materials (33%), and lack of power to decide (21%). Lack of necessary materials was reported to be highest in La Source (40%), Base Ville (56%), Berquier (67%), Versailles (52%), and Caracoli (70%). In Berquier 67% of respondents also reported that they lacked sufficient information on coping techniques or the problem. In Gebeau 38% reported that a problem that they faced is that others do not agree (or support) their proposed measures.

This survey indicates that people in affected communities, however illiterate or poor, have a reasonable idea about why they are vulnerable to certain disasters, and even what could be done to reduce this vulnerability. Many are willing to offer their own labour to improve conditions and help others. However, it is clear that many are not empowered to undertake the actions to make a difference in their lives. Vulnerability reduction programmes must consider this information and focus on:

2.2.5    Awareness

People were asked about how they learned of impending hazards. By far the largest proportion of people (77.4%) receives their information about hazards from the radio. The other sources are television (37%), friends, relatives and neighbours (30%), newspaper 28%, and the Red Cross (13%). This suggests that the radio would be the most effective means of alerting people about imminent hazards, as well a means to teach people about basic disaster preparedness.

2.2.6. Connections

There are two reasons why we included questions about institutional and personal connections in the questionnaire:

  1. both aspects can be used as indicators of resilience because those who have stronger and multiple ties with established organisations have a wider safety or resource network which can assist them to re-establish ‘normal’ living conditions after a disaster (or help them to mitigate and prepare);
  2. answers to the institutional connection question can be used as an indicator for the presence of social capital - if many people are members of a variety of organisations it is more likely that they know how to organise themselves, how they can work together, they would have a more developed sense of operational procedures for effective joint action.

The answers the question "to what organisation do you belong?" suggest that social capital is very weak:

57% of respondents said they belong to the church,
7% to volunteer groups,
5% to the Red Cross,
5% to co-operatives,
3% to social clubs,
3% to the Scouts,
2% to a professional association, and
1% to a community based organisation (6 respondents in La Source, and 3 in La Point).

The low level of social capital that these answers suggest, also means that community based actions for disaster mitigation will be relative difficult to organise and implement, without extensive work to develop and establish effective groups.

Table 22 shows that the median for personal connections to outside of Jeremie (mostly in Port-au-Prince and USA) is 17%. However, in La Digue the proportion is highest (50%), while none of the persons asked from Berquier reported a to have family outside of Jeremie. In general communities with fewer linkages outside are more vulnerable because they are less likely to be able to recover without the intervention of a government or nor non-governmental organisation.

Table 22 Percentage of Households with Family Outside Jeremie.

Zone

Connection outside

La Digue

50%

St. Helene

25%

Bordes

24%

Caracoli

23%

Versailles

21%

Gebeau

19%

Rochasse

17%

La Source

13%

La Pointe

11%

Base Ville

11%

Mackandal

10%

Brouette

7%

Berquier

0%

2.2.7. Observations

A total of 291 observation sheets out of the total 296 surveys were filled in (5 were left blank by the survey teams for unknown reasons). Of the 291 observation sheets completed, 20 could not be matched with area/index number. The data were analysed in terms of three broad aspects:

  1. Structure
  2. Environmental Condition
  3. Land Use/Rurality

Each of these aspects was analysed both in terms of positive answers as a percentage of the total number of completed observation sheets for that area.

Table 23 Metadata for Observations Sheet

Total Number of surveys by area

Observations matched with area

Unaccounted for sheets

Area is not matched with observation

Uncompleted (areas estimated)

La Source

30

26

4

4

0

Brouette

15

15

0

0

0

Mackandal

29

26

3

2

1

La Pointe

27

21

6

5

1

Base Ville

10

10

0

0

0

Versailles

29

29

0

0

0

Bordes

29

27

2

0

2

Rochasse

30

27

3

3

0

St. Helene

28

24

4

4

0

Caracoli

30

29

1

0

1

Berquier

9

9

0

0

0

La Digue

14

12

2

2

0

Gebeau

16

16

0

0

0

total

296 271 25 20 5

2.2.7.1. Structures & Infrastructure

Building material

In terms of building materials for houses, wood is generally regarded to be a weaker material than brick. In general in all areas, more than 62% of the houses are still built of wood.

Field research indicates that the presence of wooden houses does not necessary indicate greater structural vulnerability than brick structures. In general, many poorer areas like Mackandal, Brouette, and La Pointe have a relatively higher proportion of brick structures. However, brick structures are weak for several reasons:

Table 24 Data About Structures and Infrastructure

wooden house

zinc roof

latrine

Outside water storage

N1

La Digue

100%

100%

100%

92%

10

Berquier

78%

89%

78%

56%

29

Versailles

72%

76%

69%

59%

27

St. Helene

96%

92%

63%

63%

15

La Pointe

62%

81%

62%

52%

27

Rochasse

93%

85%

59%

33%

26

Bordes

93%

63%

56%

41%

26

Caracoli

93%

83%

48%

45%

9

Mackandal

85%

81%

31%

27%

24

Base Ville

70%

70%

30%

40%

29

Brouette

80%

80%

27%

13%

16

Gebeau

100%

25%

19%

38%

21

La Source

81%

73%

19%

35%

12

Roofing

The presence of zinc roof (as opposed to thatch roofs) was also examined. In general, a high proportion of houses has zinc roof tops (see aerial photographs). Houses in Gebeau have the highest proportion of thatch roofs (possibly indicating lower income levels). Thatch roofs are more easily affected by strong winds.

Water Supply

Areas with high proportions of outdoor water storage indicate that they are not well supplied by municipal water (either directly piped or from public standpipes). The relatively high proportion of water storage in La Digue, Versailles, and Berquier is interesting because these are contiguous areas on the eastern side of town, and are less likely to have a reliable piped water, La Digue in particular, because of its relative remoteness. St. Helene and Caracoli are elevated areas where piped water supply (from Number 2 near La Source) may also be unreliable. Unreliable or lack of piped water and a dependence on rainwater indicate that these communities are particularly vulnerable to the worst effects of drought.

Sewage Disposal

Although Jeremie is an urban centre outdoor toilets are fairly common because there is no sewage collection system nor treatment plant. The relative scarcity of outhouses in the poorest areas of Mackandal, Base Ville, La Source etc. suggests that these communities use the sea and rivers to dispose of sewage rather than undertaking the expense of constructing an outhouse. Field observations confirm that this is likely to be the case in these areas. Diseases spread by faecal contamination of food and water is most likely too occur in these areas, where faecal material may remain at the soil surface, and may be tampered with by foraging animals.

2.2.7.2. Environmental Conditions

As would be expected, the more peripheral "rural" areas of Gebeau, La Digue, and Bordes (Nb Bordes in this survey extended beyond the Church of St. Famile) tended to have more vegetative coverage. Unfortunately these values are still all above 40% bare soil. Rochasse, Caracoli, and Versailles have seemingly conflicting data with low numbers of vegetated plots, but relatively low numbers of bare soil. This could mean a high proportion of paved surfaces, which is mutually exclusive of the two other categories, and was not included in the survey.

Table 25 Environmental Conditions in Each of the Communities.

Bare soil

Gullies

Exposed Tree Roots

Trees & Grass

N1

Location

Base Ville

60%

70%

0%

0%

10

Low-lying

Versailles

34%

62%

0%

7%

29

Low-lying

La Pointe

90%

43%

19%

0%

21

Low-lying

Mackandal

73%

38%

0%

0%

26

Low-lying

La Source

62%

12%

0%

12%

26

Low-lying

Brouette

67%

0%

13%

0%

15

slightly elevated

Berquier

89%

33%

0%

0%

9

Low-lying to elevated

Gebeau

50%

44%

13%

31%

16

Low-lying -floodplain

La Digue

*

25%

0%

83%

12

Low-lying -floodplain

St. Helene

92%

50%

17%

8%

24

elevated

Bordes

41%

22%

15%

19%

27

elevated

Rochasse

26%

11%

0%

7%

27

elevated

Caracoli

31%

10%

0%

7%

29

elevated

* Data was omitted because it was regarded as questionable.

There is a relatively high proportion of gullies in the coastal areas of Base Ville, La Pointe, Mackandal, La Source and Versailles, indicating under-designed storm water drains. These areas are particularly vulnerability to flashflooding caused by high volumes of overland flows generated at the higher elevations. The vulnerability here is exacerbated by inadequate storm water disposal capacity, caused by too small drains, blockages by sediment and eroded materials. The present practice of covering drains also precludes effective clearance.

The more elevated areas (Bordes, Rochasse, and Caracoli) all have low vegetation cover, and have been flagged for projects to increase the possibility of ground water infiltration

2.2.7.3. Environment/Rurality

Table 26 shows the percentage of respondents in each area with subsistence gardens/food trees (food grown), and various types of animals.

Table 26 Stockpiles, Animals and Land-use

food grown

cows

pigs

goats

chickens

ducks

N1

La Digue

83%

58%

50%

75%

83%

0%

12

Gebeau

44%

13%

38%

50%

44%

0%

16

Bordes

41%

37%

63%

85%

41%

7%

27

St. Helene

21%

0%

50%

58%

21%

8%

24

Versailles

14%

0%

14%

17%

14%

0%

29

La Source

12%

0%

0%

8%

12%

8%

26

Brouette

7%

0%

0%

0%

7%

0%

15

Rochasse

7%

0%

0%

7%

7%

7%

27

La Pointe

5%

0%

76%

86%

5%

33%

21

Mackandal

4%

12%

62%

65%

4%

15%

26

Caracoli

3%

0%

7%

14%

3%

7%

29

Base Ville

0%

0%

30%

20%

0%

0%

10

Berquier

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

9

In terms of the data as differentiated by area, La Digue, Gebeau, and Bordes emerge as areas where rural land uses of animal rearing and agriculture are practised to a greater extent than elsewhere in the city. These areas also represent the stabler populations of Jeremie, with an average of 15 years residence time for respondents in their houses.

Both La Pointe and Mackandal (adjacent coastal areas) gave high values for the rearing of pigs and goats. Both of these animal types are foragers and can therefore be reared in an urban environment. Animals may be present in the unplanned high density low income areas such as these because they represent a reasonably cheap supply of protein which can be sold as food, and because they may have been brought by the residents. Many of these are largely recent immigrants to the city (the average number of years spent in Mackandal and La Pointe is 8.3 and 11.4 years respectively).

Similarly, the older immigrant population of St. Helene (14.8 years) also rears relatively higher numbers of pigs and goats, but does not grow as much food as the peripheral areas like Gebeau/La Digue and Bordes.

2.3. CRITICAL FACILITIES

2.3.1 Identification of Critical Facilities

According to the OAS Natural Hazard Primer (5)

"Lifeline networks and critical facilities are those elements in the economic and social infrastructure that provide essential goods and services to the population in towns and villages. Their proper functioning is a direct concern of the community, since disruption affects the entire population" p12-18.

According to the Primer, lifeline networks typically include: roads, bridges, drainage works, water supply, electricity supply, telecommunications, etc. and, critical facilities typically include: hospitals, shelters (schools, churches), police stations and other public buildings that play a vital role in emergencies. This study also includes those facilities that are essential to prevent the incidence of a natural event from escalating into a major economic disaster (e.g. lack of credit; closure of banks; disruption of market and trade infrastructure) for Jeremie, as these too affect the entire population and the effects of loss of function tend to be more protracted.

In order to identify critical facilities, the survey population, the survey teams and the disaster mitigation committee were consulted. In the survey, most people considered hospitals and clinics to be the most (86%) important critical facility. Seventy two percent (72%) felt that water supply was also essential to be maintained after a disaster.

People (33-45% of the respondents) also the listed the following as important critical facilities:

  • electricity;
  • shelters;
  • police service;
  • public works;
  • community centres; and
  • fuel supply.

Surprisingly, fire fighting was not been mentioned very often as a critical facility (only 7% of the respondents), even though other questions mentioned above, and other interviews that we conducted, indicated that fires are considered a major threat. Respondents may have been influenced by the fact that there is no fire service available and therefore it cannot be counted as a lifeline under present circumstances. Neither drainage nor roads were specifically mentioned either.

Based on this preliminary identification, facilities deemed to be critical for disaster mitigation were inventoried, and located on the map of Jeremie.

2.3.2. Classification of Critical Facilities

The purpose of preparing a critical facilities inventory is to have information required for the co-ordination of activities in the event of a disaster. However, it is important to ensure that these facilities are themselves not vulnerable, and will therefore not suffer a loss of function when they are most needed. Therefore, the vulnerability of critical facilities must be reduced as a top priority. The usefulness of the basic critical facilities inventory and map, can be increased by compiling some additional data:

  1. Normal levels of operation: in terms of output capacity and availability.
  2. The type of linkages that this facility has with other institutions: partners/basis of partnership and suppliers. This is intended to give an indication of relationships that could affect the ability of the facility to perform.
  3. Potential for loss of function
  • threats to essential requirements, including an assessment of the main access routes
  • primary hazard to which vulnerable, and likelihood that the hazard will occur at this locality;
  • level of risk (i.e. what is the value of aspect that can be affected);
  • past performance history with respect to specific disasters; and
  • required actions/retrofitting to reduce the vulnerability/risk.
  1. Resources for Disaster Management: Skills, Vehicles, Construction materials, Equipment, Supplies. Communication Facilities: Internet access, Telephones, Radio system, Newsletter; and
  2. Priority rating. This classification can assist disaster planners in prioritising actions, and committing resources. It is based on a determination of the phase of the disaster cycle in which the facility is most critical.
  • LEVEL 1 preparedness (during or before event)
  • LEVEL 2 response and relief
  • LEVEL 3 recovery and rehabilitation.

This data should optimally assist the disaster management committee to identify projects that will:

  1. reduce the vulnerability of specifically facilities against hazards, e.g. fixing a roof or access route; this should ensure a certain level of reliability, and reduced likelihood of loss of function, incompetence or failure;
  2. ensure that the necessary level of operation and resources are in place, e.g. lobbying for telephone service to be extended to the facility; and
  3. ensure that the facility can be brought back on line as soon as possible after a disaster, without significant loss of function.

This inventory is not intended to represent the complete list of all critical facilities, but rather the main ones that residents of the town of Jeremie have identified to the consultants. The Jeremie disaster management committee can undertake to develop this database to include more facilities as well as detailed contact information, action plans to upgrade the facilities, as well as to develop the communication and support network. The disaster management roles and responsibilities of each of facilities cannot be taken for granted: relationships and commitments must be actively sought from each of these.

In compiling and developing this database, it is recommended that very strict disaster auditing procedures be implemented, in order to determine the performance of each facility after a disaster. This data can inform the process of ensuring the reliability of critical facilities in the event of a disaster.

Table 27 Inventory of Critical Facilities

Critical Facility

Normal Operational Level

Potential for loss of function

Available Resources

Zone

Priority Rating

Type*

  • Haitian Development Foundation
300-400 clients Micro-loans to develop commerce Near market

Level 3

E
  • Red Cross
Provide outreach services about STD's. Also disaster preparedness. Assist with the distribution of relief supplies (food, medicine & clothes) Roof and doors of the main office in need of repair. 284-6813

543 trained volunteers; vehicles and first aid equipment.

Bordes

Level 1

R
  • Radio Orbit
Radio service to the town seven days a week Wind damage to antenna, loss of phones and electricity 284-6633

dissemination of information.

R. de La Paix (132)

Level 1

L
  • Radio Grande Anse
Radio service to the department, seven days a week. Wind damage to antenna, loss of phones and electricity

Fire risk

284-5357

284-5337

dissemination of information

R. E. Margron

Level 1

L
  • Rue La Source Dommage
This is the main route to Numero 2, from the airport. The main water supply and electrical is also located along this route. Floodprone: in need of resurfacing La Source

Level 1

L
  • Rue N. Brouette-Bordes
This is the main route to Fond Rouge. Floodprone: in need of resurfacing Bordes

Level 1

L
  • R. Stenio Vincent-Rue H. Merlet
These are the main downtown streets (Central Business District) and connect with Routes 220 and 214, as well as La Source and Brouette. Floodprone: in need of resurfacing Base Ville

Level 1

L
  • Route 220
This is the main road from Jeremie to Dame Marie Floodprone; Versailles -La Digue

Level 1

L
  • Route 214
This is the main road from Jeremie to Port au Prince via Roseau, Corail, Pestel etc. In need of resurfacing Large Bridge at Gebeau (15 m above sea level) has never been breached. Gebeau - Chateau

Level 1

L
  • Drainage along R. Martineau
This route transmits a significant amount of the storm water affecting the town. In need of redesign and expansion. Lowest terrain in the town. Ville

Level 1

I
  • Drainage along Rue D. Hyppolite
This route transmits a significant amount of the storm water affecting the town. In need of redesign and expansion. Ville

Level 1

I
  • Service National d'Eau Potable (SNEP)
946,250 litres per day. Supply of water to ~20% of the households Damage to pipelines especially in La Source Meteorologist on staff.

Office tel: 284-6527

Head office on Rue. M. Bauge near the Public Square.

Level 2

L/U
  • School: Petion Laforet
560 pupils Roof is need of repairs. During the last hurricane, the classrooms were flooded with mud - drainage from Brouette and Bordes needs to be addressed. telephone

Level 2

S
  • TELECO
1240 lines. Hope to extend to 6000 by 2000 (have a 10,000 line capacity) In the event of electrical failure or heavy wind damage to lines. 284-6119

Level 2

U
  • School: Edner Etienne.
396 pupils. Roof to be fixed. Bathrooms and space for shelter. Piped water supply.

Level 2

S
  • Electricite d'Haiti
900 kWh - 12 hour ration Loss of supply of 500 gallons of diesel/12 hour period.

Roof needs repairs

Building is also a fire hazard.

284-5249

284-6383

Plant at La Source

Level 2

U
  • Roman Catholic Church: St. Louis
Risk of fire - people sell fuel close to the church building. 284-5120 (Father St. Claire)

Shelter

54 Abbe Huet

Level 2

S
  • Medicines du Monde
Weekdays - health services and emergency. 284-6712 (fax/phone)

Health personnel

Rochasse

Level 2

R
  • Airlift service
Emergencies only Bad weather that will prevent flying Small plane capacity to hold 2 passengers

Pilot: Jon Bailes

Airfield

(Numero 2)

Level 2

R
  • School: Lycee de Jeune Filles
1000 pupils Roof is leaking Bathrooms and space for shelter. Piped water supply.

284-5367

La Source

Level 2

S
  • School: St Louis
900 pupils Bathrooms and space for shelter. Piped water supply.

284-5287

Rochasse

Level 2

S
  • School: Nord Alexis
1900 pupils (in the morning and 1780 in the afternoon) Drainage and impassable access roads during times of heavy rain Bathrooms and space for shelter. Piped water supply.

284-6341

Brouette

Level 2

S
  • School: Frere Paulin
830 drainage Bathrooms and space for shelter. Piped water supply. Also a boarding house. Sports field

Level 2

S
  • School: Notre Dame de Lourdes
500 Bathrooms and space for shelter. Piped water supply.

284-5288

La Providence

Level 2

S
  • School: St. Joseph
450 Roof needs fixing

Class rooms flood (need drainage works)

Bathrooms and space for shelter. Piped water supply.

284-5226

Level 2

S
  • Police
Rescue and civil order Personnel; and logistical support.

284-6119

Plaine Bac- Versailles

Level 2

R
  • Church
St. Helene

Level 2

S
  • School: Sacre Coeur
La Source

Level 2

S
  • Hospital St. Antoine
Health services 9 doctors; 25 nurses; 91 beds

Level 2

R
  • Haitian Health Foundation
Health services 2 doctors; 3 nurses

Level 2

R
  • Health Center
Health services 2 nurses St. Helene

Level 2

R
  • Port Authority
3-4 ships per week at the wharf Poor radio telecommunications. Extending the pier to deeper water to allow safer berthing will help. Tel: 284-5497

Level 3

E
  • Post Office
6 days a week service Leaking roof and potential for flooding. Also high risk of fire. R. Dr. Hyppolite

Level 3

U
  • Jebo Projet de Rehabilitation Rurale de Jeremie
Development infrastructure: health, education, agriculture; small credit 284-5333

257-9228 (fax)

resource technical staff

some financing

Gebeau

Level 3

E
  • TPTC
Repair of civil structures; roads etc.

Cleaning of debris

Parts of the road between Gebeau and Jeremie are floodprone. personnel Gebeau-Chateau

Level 3

I
  • Public market
Trade facilities Ville

Level 3

E
  • Wharf
Transhipment of goods to and from Port au Prince (especially important for importation of gas, flour, and rice). Channel to accommodate berthing of ferries and cargo vessels. Base Ville

Level 3

E

*Types Key:

U

Utility:

E

Economic infrastructure

L

Lifeline Network

S

Shelters

R

Relief Service

I

Civil infrastructure

Figure 5 Critical Facilities

Figure 5: Critical Facilities2.3.3. Sphere of Influence of Jeremie

Having identified the critical facilities, it is important to note that these are critical facilities for a much wider area that the town of Jeremie. Although the focus of this study has been primarily on the urban limits of the town of Jeremie, it is important to remember that a disaster affecting Jeremie will affect a much wider area. A random survey (6) of points of origin of 1029 persons in public places in Jeremie (market, shopping street, hospital, law court, school, pharmacy, bookshop, wharf) in order to determine from how far afield people came to use Jeremie, and in what proportion. People come to Jeremie to use the social amenities (schools, hospitals, pharmacies, and courts) as well as to trade. The wharf in Jeremie is also a very important transhipment point in the region for shipping produce and charcoal to Port au Prince; it is also the main entry point for imported goods coming from Port au Prince.

Less than half (47.4%) of the people surveyed in these public places were actually Jeremie residents. Of the individuals coming from outside of Jeremie, most (46.6%) came from districts and villages along the main road between Dame Marie and Jeremie, including places like Latiboliere, Marfranc, Abricots etc. Twenty eight percent of the respondents (28%) originated from districts west of the Grande Anse Bridge, including places like Leon, Roseau, Corail, and Pestel. The main road between Jeremie and these areas crosses the Grande Anse and traverses over a hilly area known as Chateau. This is also the road that people driving to Port au Prince would take. A quarter of the respondents (25%) came from Fond Rouge, which is a farming district west of the town. The main road to Fond Rouge from Jeremie is the road running through Bordes. A surprisingly small number of visitors actually claimed to have come from Port au Prince (1.3%). People coming to Jeremie could come in one of three ways: plane, ferry, or road.

Understanding where people come from is important in determining which are the important linkages/lifelines to the rural communities, which must be brought back online as soon as possible after a disaster. As very little food is produced in Jeremie, these lifelines are also important for Jeremie's recovery.

3. HAZARD MITIGATION & VULNERABILITY REDUCTION PLAN

In developing the projects, several non-mutually exclusive criteria were used. Emphasis was given to interventions that:

The interventions proposed are intended for use by the disaster management stakeholders of Jeremie, and have been compiled based on the situational analysis included in this study.

All project related to one or more of the four main goals of hazard mitigation and vulnerability reduction: prevention of loss of life; reduction of negative impacts on health; reduction of negative impacts on livelihood as well as those on property. Since these are the factors that we ultimately care about, we suggest that they should also be the main criteria guiding the assessment of relative effectiveness and even cost-efficiency. Projects have been assessed and described according to:

Furthermore, looking towards implementation the projects have been prioritised according to the following classes:

Class A: community initiatives
Class B: interventions that require municipal or government involvement
Class C: interventions that involve international donor funding.

Document links: Executive Summary, Sections 1-3, Appendices and Photo Inventory


FOOTNOTES

3. A field presentation of the preliminary analysis of 100 surveys, and the hazards mapping exercise was held on Friday March 12, 1999 in Jeremie, hosted by the Jeremie Disaster Mitigation Committee.  A team of volunteers exhibited photos, posters and videos of their work, as well as rough maps generated by this study.

4.  World Development Report 1998/9.

5.  Primer on Natural Hazard Management in Integrated Regional Development Planning.   OAS/OFDA-USAID.  1991.

6.  This survey was undertaken by Vania Bien Aime & Mercile Beauport, both of whom participated in the vulnerability survey and who were trained in rapid rural assessment techniques.