MAPPING HAZARD, EXPOSURE & VULNERABILITY ARTIBONITE RIVER BASIN, HAITI

WHY DID WE WORK ON THIS

Haiti is prone to a range of hazards, including earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides, flash food and drought. It is one of the countries in which PfR operates to support vulnerable communities in becoming more resilient to disasters.  

The Haiti Red Cross, a partner of PfR in Haiti, decided to cooperate with 510 to do more research on the disasters that happened in the Arbonite Area of Haiti. An area that is prone to floods.  

WHO WAS INVOLVED

Partners for Resilience (PfR) isa global alliance that consists of about 50 partner civil society organisations and their networks (including the Red Cross Crescent Societies). The partner organisations work in hazard prone areas to strengthen people’s resilience in the face of rising disaster risks.  

For the specific project described in the blog, the Data & Digital team of 510  based in the Netherlands and a team member of the Haiti Red Cross were involved.  

PfR and 510 complement each other’s work. The research done by 510 helps PfR to better understand and prepare for disasters. In turn, PfR supports civil society organisations (like the Red Cross Haiti) in bringing this research to the table when having dialogues with stakeholders for (better) disaster risk reduction policies, practices and investments. 

WHAT WAS ACHIEVED

510 researched and characterized the risks and their impact in the Arbonite Area. The following three components of the risk were used:mapped (1) mapping the exposure  (2)  people vulnerability and (3) flood hazards.  

Mapping Exposure: identifying where people live, and where are the critical infrastructure at risk. This can be done through open source data. The recent Mapathon and OpenStreetMap training with communities in Haiti is an example of this. Through the Open Mapping project, PfR created a detailed mapping of floods in the Arbonite River Basin. Visit the online photo exhibition of PfR to learn more.  

Vulnerability: through open-source data (like Facebook’s population layer), it can be accessed to what extent (and if) the communities in the Arbonite Area are vulnerable to disasters. For instance demographic data like age can be valuable to access the level of vulnerability of the community. 

Hazards: through researching the root causes and risks, it can be determined which areas are more prone to flooding. The researchers of 510 first created different scenarios after which they identified what kind of implications the scenarios could have for the specific area. Understanding the impact of hazards can for instance be done by researching media databases of previous disasters in the Arbonite Area 

Preventing risks also means that stakeholders implement risk reduction measuresAs part of PfR’s programme Dialogue and Dissent, the Haiti Red Cross decided to take the knowledge gained through the help of 510’s team to the policy table as well.  

WHAT’S NEXT

In February 2020, The Société Nationale de la Croix-Rouge Haïtienne explored the creation of a multisectoral early action protocol to prepare for flooding. Dr Guiteau Jean-Pierre (president of the Haiti Red cross) met with two directors of electricity companies in Haiti and the Ministry of the Environment of Haiti to explore ways to take early action before flooding of the Artibonite basin (read more). More policy meetings have been planned for the future for early action protocols.

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