Incatema Consulting & Engineering is protecting the banks of the river Masacre to prevent flooding of Haiti?s new Ouanaminthe Market

7 June, 2019

Incatema Consulting & Engineering has implemented an environmental protection intervention on the river Masacre as it passes through the binational market of Ouanaminthe in Haití, by installing a flood containment wall between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  This riverbank protection work is the result of a hydrological study, which the company carried out to determine flood levels and avoid the potential breaking of the river’s banks during the rainy season, and which forms part of all of the company’s preliminary environmental studies for its projects. 

The environmental protection of the Masacre river forms part of the project for the binational market of Ouanaminthe, which Incatema Consulting & Engineering is currently executing on the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with a budget of 9 million euros and with EU funding for BONFED.

Haiti has the lowest GDP per capita in all of America and the western hemisphere and is among the countries with the greatest inequality in the world. Haiti’s economy is the poorest in the region, according to data of the European Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which placed the country’s per capita GDP at -0.1 in 2015. This factor was also aggravated by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami suffered in 2010, one of the most serious humanitarian catastrophes in history.

As part of the same EU-funded Binational Programme, Incatema Consulting & Engineering has rehabilitated and handed over to the Municipality of Ouanaminthe, the city’s former Municipal Market, whose refurbishment works have involved firming the ground on which it is situated to avoid muddying in the rainy season, and sanitation and improvement work on the existing buildings (for the sale of meat, fruit and vegetables), by erecting a new metal structure and its corresponding roof, and modernising the sanitary installation and rainwater evacuation system.

International cooperation to guarantee sustainability in developing countries

The project to build the Ouanaminthe market and protect the banks of the Masacre river forms part of strategic international cooperation actions financed by the European Union and promoted by Incatema Consulting & Engineering in terms of sustainability, aligned with the 2030 Development Agenda adopted by the UN. Specifically, this project contributes directly to achieving the SDG of Zero Hunger and reduction in inequality, by allowing the population to be supplied with food.

We must remember that the inhabitants of Haiti have been crossing the border with the Dominican Republic daily to obtain food and basic necessities since 1993, when the Dominican president at the time, Joaquín Balaguer, announced that he would allow the crossing to relieve the limited access to food suffered by Haiti at the time, on account of an international embargo. The first opening point was on the frontier between the two border towns of Dajabón and Ouanaminthe, where, at present, Incatema Consulting & Engineering is building the new market of Ouanaminthe. These works will be completed this year.

To improve the access to food of the Haitian population, the market of Dajabón (situated on the Dominican side of the border) has recently extended its activity and is now open 3 days a week, instead of 2.

The Masacre river broke its banks in September 2017 when a swell caused the collapse of the old Aduanas bridge, used for 40 years to connect Haitians and Dominicans by land. As a result of this collapse, the authorities were obliged to distribute food to everyone accommodated in refuges or relative’s homes, given that several communities were left incommunicado as a consequence of landslides that affected several roads and bridges.