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Work in Les Palmes region is advancing

The work in Les Palmes is advancing step by step. Acquiring the land for the construction of the landfill is an important step. But there are also other iniatives around solid waste management happening in the 4 municipalities.

WASTE has been working as part of the VNG International (agency for international cooperation of the Association of Dutch Municipalities) team in Haiti on the Municipal Reconstruction Programme in the Palmes Region since February 2011. We are leading the team working with the four municipalities (Petit-Goâve, Grand-Goâve, Léogane, Gressier) to restore and reconstruct the solid waste system.

Before we began, the standard waste management system was that households threw their waste into canals or rivers or on the street, and more or less three times per year the municipality hired a front-end loader and took all the waste outside their city. Now after 2.5 years, we are about to construct a landfill on a piece of  land that the national government is buying. This will be the second landfill in Haiti and the first one outside of the capital. Within the project collection pilots in all four cities have started and the reaction is enthusiastic -- people are telling the mayors that they want to pay to keep the service. Recycling activities are also planned in the near future, but in the meantime, the private recycling companies from Port-au-Prince have increased their activity in the region. An interesting side effect of the project, and without any cost to the project. The most active ones are being invited to participate in operating the future transfer station.

WASTE experiences that working in Haiti is complicated by lack of decentralisation -- municipalities don't have their own taxation or budget. This issue is also addressed in VNG International’s  programme. However, the people are hard-working and they really want to see improvements in their living environment.