The South-East Department is one of the smallest with an area of 2,753 km 2 or 7.7% of the total area of Haiti. The total population was estimated at 484,675 (IHSI, 2003); and 632,601 (2015). The South-East Department is divided into 3 Arrondissements: Jacmel (Head Office), Bainet and Belle-Anse. The city of Jacmel is famous for its tourist attractions and its many natural sites. Its old houses of the colonial era are classified as national heritage and since 21 September 2004, its historic center was subject to the UNESCO Tentative List.
The department is divided in 3 arrondissements:
The Southeast Department occupies the area from the southern part of Massif de La Selle to the Caribbean Sea. It is bounded on the North by the Department of the Ouest on the South by the Carribean Sea, on the East by the Haitian-Dominican border, and on the West by the Southern Department.
This department whose capital is the city of Jacmel is formed of ten communes subdivided into 50 communal sections. The ten communes are:
With the exception of the commune of La Vallée, all nine other municipalities are bathed by the Caribbean Sea.
The Southeast Department is approximately 130 km from east to west and 27 km from north to south. It has an area of 2,045 square kilometers. According to the results of the general census of January 2003, the department had a population of 484,675 inhabitants including 249,488 women and 235,187 men. Most of this population 87.7%, or about 425,033 people live in rural areas. And from a survey conducted in 2008 and 2009, the rural population has increased to 541,117 inhabitants, an average increase of 116,089 inhabitants in 6 years. After the earthquake of January 12, 2010, the Southwest, despite struck, received about 76,000 inhabitants from Port-au-Prince.
Economic Sectors of the Southeast DepartmentEdit
The main economic activities of the Southeast Department are agriculture, livestock, fishing and trade.
Elements of Production
Land, the essential element for farming, is lacking for many peasants in the Southeast who are forced to resort to the indirect method of promoting sharecropping (two halves, demwatye) and farm (firm, anfem).
The lack of basic infrastructure and service in rural areas, coupled with the worsening economic situation, has caused people to migrate to urban centers, seeking other activities for their survival. This situation has caused the scarcity of family and salaried farm labor. The peasants thus formed associations, for example: the chore, the squad, the combite, the mera, etc., to work their land.
The means of agricultural productionEdit
Agriculture, all of the essential activities that enable people to draw plant and animal products from the land, requires appropriate techniques and means that differ from one region to another. Throughout the world, it has experienced great growth, in proportion to the evolution of science. In the Southeast Department, as in the rest of Haiti, agriculture remains a rudimentary stage where farmers use old techniques dating back more than two centuries, not allowing them to obtain positive results in their agricultural work.
They do not have adequate materials such as: tools, seeds, organic and chemical fertilizers, pepticides, buildings, flocks, etc. These materials call for the investment of money that farmers, who live in precarious situations, do not possess.
Southeast agricultural production, harvests
The lack of necessary materials for subsistence farming gives rise to very small crop yields. Nevertheless, some of these products are sold to buy other products and to meet social needs.
There are two main crops in the Southeast Department: market gardening and food crops.
Market gardening such as cabbages, lettuce, beans, peas, leeks, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, etc. are found in low-temperature and high altitude; for example, Haut Grandou (Ka dupe, Dupera), Bereau, Haut Cap-Rouge, Seguin, Gros-Cheval (north of Grand-Gosier), Savane-Zombi (north of Thiotte), and Haut Bois d'Orme (north of Anse-á-Pitres).
Food crops (maize, peas, millet, potatoes, pigeon peas, cassava, taro, banana, yam, coffee, etc.) are found in the valleys at the foot of the mountains and also on the coasts. There are also fruit trees such as mango, avocado, citrus, orange, breadfruit, etc.
While market gardening products and fruit are intended for marketing, most of the food products are used for home consumption.
Animal production of the South-East Department
The main animal productions in the South-East Department are: livestock, fishing, and agriculture.
a) Breeding. The main objective of breeding is the production of meat. The production of milk and eggs is often neglected. The lack of forage for livestock and grain for poultry prevent the development of a positive breeding in the region. People practice a traditional breeding where the animals (cattle, capins, sheep, pigs, horses, etc.) are kept at the rope either at the stake near the house, or in the pasture.
b) Fishing. Although practiced in an archaic way, fishing is an economic activity of great importance for the people of the coastal zones, for example, the coasts of Marigot, Cayes-Jacmel, Jacmel, Belle-Anse, Grand-Gosier, and Anse-à-Pitres. Fishing is an activity considered the second after agriculture.
c) Beekeeping. -The production of honey is very low, despite the range of possibilities found at Bainet, Côtes-de-Fer, Belle-Anse and Anse-à-Pitres for this production. As a result, beekeeping is almost non-existent in the Southeast region.
Other economic activities of the Southeast Department
In search of better being, people who live in rural areas, alongside agriculture and fishing, also engage in other activities called "extra-agricultural", such as the cabinetmaking trade, carpenters sawyers, tailors, shoemakers, school teachers, etc.
Trade is an important source of significant income for the rural economy. This trade is developed from products imported from the capital Port-au-Prince or other municipalities. These products include fuel, soft drinks (cola, coca-cola, beer, etc.), rice, bread, butter, telephone recharge cards, etc. But these products are often so expensive that the peasant finds it difficult to obtain them.
In fact, despite the diversification of their activities, the farmers can not meet their family demands, which condemns them to always evolve on funds of economic difficulties or in a vicious circle of poverty.
The Southeast Department: Its advantages and disadvantages
The Southeast Department, benefiting from a set of microclimates, offers the possibility of greatly diversifying its agricultural production. Several areas can be easily irrigated, for example: Savane-du-Bois, Normande Ravine, Bas-Cap-Rouge, Moreau River Valley, Mayette (Côtes-de-Fer) and the village of Anse-à-Pitres.
But the precariousness of the population, the lack of supervision, the lack of infrastructure, irrigation, soil erosion and the damage caused by hurricanes, have a negative impact on agricultural production, because the major part of the region is mountainous and has long stretches with steep slopes where agricultural activities are concentrated.
The irrigation canals that once existed were destroyed by cyclones. Those remaining are in poor condition with the exception of the irrigation canal on the right bank of the Rivière des Pédernales at Anse-à-Pitres.
The Southeast Department has a culture different from the other departments of Haiti. The city of Jacmel, the capital of the department, is described as the cultural center par excellence of Haiti. This culture is manifested by the deep attachments of the Jacmelians to their traditions, beliefs, values in general and their way of life.
The carnival of Jacmel remains the favorite site for artistic production. Foreigners come from both sides to attend Carnival parades and the exhibition of mainly local products. Almost everywhere in the world, we recognize the impact of craftsmanship and the richness of folklore in the Jacmélien carnival. Crafts and folklore are important sectors to promote in order to further develop tourism in the Southeast and throughout the rest of the country. In Jacmel and several other towns in the Southeast, there are groups of folk dances that generally perform for memorable days such as May 1st, May 18th, October 17th, etc.
Festivities are organized exclusively in the city of Jacmel. For example, the "mache kare" a cultural tradition that precedes Jacmel's national carnival; the "carillon" an activity organized at the end of the day before Christmas.
The Jacmelian culture is dotted with artistic creativity. There are cultural theater groups, great tellers who reinforce culture through their poems, writings and artisans who create masterpieces of art.
The Southeast Department has many rivers, hundreds of springs and a few ponds. The underground water reserves, which are almost all in the alluvial zones, are not well known.
In the Southeast Department, there are two hydrographic zones and a large watershed.
1) South-East Hydrographic Zone
2) Watershed in the Grande Rivière de Jacmel
3) Bainet and Côte de Fer hydrographic zone.
The South-East Hydrographic Zone
This zone is located in the eastern part of the department. It covers an area of 1207 km2 and includes 16 watersheds that open directly into the Caribbean Sea and an endemic Mapou basin measuring 272 km2 and micro-basins grouped as coastal slopes. The largest pools are those of Mapou and the River Pedernales.
The main watersheds in the Caribbean
1. Coastal watershed 222 km2
2. Meyer 65 km2
3. Gri-Gri 6 km2
4. Armand 11 km2
5. Cayes-Jacmel 28 km2
6. Plantils 127 km2
7. Talui 21 km2
8. Trou Bon Dieu 7 km2
9. Plaisir 24 km2
10. Balle Coton 9 km2
11. Olive 67 km2
12. Gabriel 56 km2
13. Bellanse 67 km2
14. Pichon 100 km2
15. Mapou 272 km2
16. Bouirolly 10 km2
17. Grand Ravine 7.5 km2
18. Pedernales 166 km2
Basin catchment of the Great Jacmel River
The watershed of the Grande Rivière de Jacmel is located in the central part of the department. It has an area of 547 km2 and leads directly to the Caribbean Sea. There are two sub-basins, that of the Left River Rivière Gauche (190km2) and that of Gosselin (184km2).
The hydrographic zone of Bainet and Côte de Fer
The hydrographic zone of Bainet and Côte de Fer is located in the western part of the department. It has an area of 1,068 km2 and includes 8 watersheds that open directly into the Carribean Sea. There are also micro-pools grouped as coastal slopes. The largest pools are those of Bainet and Côte de Fer. The catchment area of Côte de Fer is 310 km2 and that of Bainet is 435km2.
The Main Rivers of the Southeast having a permanent flow
a) In the commune of Côte de Fer, one finds there the river of Lhomond which separates the Commune of Côtes-de-Fer from that of Aquin, then the four coastal rivers: La Source , Maillette, White Ravine Ravine Blanche and Fond Dennas.
b) In the commune of Bainet, there is the Rivière Moreau and its tributaries, the Rivière L'illette, the Orangiers, the Massacre, the Boucan Belier and the Ravine Jamais Vu. There is also the Ti Penn River, that of the l'Ermitage, Mahot, Madame Louis, and Dlo Jennen which separates the town of Bainet from that of Jacmel.
c) In the commune of Jacmel, there is the river of Bassin Bleu, the great river of Jacmel with its tributaries, the Rivière Gauche, Rivière Gosselin, which contains itself the river of Fond Melon, that of the Orange trees Orangiers and the Ravine Meyer.
d) In Cayes-Jacmel, there is the Gaillard River.
e) In Marigot, there is the large Marigot river or the Feslses river which contains the Pavée river, the Lemon tree river Citronnier, the Massacre river, the Blanche river and the Plantils river.
f) In Belle-Anse is the Pichon River.
Ponds in the Southeast
Groundwater Sources and Groundwater
The location and capacity of underground water reserves are not well known. But water sources, wells and boreholes give some indication of the location of water bodies. It is noted that many high altitude sources are fed by underground water supplies. As a result, small, deep water tables are found throughout the Southeast region.
Nearly 500 springs have been located throughout the Southeast department. The eastern zone is very impoverished and has only about twenty sources. In the western zone, there is a high concentration, however most of the population is struggling to get water, because the sources are in very distant places and often in the bottoms of the gullies.
Some communal sections, for example Haut-Cap-Rouge, Montagne la Voute, Calumette, Coral Lamothe, Bel-air etc, have no sources.
In some places, due to their geographical position and their flow, some sources offer the possibility of the installation of gravitational systems for obtaining water.
It should be noted that nearly 68% of inventoried sources have a flow rate of less than 3 liters of water per second and 61% are not captured.
Distribution of Sources
The municipality of Côtes-de-Fer has 63 water sources in six communal sections and 22 of them are captured. In the sections Bras de Gauche and Boucan Belier who each have 3 sorces, the population is struggling to get water.
The commune of Bainet has a total of 124 water sources of which 61 are captured. The 5 sections richest in water sources are: 9th Bas Gris-gris (32), 5th Bas Grandou (19), 3rd Vallée-de-Bainet (18), 4th Grand Grandou (16) and 7th Bras de Gauche ( 12). The 6th section Bas-de-la-Croix Lower Cross (5) is the poorest water in the town of Bainet.
The commune of La Vallée-de-Jacmel has about 34 inventoried sources. They are scattered in the bottoms of the gullies and many of them have low flows. There are 16 of these sources that are captured.
The Commune of Jacmel has an inventory of 152 water sources of which 50 have been captured. In the communal sections Haut Roq Chante (4 sources), Marbial (5), Montagne Lavoute (9), the inhabitants face great difficulties to obtain water.
The town of Cayes-Jacmel has 52 water sources of which 19 of them are captured. The section of Haut Cap-Rouge is facing a lack of water. There are only 3 small low flow sources (1 liter per second) and two of them are temporary.
The municipality of Marigot has a total of 59 inventoried sources. There are 25 sources that are captured. In this town, the problem of water arises in the northern part of the 4th communal section of Fond Jean Noel and in the eastern end of the 5th section of Savane Dubois.
The Belle Anse borough, which includes the 4 Belle-Anse, Grand-Gosier, Thiotte and Anse-à-Pitres communes, is the part of the Southeast region where it is more difficult for the population to find water. There are a total of 20 sources in the 13 communal sections of the borough and only 6 are captured. The commune of Belle-Anse counts 7 sources (2 in Corail Lamothe, 3 in Bel Air and 2 in Pichon). 3 are captured:
- The commune of Grand-Gosier has 3 sources in Colline des Chênes and 2 are captured.
- The commune of Thiotte has 2 sources in the 1st section Colombier. One is captured.
- The commune of Anse-à-Pitres has 8 sources (3 in Boucan Guillaume and 5 in Bois d'Orme) and none of them has been captured.
Drinking water sector in the Southeast
The department has some 60 or so water systems, but many of them are old and not in good working order. It is estimated that more than 30% of the systems are in the municipality of Jacmel, nearly 24% in the municipality of Marigot and at least 18% in the municipality of Cayes-Jacmel. The communes of Anse-à-Pitres and the [[La Vallée-de-Jacmel do not have a drinking water network. In Thiotte, there is a system that supplies the city and its surroundings. In Grand-Gosier, there are 2 water systems and 3 in the town of Belle-Anse. The commune of Bainet had 7 systems, but 2 do not currently work and the municipality of Côtes-de-Fer has 5 systems among which there is a drilling.
Access to drinking water
In the rural area of the department, each family uses about 23 gallons of water a day and at least 40% of families do the water treatment, using lemon or chlorine. People spend an average of 48 minutes to get water at the department level. In some areas of the town of Belle-Anse, such as Haut Bel Air, Calumette, Corail Lamothe, people spend at least 6 to 7 hours of time to collect a seal of water especially during drought. Areas such as Jacmel, Cayes-Jacmel, and Marigot have no difficulty in finding water, while in Belle-Anse and Anse-à-Pitres, the water problem is crucial.
Southeast development [fedadse.org/dept-du-sud-est.html]