Ravine after mitigation (under construction), 2013. Photo: Beth Milbourne.

Delmas 40B ravine mitigation

Client: J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO)

Port-au-Prince, 2011-2013

Partners: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), funding;  __, contractor; World Bank Natural Hazards Assessment Team (NATHAT), risk analysis; MTPTC (Haitian Ministry of Public Works), permitting.

J/P HRO Project team: Dave Hampton, Program Manager; Paolo Zorzoli, Project Manager (2012); Jack Bolland, Project Manager (2012-13)

In late 2011, following unstable conditions in the Petionville Club IDP camp managed by J/P HRO, the NGO conducted an extensive search for suitable locations for the establishment of a new clinic to serve both residents of the camp and the adjoining Delmas 40B neighborhood. A private residence was located, selected, and underwent an earthquake-resilient retrofit and adaptive reuse to transform it into a medical clinic.

Located alongside one of the ravines which bisect Port-au-Prince, directing stormwater from mountains to sea, the facility was threatened by an eroding ravine edge composed partly of soft soil, undermined by the scouring action of water during the wet season, compounded by acceleration around a sharp turn in the ravine.

Ravine curves sharply at Impasse Belo near the clinic. LIDAR DEM digital terrain model of ravine bisecting the neighborhood. Source: World Bank Natural Hazards Assessment Team (NATHAT)



Following analysis by a Natural Hazards Assessment Team (NATHAT) from the World Bank, a two-phase mitigation was undertaken:

1) A temporary wall of wire gabions filled with stone was erected until funds were secured for,

2) a permanent wall faced with concrete finish, topped with a concrete curb and gutter to direct surfacewater away down the ravine face, and a concrete balustrade to discouage the dumping of trash and protect pedestrians from falls.

JP-1 Klinik Kominote continues to provide community healthcare services to over 1,000 individuals weekly.

Lessons learned

Coming soon…

Further reading

This project fueled my further interest in urban ravines, (see my article The Ravines of Port-au-Prince, UrbDeZine, 2013).