Water, Waste, Preservation, and Food: Sharing Approaches

Fort Lauderdale and Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, host delegations from three Haitian municipalities to showcase approaches to management challenges they have in common.

ARTICLE | Mar 28, 2016
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, city manager Lee Feldman (second from right) with ICMA and LOKAL+ staff on an earlier exchange visit to Limonade, Haiti, with local government staff and officials.

Fort Lauderdale and Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, hosted delegations from three Haitian cities to share approaches to solid waste management and sanitation, water conservation, historic site preservation and development, and the creation of food hubs.

The visits were carried out under the LOKAL+ project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen municipal governments in Haiti. As a subcontractor to Tetra Tech ARD, ICMA is employing its CityLinks approach to facilitate partnerships between U.S. and Haitian municipal governments (referred to as communes) to provide technical assistance on priority public service delivery projects.

In January, representatives from Cap Haitien and Limonade, Haiti, visited Fort Lauderdale (Lee Feldman, city manager) to see how that city addresses several service delivery challenges. Issues identified by Cap Haitien included development and management of a dumpsite that will be used by several municipalities and the conversion of a historical site into a municipal park. Limonade needed assistance with stormwater control, including maintenance of drainage canals and strategies to prevent flooding.

In Fort Lauderdale, the delegation visited the following: 

  • Two water treatment plants using different techniques—one using a lime-softening method and the other a nano-filtration membrane technology.
  • The Riverwalk park, which includes monuments to historic events.
  • A privately operated landfill with a liner (necessary for sandy soil), a leachate collection system, and methane gas recovery.
  • A regional wastewater treatment plant.
  • Port Everglades in Hollywood, Florida—a major port for cargo and cruise ships.

During the visit, participants from Fort Lauderdale, Cap Haitien, and Limonade proposed work plans to move ahead on several projects:

  • For Limonade, the priority is the provision of training to municipal technical staff and maintenance and cleanup of drainage canals.
  • For Cap Haitien, the focus is on the rehabilitation of the Vertieres historical site to support local tourism and on facilitating the setup of a management structure for the construction and operation of a solid waste management facility including a landfill and a recycling and composting facility.

Representatives from Fort Lauderdale will provide pro bono assistance to their CityLinks partners, and funding for several projects may be supplemented by contributions from Haitian communities in Florida.

Haiti Kenscoff LaudLakes-cropped

The delegation from Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, with local government, ICMA, and Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve staff during an earlier exchange visit to Kenscoff, Haiti.

In February, Lauderdale Lakes (Kelvin Baker, city manager) hosted representatives from Kenscoff, Haiti, who were primarily interested in strategies for rehabilitating the existing market in the urban center of Kenscoff and making it part of a larger food system; developing local food processing facilities; and better managing water sources and water catchment in light of the drying up of several sources that heretofore had been supplying water to the Kenscoff city center.

In Lauderdale Lakes, they toured urban community gardens, farms, markets, and facilities for food aggregation/processing, sales, and education. Particular attention was paid to (1) the advantages of processing food locally for local consumption/sale as well as export; (2) practices such as drying, canning, and pickling that utilize food that would otherwise be thrown away; and (3) the development of linkages and support networks among local government, community residents, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions to promote food security and proper food growing and organic waste disposal practices.

As in Fort Lauderdale, participants proposed a work plan to include development of a food hub plan, rehabilitation of the existing urban center market, promotion of composting organic waste, and water resource management.

During the remainder of ICMA’s subcontract, which continues through December 2017, the partners will work together to address the identified priorities. Staff from the U.S. cities will travel to Haiti to provide hands-on assistance.

To learn more about ICMA’s global programs, visit the website and follow us @ICMACityLinks, or contact international@icma.org.

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