Jacmel/Haïti

The cooperation between Strasbourg and Jacmel began in 1996. The focal point was hygiene in the town and efforts are still continuing today.

Jacmel is the capital of the Sud Est Department of Haiti and is located 100 or so kilometres from Port-au-Prince. It has a population of around 140,000.

Linked since 1991

Cooperation with Jacmel actually started in 1991, driven by the Strasbourg Haitian community within the Hibiscus assocaition and encouraged by the country's return to democracy after 30 years under the dictatorship of the Duvalier family. After a difficult start, the cooperation proper, in close coordination with the regional cooperation development Institute (IRCOD - Institut Régional de Coopération Développement), got underway in 1996. Priority was, and still is, hygiene and sanitation within the city.

Cooperation aims

Boost the administrative and organisational capacity of Jacmel and support local development initiatives for the inhabitants.

Support for the City's administrative authorities

Support for Jacmel's administrative authorities is provided by the City of Strasbourg and the CUS, in collaboration with IRCOD, with the help of a 2 million Euro grant given by the French Development Agency for Jacmel. Support takes the form of actions in several areas:

  • A "Clean Jacmel City" project aimed at improving refuse collection and creating an incineration and composting centre, the only facility of its kind in Haiti, which was opened in July 2009.
  • Increase the town hall's resources through a comprehensive tax census, based on precise mapping of the commune, performed jointly with the Illkirch-based SERTIT (regional service of image treatment and remote sensing) to help boost the city's financial base and thereby deliver better services to the local population.
  • Help in preparing for the construction of a new market in Jacmel and the renovation of the current market, a superb, wrought iron structure, the framework for which was made in Bruges in the 19th century, but which is no longer able to cope with the volume of trade,
  • Reinforce the administrative and organisational capacities of the town hall administrative authorities
  • Provide support for Jacmel's elected officials in setting up cooperation agreements and decision-making processes between the institutions and local, national and international stakeholders.

These technical cooperation processes will remain in place over the next two years, funded by a European Union grant, to continue the work of achieving a clean city with greater financial resources.

Other actions directly relating to the local population

  • New crèches are being built in cooperation with local associations
  • Exchanges with the Jacmel technical college (teacher exchanges and purchase of equipment in cooperation with Schiltigheim's  lycée Émile Mathis).
  • Technical support for a water supply project in the Marbial Valley.

The series of natural disasters (tropical storms, cyclones and earthquake) that have hit Jacmel over the past few years have also affected ongoing projects. In addition to funds (€20,000 in 2007 and 2008, €40,000 in 2010) provided to help Jacmel to cope with the aftermath of the disasters, groundwork is also being carried out to improve the civil protection system to help the local population in the event of a cyclone or earthquake (early warnings, communication with the local population, prevention plan, prevention of epidemics, etc.) and risk management in urban planning (identifications of the zones with the most damage, work on building regulations, etc.).

After Jacmel suffered severe damaged in the earthquake of 12 January 2010, funds given by Alsatian local authorities for the city were coordinated by IRCOD and used to set up concrete actions for preschool children, food-safety risk management and culture.

2011 saw the 20th anniversary of the partnership, which was celebrated by cultural exchanges in sculpture, music, film and the crafts.. Go to the webpage of the 20th anniversary of the Strasbourg Jacmel partnership.

 

Partners in France

  • The City and Urban Community of Strasbourg
  • The regional cooperation and development Institute
  • Association Hibiscus
  • Strasbourg music schools
  • Strasbourg Conservatory
  • Lycée Émile Mathis in Schiltigheim
  • Regional service of image treatment and remote sensing (SERTIT)
  • Department of agriculture and forests of the Bas-Rhin
  • Ministry of European and foreign affairs
  • French Development Agency
  • Commune of Jacmel
  • French Development Agency
  • French Embassy
  • Jacmel technical college
  • The Jacmel Department for after-school centres
  • Regional coordination of the organisations of the  Sud Est Department
  • Jacmel music school
  • Alliance Française of Jacmel
  • Association of Artisans of Sud Est
  • Ciné Institute of Jacmel

Partners in Haïti

20th anniversary of the Strasbourg Jacmel cooperation

2011 saw the 20th anniversary of the partnership between Strasbourg and Jacmel. The cooperation was originally initiated by the Hibiscus Association and has been running since 1991 , in close cooperation with IRCOD.

The main aim of the cooperation is to provide support to the Commune of Jacmel to help its structure, organisation and development. This mainly takes the form of providing funds and advice for the local authorities and reinforcing the City's project management capacities through concrete, locally-based actions including hygiene and sanitation projects (refuse collection and incineration), improving the city's tax base, helping with the preparation of a new market and with improving services to the local population (human resources, funding, logistics).

 

The hurricane of 2010 cause severe damage in Haiti, and Jacmel suffered the destruction of half its city centre. This resulted in an unprecedented outpouring of funds, worldwide, in Alsace and in Strasbourg, to show solidarity with the local population. Money collected by the local authorities and by private and charity donors was channelled through IRCOD for the reconstruction of Jacmel, concrete actions for which were able to start 12 months later.

Jacmel is also a centre for Haitian culture and is home to poets, writers, artists, craftsmen, as well as the local carnival. It has its own music school, film school and an alliance française. This is an important aspect of local life, and is now included within the cooperation agreement.