Water Governance in Haiti: An Assessment of Laws and Institutional Capacities

44 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2015 Last revised: 16 Sep 2017

See all articles by Ryan Stoa

Ryan Stoa

Southern University Law Center

Date Written: July 30, 2015


The Republic of Haiti struggles to sustainably manage its water resources. Public health is compromised by low levels of water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, and water resources are often contaminated and unsustainably allocated. While poor governance is often blamed for these shortcomings, the laws and institutions regulating water resources in Haiti are poorly understood, especially by the international community. This study brings together and analyzes Haitian water laws, assesses institutional capacities, and provides a case study of water management in northern Haiti in order to provide a more complete picture of the sector. Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank as part of the Water Availability, Quality and Integrated Water Resources Management in Northern Haiti (HA-T1179) Project, this study took place from January-July 2015, with the help of local experts and participating stakeholders. The results indicate that Haiti’s water law framework is highly fragmented, with overlapping mandates and little coordination between ministries at the national level, and ambiguous but unrealistic roles for subnational governments. A capacity assessment of institutions in northern Haiti illustrates that while local stakeholders are engaged, human and financial resources are insufficient to carry out statutory responsibilities. The findings suggest that water resources management planning should engage local governments and community fixtures while supplementing capacities with national or international support.

Keywords: Haiti, water law, water governance, institutional capacity, regulatory capacity

Suggested Citation

Stoa, Ryan, Water Governance in Haiti: An Assessment of Laws and Institutional Capacities (July 30, 2015). Tulane Environmental Law Journal, Volume 29, Issue 2 (2017), Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-27, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2640315

Ryan Stoa (Contact Author)

Southern University Law Center ( email )

P.O. Box 9294
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
United States

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