Watershed Protection Cerro San Geronimo
The Cerro San Geronimo region of Nicaragua is a dry tropical forest zone with limited rainfall between May and November. Since the end of the 2008 rainy season though, there have been no significant, sustained rains in the Cerro San Geronimo region.
As a result, families in Bramadero must ration water from the community well or resort to hiking two miles to the nearest well in El Jocote.
The extended drought has awoken the local people, AsoFénix, and Green Empowerment to the immediate need to restore critical watersheds in the Boaco Department. Deforestation and soil compaction are large environmental issues in this region due to demand for firewood and unsustainable pasturing/agricultural practices. Deforestation and erosion limit the water absorbed and captured in underground aquifers. Without consistent access to water, dehydration, inadequate sanitation, and poor nutrition (from a lack of fruits and vegetables) are all urgent realities.
We are beginning to understand the complex relationships between hydrogeology, land use, forest cover, soil quality, and rainfall. We know the health of the Cerro San Geronimo watersheds, the people of the region, and the climate are interdependent and we see an opportunity to develop and implement a model for water security, an improved standard of living, and environmental monitoring that other dry forested regions can adopt and replicate.
The overarching goal is to develop an integrated framework that can be replicated in multiple rural communities and dry forested regions to provide the skills, information, and resources necessary to:
- Reduce emissions, deforestation, and land degradation
- Recharge groundwater resources by reforesting and protecting vital wells and drainages
- Boost incomes and nutrition through the production, marketing, and sales of organic fruits and vegetables, corn, and millet.
In order to alleviate human suffering we aim to ensure water security and establish a model for replication in dry tropical forest communities. Alongside community consultations and work sessions, we plan to jointly undertake land use surveying, watershed assessments, hydro-geological studies, training workshops, erosion control practices, firewood reduction initiatives, land use changes, reforestation campaigns, and weather monitoring.