Pilot Region - El Savador
About Bajo Lempa Region and Ciudad Romero
The Bajo Lempa is a region located in the western coastal plain of El Salvador, in the south side of the departments of Usulután and San Vicente. This region expands along Lempa River delta plain, between the Salvadoran Pacific Coastline and the Littoral highway. The Lempa River is the longest in Central America and its basin extends throughout Salvadoran territory but also drains parts of Honduras and Guatemala. Most of the area of the Lempa River basin is agricultural land and this basin drains the waters from the most important populated areas of El Salvador and several industrial areas. The Bajo Lempa region is one of the most important agricultural areas of El Salvador; this area presents high fertility soils due to the nutrients brought by frequent floods. This region is characterized by high poverty rate. The social vulnerability of the population is incremented because they have been affected by several disastrous floods during the last 20 years. In the East side of Lempa river there are 29 organized communities that owns to Jiquilisco Municipality.
The coastal area comprises a bay-land area populated by the country’s principal mangrove swamps and other saline plant types. This constitutes the largest extension of brackish water and saltwater forest in El Salvador; these swamps are critical by stabilizing the soil and preventing erosion and constitute the habitat designated as a Ramsar Site in 2005 and in 2007 as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The mangrove swamps is an important area as nesting site of coastal water birds and many other species of animals. A portion of the river’s left bank (797.3 Ha) is occupied by the Nancuchiname forest. This is one the few areas of lowland tropical woodland protected in the country, it is an important area for the protection of many species in danger of extinction (for example Ateles geoffroyi, Leopardos pardalis, Odocoileus virginianus) and for protecting the region against flood events.
All the identified stakeholders are located in Ciudad Romero community or in its surroundings. Ciudad Romero is one of the biggest communities in Bajo Lempa, it has heavily affected by the CKD, it was the main community where Nefrolempa study was carried out, presents proactive and collaborative population and several facilities that can be used for living lab. Closer communities to Ciudad Romero, as Nueva Esperanza or Zamorano also can be considered.
Author: INS Roberto Mejía INS-MINSAL - El Salvador