A ghaut can be defined as a ravine or natural channel connecting the sea to the watershed.
Ghauts are of paramount importance because of their ability to mitigate or minimize flooding by providing a channel for storm water to be transported to the sea in the event of a tropical system or hurricane.
According to part VII, section 37, subsection 1 of the National Conservation and Environmental Protection Act (NCEPA), “All ghauts in Saint Christopher and Nevis are hereby declared to be an area of special concern to be managed in the public interest in stable and productive natural drainages.”
What we do
At the Department of Environment we conduct regular ghaut monitoring and assessments, to ensure that the ghauts are able to execute their function.
It is also important for us to acquire baseline data so that we can make comparisons over time. This baseline data is acquired by taking pictures and taking width measurements at different key points along the ghaut. We also place PVC pipes at the edge of the ghaut just before the slope in an effort to document the rate of erosion.
It should also be noted that the presence of vegetation in a ghaut is extremely important in its role as a natural drainage system. The vegetation is responsible for keeping the soil together and reducing the force of the running water in the ghaut.
If you’re a concerned citizen and witness illegal dumping or dredging occurring at any of the ghauts please contact the department of Environment at 869-466-8535.
Training session on ghaut monitoring conducted in upper College Street Ghaut by Dr. Floyd Homer
Conducting an assessment of upper College Street Ghaut
Conservation officers conversing with a local farmer about the issue of illegal dumping in College Street Ghaut
Conservation Officers conducting an assessment of Wash Ghaut in Cayon.