Sustained Success in Haiti
Written by Plant With Purpose on August 4, 2010 in General
by Aly Lewis
Since the terrible earthquake shook Haiti over six months ago, we’ve written a lot about Plant With Purpose’s relief and recovery efforts. We’ve been grateful to provide thousands of earthquake victims with jobs, food, tools, and seeds. As I look back over our accomplishments in Haiti over the last year, I am impressed with our tremendous relief efforts and achievements—employing over 2,100 people to plant over 170,000 trees and construct over 150 miles of soil erosion barriers—but I’m also struck by the success and achievements of our ongoing development efforts. In spite of the earthquake and the ensuing challenges, we were able to accomplish—and even surpass—most of our projected goals for the year alongside our relief program
For example, we have had an influx of farmers and community members who want to join in our reforestation efforts. New participants are asking to join our community groups because they have seen their friends and neighbors benefit from tree planting and soil conservation activities. Planting trees is one of the best ways for Haitian farmers to restore and replenish the degraded hillsides on which they live and farm. Between July 2009 and June 2010 we planned to plant 50,000 trees on deforested hillsides. Greatly exceeding our goal, we planted 88,196 trees, in addition to the 170,000 trees planted as a part of our “Cash for Work” emergency relief project!
Iloma Jean Baptiste, a member of our Cheridant group since 1998, said he has seen lots of benefits from planting trees in his own community. He said, “Trees we planted, for example these trees you see behind you, we now use to build our houses and make charcoal, and have made a good profit. We have done soil conservation to control erosion. The soil conservation work gives us a guarantee that we will not lose too much soil.”