Trees Water & People

Trees, Water & People is committed to improving people's lives by helping communities to protect, conserve and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends. We believe that natural resources are best protected when local people play an active role in their care and management.
Feb 20, 2013

The Gift of Heat

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our "Help Provide Solat Heater Repairs" Project! With your support, the Tribal Renewable Energy Program has initiated its first official conduit for offering maintenance to recipients of our solar air heating systems. While you contributed directly to the repair of 10 heaters, you have done so much more by giving us the support we need to officially launch this important service.

Native American families from across the Great Plains can now alert us to any heater repair and maintenance needs. Upon receiving applications for assistance, we will contract with certified Solar Air Heater Technicians, trained at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, to provide these repairs. Thank you for bringing heat to families and green jobs to people in some of the most economically depressed areas of our country.

Before we receive our first official applications for repairs, we are getting right to work on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where we already know of families who need a little technical assistance with their systems. It means so much to this program and the families we serve to be able to keep all of our donated solar heaters running properly, keeping families warm during these harsh winter months! The majority of these heaters last for 20 years without requiring repair, but (like most home appliances) some simply need $15-$45 worth of new parts to function like new. Your sharing and generosity have provided this renewed service for only a fraction of the cost of a new heating system.

Thank you for providing the gift of heat to Native American families in need! Was-te!

Dec 11, 2012

Zanmi Pye Bwa Goes On the Road

Jean Gabriel Visits with ZPB Vendors
Jean Gabriel Visits with ZPB Vendors

Recently, Haiti Program Manager Jean Gabriel took a batch of Zanmi Pye Bwa (ZPB) cookstoves on a journey north from Port-au-Prince, to see how people in other markets would respond to it.  Since most of the improved cookstove work going on in Haiti has been centered in the capital city, many communities outside of the capital have yet to learn of the various alternatives available to help them reduce their demand for charcoal.  After visiting these communities, Jean found fertile ground to begin introducing the ZPB in other markets. 

A visit to the north coast proved to be very productive. In partnership with an organization out of Ouanaminthe, on the Dominican border, Jean gave a cookstove demonstration to workers near an industrial park on the north coast of the country, which will provide employment to thousands once it is in full operation.  From there he shared the cookstove with the team at Sustainable Organic Integarted Livelihoods (SOIL) in Cap Haitien - our partners in the region.  SOIL's staff were enthusiastic about the design, and are exploring ways to offer the stoves within their service package.  

Currently, Jean is in the Central Plateau of Haiti, looking for potential sites to manufacture the stove outside of Port-au-Prince. While the capital city represents the largest concentration of charcoal users in the country (up to 70% of all charcoal consumers), it is exceedingly expensive to work there, which increases costs of the cookstoves - a major barrier to adoption. Two potential manufacturing sites have been identified in the Central Plateau near Hinche, which is a geographically strategic outpost as well, as it gives us access to the wide-open markets in central and northern Haiti.  

We will continue to keep you informed of all the advances in our Haiti clean cookstove program.  New partnerships and new sites from which to operate hold promise for an exciting 2013.  We thank you for being a part of the story! 

ZPB Clean Cookstove in the Market
ZPB Clean Cookstove in the Market
Dec 10, 2012

Another season begins...

Another season is beginning at Trees, Water & People’s three Nicaraguan tree nurseries.  The end of the year is when the nurseries are cleaned and prepared for the next season’s plantings.  We’ve bought most of our seed, most of our soil substrate, and staff have started to build the rows in which hundreds of thousands of trees will be planted.

This year TWP will build reforestation programs along three major lines.  One is growing trees for our network of Forest Replacement Associations, and their farmers.  These farmers grow trees on their land to diversify their income through forest products like fruit, fuel, and in the longer term, lumber.  

The next line is growing trees for demonstration plots at the National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change Research, in La Paz Centro, Nicaragua.  We have plans sketched and are developing agroforestry models appropriate to the local climate, soils and hydrology. 

The third and most important, is finding ways to keep our supporters – both individual supporters and corporate partners – appraised of our progress throughout the year.  Global Giving is one great channel through which to do this, but our blog and website are other great sources of information that help us stay connected.

Thank you always for your kind support, and never hesitate to get in touch to see how you or people you know can get more involved in supporting this great project.

Happy holidays from the Trees, Water & People staff!

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