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.
Nov 30, 2012

TWP Partners with Eastern Shoshone Tribe

3 new Solar Warriors trained!
3 new Solar Warriors trained!

The Eastern Shoshone Tribe’s "477 Employment and Training Program" sent three Solar Warriors to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center at the end of October to be trained on building and installing solar heaters.

As part of their training, Trees, Water & People, with the help of donors like you, paid for three new heaters, installed on the homes of families living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as part of the hands-on training portion of the course. Each heater will keep over 27 metric tons out of the atmosphere over its 20 year lifespan in addition to saving a low-income Lakota family in Kyle, SD precious utility money.

The Eastern Shoshone tribe also purchased 25 solar air heaters from our partner, Lakota Solar Enterprises. The mission of the tribe's 477 Program is to help unemployed tribal members find work that benefits the entire community. In this case, the tribe is not only employing these three new Solar Warriors, but also providing clean, free heat for 25 elderly and disabled Eastern Shoshone living on the Wind River Reservation. Congrats, Solar Warriors!

In addition, Henry Red Cloud, Trees, Water & People’s partner in operating the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, spent last week in Fort Washakie, WY, conducting site visits with the students. I arrived to the reservation just in time to shake the hands of these new green job recipients, Chris Tiger, Richard Bearing, and Michael Timbana. Michael told me that he wants to start his own solar business to help his tribe, and I hope we can help him do that! Richard, who is actually a Northern Arapaho, married to an Eastern Shoshone woman, was unemployed and says of his time with Henry, “It has had a great impact [on my life]. I learned a lot and met some new people that I now call friends. I also have a new job.”

Thanks to the 477 Program for creating these opportunities on your beautiful and historic reservation and congrats to the new Trainees for all they have accomplished.

And, most importantly, thank you to every person that has donated to this project, bringing us one step closer to reaching our goal of building 10 solar heaters for Native American families in need of heat.

Solar Warriors from the Eastern Shoshone Tribe
Solar Warriors from the Eastern Shoshone Tribe
Changing the Tribal Energy approach
Changing the Tribal Energy approach
Solar energy is "a new way to honor the old ways"
Solar energy is "a new way to honor the old ways"

Links:

Sep 11, 2012

Haitian Clean Cookstove Program Expanding Reach

ZPB vendor forum in Port-au-Prince
ZPB vendor forum in Port-au-Prince

Trees, Water & People's Haiti Program Manager, Jean Gabriel, continues to deliver in Port-au-Prince, expanding the Zanmi Pye Bwa (ZPB) sales force to include vendors in four other Haitian cities.  Since our last Global Giving report, hundreds of stoves have been sold, and prototyping work has started on a new double burner cookstove.  From our years of work in the sector, we know that replacing one burner in a biomass fuel-dependent household only solves half the problem. 

The double burner model we are developing is two fuel-efficient charcoal stoves in one body – a solution not currently offered in the Haitian marketplace, apart from those we sell through our vendors.  Our current goal is to bring the cost of this unit down while keeping quality and durability high.  Purchasing power in Haiti’s urban areas is still low, so we work to educate people on how an investment like this pays for itself in a matter of weeks in fuel savings alone.  Results with lay-away and micro-credit have been growing – we know that once the stove is in a users hands, they will not want to return to their previous stoves.

Your donations are what is driving the successes of this program.  Our long-term goals are to make the ZPB a locally owned product, manufactured, marketed and sold by a network of local entrepreneurs.  We are far enough down the road to know that the product is solid and sought after, and now we are focusing on how to make the venture sustainable.  This includes developing a robust market for replacement parts, compiling a network of artisans who can repair and refurbish the stove, and organizing all these entrepreneurs under a common banner, knowing that this gives our program the best chance of expanding long after we are gone. 

The challenge is big, and we can only tackle it with your help.  Thank you for your support!

Clean cookstoves ready for families!
Clean cookstoves ready for families!
Clean cookstove vendor forum
Clean cookstove vendor forum
Sep 7, 2012

Drought Creates More Urgency for Crop Diversification

Plant trees for a greener future!
Plant trees for a greener future!

Trees, Water & People (TWP) has supported reforestation activities in Nicaragua since 2001, partnering with Proleña to produce trees commercially for Forest Replacement Associations, made up of farmers local to each of three nurseries.  The nurseries were strategically located in communities outside of Managua that are known for biomass dependent industries - one is ground zero for wood fired ceramics in the country, another houses quicklime producers (Calcium Oxide from Limestone) and the third is in a region with a high level of firewood extraction for sale to the urban masses. 

In all three areas where we conduct our work, TWP and Proleña have created a non-profit, independent association of consumers and producers of trees and linked them so that they can produce their fuel locally with fast-growing species, rather than depend on trees from Nicaragua's dwindling forests.  This creates a new income stream for local farmers, and reduces the carbon footprint of the participating industries.  It also opens the door for engaging the community to plant fruit trees, hardwood trees, and fast-growing timber trees produced at the same nurseries.  

Currently, farmers throughout the Caribbean and Meso-america are experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent memory.  Rainy season is three months late, causing massive crop failures and putting pressure on other livelihood activities.  While tragic, this is why TWP encourages farmers to diversify their income streams via tree planting and agro-forestry, because once trees are established, they require less irrigation and maintenance, and are more resilient than seasonal crops.  As climate change rears its ugly head, we will continue to provide communities with strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change on their livelihoods and communities.  

All together now...PLANT MORE TREES!

Firewood extraction + drought harm forests
Firewood extraction + drought harm forests

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