Trees, Water & People’s Haiti project has taken center stage this year at Aprovecho Research Center’s Stove Camp in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Every year, 50 stove designers, practitioners and hobbyists get together to share best practices and tackle the challenges found in the field. Reports from Trees, Water & People’s trip to Haiti in April/May 2010 have inspired the latest challenge: Design or modify a charcoal stove that 1.) Is easy to replicate in-country; 2.) Can be sold at a reasonable cost compared to traditional alternatives; and 3.) Reduces charcoal consumption and carbon monoxide emissions by at least 40%.
It’s always challenging to create a solution to a field problem in a lab thousands of miles away from the intended population. However, with ten experienced individuals providing first-hand information from Haitian cooks and tests, this group has the combined expertise to develop principles that will lead to an effective and successful design. Aprovecho’s state-of-the-art laboratory, workshop, and decades of experience in the field of fuel-efficient stoves routinely produce timely and accurate information for stove practitioners around the world. This year’s Stove Camp intensive focus on Haiti means that all information collectively generated will have a positive impact on our ongoing efforts to help rebuild the country.
With only two days left in the GlobalGiving Green Open Challenge, Trees, Water & People needs your support! A tremendous thank you to everyone who has donated to our project. Please continue to share with your family and friends and help us spread the word about our important work in Haiti.
Haiti is the poorest and least developed country in the Western Hemisphere. The population suffers greatly from widespread disease and inadequate health care. A long history of political instability has further plagued the country and its nine million inhabitants, and has resulted in necessary international intervention. The country is also vulnerable to frequent natural disasters, such as the devastating 7.0 earthquake that struck the capital city of Port-au-Prince in January 2010.
Environmental degradation is also a major concern in Haiti, as it decreases the country’s resistance to natural disasters. Deforestation is a particular problem - 98% of native forests have been cut down, largely to provide wood to make charcoal for use in cooking. It is estimated that 90% of Haiti’s urban population cooks with inefficiently produced charcoal, including charcoal illegally manufactured and imported from the neighboring Dominican Republic.
In addition to the consequences that charcoal production has on Haiti’s forests, the use of inefficient stoves also negatively impacts the health and finances of its people. Women and children are particularly vulnerable to burns and acute respiratory infections due to exposure to open fires and the toxic emissions and particulates produced. According to the World Health Organization, 1.6 million women and children around the world die each year from respiratory diseases caused by deadly indoor air pollution. In Haiti, charcoal is a financial burden on families as well, consuming up to 25% of their meager income. Many Haitians survive on less than US$1 a day.
Since 2007, Trees, Water & People has been committed to improving the environment, health, and economic situation in Haiti. By participating in the GlobalGiving Green Open Challenge, we will be able to provide fuel-efficient Rocket stoves to 1,344 families still struggling to rebuild their lives after the country's most recent natural disaster.
We offer our sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported our project. But the Challenge isn’t over yet! Please continue to spread the word and Help us Help Haiti.
Trees, Water & People’s efforts in Haiti continue to move forward with the help of our partners from the International Lifeline Fund who have begun distributing more fuel-efficient Rocket stoves to families displaced by the earthquake. Interactive trainings are being held daily for groups of 20 women - cooking a communal meal, incorporating environmental education, and singing Haitian songs that speak of unity, hard work, and care for the earth. We have cultivated additional partnerships with several local and international organizations that are helping to spread a common message of the importance of environmental stewardship in vulnerable times. Trees, Water & People looks forward to building a resilient national industry for forest-saving, life-changing stoves in Haiti.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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