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.
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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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