The organizations Lambi funded had concrete goals to plant 438,000 new trees over a period of 24 months. Over the past 15 months, farmers and community dwellers have seeded 316,482 trees of many species, comprising 65.1% of the goal. The remaining production of 34.9% will be part of the focus for the current participant partners. In addition 2019 projects will be added to the projected goal for 2020 as they are approved and initiated. During these seasons over a 26,000 km2 of land, we have experienced drought and rainfall sometimes so excessive to create flooding. This year we lost 4.2% of the new seedlings due to lack of rainwater and drought. The example of KOKAP (Koordinasyon Kafe aK Kakao) was one that shows the challenges and the creative strategy of the farmers in order to survive.
Going to Petit Trou de Nippes was a long day travel starting at 7 in the morning. Once off the main route, we traveled miles in a bus on a winding path that barely fit two cars. We crossed rivers to avoid deep ravines. We barely made it climbing one major hill in a river crossing. A motorcycle came by and honked. We stopped and there in the front of the driver was our spare tire. The spare had falling in the river and we were embarking on the road unknowingly. How grateful we were to the moto driver. After a two hour slow ride on the bus, we arrived and met the members of KOKAP. In their elaborate reception, they shared about the project, their excitement and their work. We began walking down the roadand turned right into a tiny pathway. Going down was staggering but landing down next to the bed of the river we saw the many seedlings growing. "Why there?" I asked.
"We can always get water," one member said. There were drums filled with water by the volunteers who not only made sure that the drums were full but they fetched the water and followed a schedule to water the pants. There were literally thousands of cacao trees sprouting and growing. It was clear that the community cared and will assure the growth and regeneration of the cacao. This year the focus is on the coffee trees. Many members are active in the monitoring and assuring the strategic placement of each tree within selected areas to protect water source, improve green coverage and assuring the continuation of species specific to their localities.
Through this visit, board and staff are well versed on the efforts that the community invested in reforesting and caring to make their community green again. We hope the model of collaboration and cooperation is one that is viewed and adopted broadly in Haiti for more reforestation nationwide.
The changes in climate are continuing to impact with unprecedented winds, rain and changing periods for planting. We realized we are learning along with our partners as we improve awareness in our trainings and education sessions and regional trainings. The continued dialogue between monitors, agriculturist and the board of the Lambi Fund is an important aspect of our continued growth. All board members attended the meeting and partook in the visit to KOKAP.
The nurseries have produced both forest and fruit trees. The production of fruit trees is essentially a revenue producing and food provision activity. This year the major focus has been in fruits, especially citrus such as orange, lemon and grapefruit Others planted include mango, avocado, papaya, chestnut, coffee and cacao, calabash, pine, white pine, cedar, and mahogany.
For the last few years, citrus has suffered with insect diseases that has destroyed many trees. There is an impetus among our partners to renew the citrus species especially lemon, sour lemon, limes and grapefruit that are part of the daily staple used in cooking and feeding in the country.