Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!

by Lambi Fund of Haiti
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Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!
Let's Plant Trees in Haiti, Together!

Since the earthquake last year, Lambi has provided $90,000 USD (8,730,000 Haitian gourdes @ 97HTG/$1 USD) to small farmers and women-led projects to help them resume their economic activities.  These funds allowed the small farmers to resume production of fast-growing crops (some of which have already matured and harvested) and assisted  women-led organizations in replacing merchandise that was lost during the earthquake. A total of 478 members of grassroots organizations have benefitted from this program: 352 farmers and 126 women from organizations across the rural south.  

As a result of the earthquake, several organizations had irrigation systems and potable water systems damaged. There have been many difficulties in these areas for organization members to get potable water.  Members usually walk more than 1 hour to find water from 2-3 sources that have been channeled in the areas.  At times, there is a lot of fighting at these locations because the people are desperate to get water to bring back to their families.

Lambi Fund’s Regional Monitors sat down with several of those organizations who were victims of the earthquake in Okay. The goal was set to provide water towers for the organizations that were most severely affected by this problem, as this system was the most expedient to implement and most cost-effective at that time.  These towers collect rain water to be filtered for drinking and everyday use.  Since Lambi did not have enough funds to dedicate to this project to each organization, the monitors chose only 2 among them to have benefit for a total cost of $30,000 for 20 water towers.  The 2 organizations were RPP and AFGDL.  RPP was provided with 12 water towers and AFGDL 8.  Each water tower holds 1000 gallons each.  More than 300 members of the 2 organizations will have access to the water from the towers. Some of the towers are already in place today and are currenlty collecting rain water.  The installation of the water towers is nearly completed.  

In addition, $22,500 USD has been awarded to 9 organizations to help their members with the reconstruction/reparation of their homes.  The plans are underway and will be completed in early March.  

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The Coronavirus pandemic continues to scar people across Haiti physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. While we are grateful the death toll in Haiti has not hit the astronomical numbers that we have seen around the world, the economic toll has been devastating. Farmers left with harvests that cannot be sold because of quarantine restrictions, land that cannot be planted because of lack of financing or access to supplies, and families unable to buy food. The ripple effect of this pandemic continues to stun many.

The Lambi Fund team shifted gears in the beginning of 2020 with the COVID-19 emergency response program which allowed us to distribute approximately 2,500 masks along with other materials that enabled organization members throughout the Artibonite, South and Northwest regions to protect themselves, their families and community members. Hand soap, disinfectant and buckets were also distributed to build community handwashing stations after information on preventative/safety measures were disseminated during training sessions and public service announcements played for all to hear. The third phase of the program was to provide financial support to organization members, which assisted farmers in acquiring the materials necessary to begin their planting. This started with 14 organizations (seven in the South, seven in the Artibonite). Between those organizations, 350 farmers received funds that made up for the loss they suffered while the country was in lockdown mode making it impossible for them to go about their business of selling goods for income.

In the Artibonite region, 175 farmers were beneficiaries of the COVID relief program.  The selection process was a bit complex up north due to the large numbers of members that each organization had. Only 25 members from each would be selected to receive the funds, so a specific set of criteria had to be applied for it to remain fair and have the most positive impact. The members who were placed at high priority:

1) were the most vulnerable and in need financially,

2) had the greatest number of dependents that they were responsible for,

3) were unable to plant on land that they had already cultivated due to lack of means or

4) were experienced in planting independently along with receiving assistance from their family members as laborers in agriculture.

Several meetings had to take place with the members to ensure that the selection process was being adhered to and that the beneficiaries fit the criteria. This assistance focused in the Gwomon commune as the cultures that they normally plant are faster in producing harvest that could combat food insecurity in the area - even after the pandemic ends. At the time that this phase of the project had commenced, there was excessive rain. The organization members organized “konbit” (collectives) to work and prepare the land. Through this agricultural solidarity, they helped one another in tending to their gardens swiftly so that they would not succumb to weeds or experience any further delays. They planted sweet potatoes, yucca, okra, strain beans and 2-month beans.

On August 14, 2021, once again Haiti experienced catastrophe. A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the southern part of the country, leaving more than 2,200 people dead, 12,200 injured, and more than 50,000 homes and other facilities destroyed. In the area affected by the earthquake, Lambi Fund serves 60 organizations, with an average of 100 members per organization, in 11 districts. Almost all these organizations have sustained losses resulting from the disaster and have contacted LFH for assistance, as they are accustomed to doing in the event of such natural disasters. Formal damage assessments received so far from representatives of 50 peasant organizations served by Lambi reveal the death of 76 members; 1,687 houses demolished; 2,729 damaged; and 279 injured, including 15 with serious injuries. Additionally, many projects lost their mill houses and nursery pergolas. Many irrigation systems that allowed members of the organizations to cultivate crops, are completely destroyed. Other economic activities, such as women’s trade fell flat because many of the members lost everything when their homes collapsed and some ran away from their merchandise at the local market when the earthquake hit. Sources of drinking water have become muddy. Many of the members of the peasant organizations are now homeless and are sleeping on the streets.

Based on damage assessments received so far from the peasant organizations located in the South, Lambi staff has selected the organizations that have incurred the greatest losses and have greater needs of assistance as we launch this new Emergency program. As we continue to receive damage assessments, we realize that conditions are more serious than we thought. We have started to work most closely with 32 organizations. The number of individuals selected by the Lambi staff from each organization varies with the damage recorded in each association. But on average we are working with about 50 people in each organization.

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Planting trees helps recover the depleted Haitian terrain for current and future generations. Haiti is still considered the most deforested country in the western hemisphere. Planting trees not only improves the land and soil to assist farmers with planting, but it also prevents natural disaster like land/mudslides from occurring.
Throughout 2019 and 2020, the Lambi Fund of Haiti continued to extend its environmental management framework to community organizations. The goal is to raise awareness on environmental degradation also to take concrete action to protect the environment. Those actions have mainly focused on 1) tree seedling production to assist in reforestation and 2) training programs which are focused on the environment: tree nursery techniques, climate change, agro-forestry. Fourteen organizations received support from Lambi Fund, including ten that already started projects that were underway and four that launched new projects going into 2020.
More than 1,500 members of the grassroots organizations we partner with participated in all of the activities carried out with these projects in the Artibonite and South regions. Some of the shade trees planted were cedar, cassia, chestnut, acacia, pine and mahogany trees. Some of the fruit trees were papaya, orange, grapefruit, lemon, mango, and avocado. The organizations distributed these seedlings to their members as well as public gathering places around their respective communities such as schools and churches. These seedlings were used to replenish space that is needed for either agroforestry or small community forests of approximately 5-10 hectares.
To accomplish all the tasks set forth throughout the year, Lambi’s staff supports the organizations in the planning and implementation of all project activities. A team of nursery technicians also provide them with the necessary guidance in seedling production in nurseries, distribution, planting and in monitoring the trees.
One of our partners that had the largest production goal was KOKAP. This organization had a production goal of 120,000 of coffee and cacao seedlings. The cacao production was completed back in 2019 and they continued to produce 60,000 coffee trees in 2020 despite several uncontrollable delays. Lambi has extended the evaluation period to make up for that lost time and give them a chance to complete distribution to the members as well as the planting of those trees. As of December 2020, KOKAP has distributed 50,149 coffee trees to 150 members. They are distributing the last 9,851 of the 60,000 coffee trees that are left in the nursery.
Hard work is no stranger to our partners and their resilience shows up during the most strenuous times. As we continue to work closely with our partners in rural Haiti, their strength and dedication to creating better lives for themselves and the people in their communities speaks volumes.  

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Depsite the noise and turmoil, we are keeping our focus steady on the issue of deforestation in Haiti.  Together with 14 of our partner organizations working in sustainable agriculture, nursery techiques, climate change and agroforestry gardens,  we were ablet to assist in planting throughout 10 different communes across the l'Artibonite and Southern Departments.   

More than 1,500 organization members who are planters participated and made these projects a reality.  There have been an amazing 512,184 seedlings already produced and 120,000 that are still actively growing.

A few of the awesome organizations that have been a part of this reality are KOKAP with 60.000 coffee seedlings that are ready for distribution, KOPADET that has successfully produced 11,321 seedlings and OPGDSC that has successfully grafted 2,940 mango tree seedlings.  

So much success to be grateful for, but so much more to do!  We're in this together with our rural partners!

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This year’s challenges have been multiplied with the COVID pandemic. We are beyond proud of our partners in rural Haiti for sticking to their project goals and pushing the much needed reforestation efforts forward. This past month marked the launch of the next cycle in our tree planting movement. 

8 organizations (4 in the North and 4 in the South) have partnered with Lambi to plant 1,000,000 trees over the next two years! Reforestation remains our top priority because trees are vital to the survival of many projects that feed many Haitians.

We hope you are just as committed as we are to this project. We are keeping postitive through our new normal. Sending strength and good health to you all.

 

Together we can continue our mission to plant and reforest Haiti.

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Organization Information

Lambi Fund of Haiti

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LambiFund
Project Leader:
Josette Perard
Washington, DC United States
$60,957 raised of $100,000 goal
 
1,106 donations
$39,043 to go
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