By Croix Thompson - Caribbean & West African Regional Program Manager
During this past Summer, Trees for the Future started a new project in another environmentally vulnerable community of the Arcadine coast called Bethel. The community of Bethel has shown great interest in our work. The specific support that Bethel requires from Trees for the Future consist of reforestation, Bethel River bank protection, agro-forestry training and agricultural support. Trees for the Future aims is to progressively respond to these needs as resources allow. During this reporting period, the community groups convened and established the community nursery. During the establishment of nurseries, the groups were taught the importance and benefits of planting trees on their lands. They also learned the proper ways of establishing and taking care of their nurseries. They specifically learned that tree planting restores nutrients to barren lands, helps to maintain water tables, and solidifies soil on the hillsides which deters landslides. Furthermore, the community groups were also taught that the damages from the natural disasters of the earthquake of 2010 as well as the hurricanes and tropical storms that have hit Haiti were compounded due to the neglect of the environment. They have also learned that agroforestry is the solution to overcoming the damages to natural disasters in juxtaposition to the challenges of poverty and food security.
During the next period, it is estimated that the community groups will be able to give 10,000 baby trees to farmers and community groups throughout the area. A few of the species are Swietenya Macrophylla, Cedrela Odorata, Morenga Olefeira, Cassia Senna, and Mangifera Indica. Furthermore, they will learn the specific agroforestry technologies that will benefit their environment as well as protect their land from soil erosion and the community from landslides. The specific agroforestry technologies are intercropping, live fencing, contour farming, and sylvopastoral systems.
The community groups are thankful to all the donors for helping them have access to logistical materials that will allow them to work themselves out of poverty and vulnerability to natural disasters. Moreover, they kindly request that all donors come to Bethel and see for themselves the wonderful work that their donations are going towards.
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