Help For Haiti Earthquake Aftermath. Giving Green.


Photos: Deforestation, (OGL Haiti) and Earthquake (AFP Twitpic)
UPDATE There is a good post on Worldchanging about how to follow the Haitian earthquake online. "early reports suggest that thousands are likely to be reported dead. Major landmarks, including the Presidential Palace, National Assembly and Port au Prince cathedral have been destroyed." Architecture for Humanity has recent photos. (LA)

Haiti is in chaos after an earthquake registering 7.0 on the Richter magnitude scale has crumbled much of the country's buildings and infrastructure. Considered one of the poorest countries in the Americas, Haiti has, in recent years, had to contend with catastrophic floods, mudslides, hurricanes and the like. Now add earthquake to add to their many woes. Our heart goes out to Haitians and we commend all those who can donate to aid organisations, to contribute what assistance they can.

Yet, while humanitarian aid, including food, clean water, shelter, sanitation and suchlike will be the immediate priorities, we thought it worth noting the good work of green organisations in Haiti, as they will also need support to get back on their feet.The Banana Project
A project that converts the so-called 'waste' of banana 'trees' into quality notepad paper, creating skills and business opportunities for women's groups.
The Banana Project, previously noted here
Viva Rio's Biogas
The Brazilian non governmental organisation (NGO) Viva Rio had built toilets in the slums of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince and transform the human waste in a methane bio-digester to generate biogas and up to 3,000 Watts of energy per day. Viva Rio, previously discussed here
D-Lab's Sugarcane Cookers
The famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and their hardworking D-Lab under the guidance of the indefatigable Amy Smith have developed heaps of appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions, many of which are used by the people of Haiti. These include sugarcane cooking charcoal made from sugarcane waste (bagasse), phase change incubators, low cost water testers and screenless flour hammermills. D-Lab, noted by us here and also at Good magazine
Operation Green Leaves
With less than 2% of Haiti's forest still intact OGL has been initiating reaforestion programs with vigour. For example their Trees for Life campaign plants trees on mountaintops to arrest soil erosion, whilst also providing families in affected areas with kerosene stove as an alternative to cooking with tree-derived charcoal. They've also planted thousands of fruit and forest trees with other partner organizations.
Operation Green Leaves Haiti
The Lambi Fund
This not for profit organisation pursue a variety of environmental and social programs in Haiti. Their sustainable agricultural projects help increase food security and income for peasant families. Their pig and goat breeding projects contribute to the economic development of rural communities. Community cisterns and irrigation systems help communities secure safe and efficient water supplies. And their community-based reforestation projects help curb the most rapid forest destruction in the Western Hemisphere.
The Lambi Fund
Haiti Green Project
As with other Haitian environmental programs the Haiti Green Project has as its primary goal the reforestation of the country. But they believe the problem is so large that it requires all hands on deck if it is to succeed, so they are working not only tree planting projects, but also on endeavours to engage and educate Haiti youth. On programs that will provide them with education, employment and respect in the creation of extensive forests.
Haiti Green Project
Architecture for Humanity
And as expected, the ever reliable and truly awe inspiring Architecture for Humanity group have already swung into action, and have their donation page up, so they can get a grassroots network of architects, designers and building professionals working with the local people of Haiti to provide appropriate buildings and shelter.
Architecture for Humanity

No doubt there are many other very worthy Haitian projects as well, but that short list should give TreeHuggers around the world a starting point from which to find green ways to support the long suffering peoples of Haiti.

Tags: Deforestation | Farming | Forestry | Haiti | Recycling