In the early 1900s, forests covered nearly 60 percent of Haiti. Today, they cover less than 2 percent due to deforestation. Since most Haitians still depend on wood and charcoal as their primary fuel source, deforestation will continue until the government enforces regulation and provides alternative fuel. Deforestation has led to soil erosion, which has decreased agricultural yields and resulted in deadly landslides.
The reconstruction and redevelopment of Fondwa and APF is a long term effort that must be driven, managed, and sustained by the people of Fondwa. APF embraces community development and understands that protecting the environment can lead to a more prosperous economy. APF also believes that the work done in Fondwa can serve as a model for all of rural Haiti and other global communities.
APF has organized many tree-planting projects, and continues to educate the peasants on this issue. Our friends from Cuba spent several years working with us on agriculture, animal husbandry, and reforestation.
Creation of 10 Irrigation Reservoirs
Time will be devoted to building 10 open pit water reservoirs to be used for the irrigation of the crops and the fields. Historically, there has been no irrigation in Fondwa and this has resulted in the past in loss of crops and economic disaster for the peasants, in the years of severe drought. The reservoirs will receive runoff water from the drainage ditches along the Fondwa road (the road that leads to the village) and they will be adjacent to the first 5 km of the road between Anbatonel and the Catholic church at Twou Kofi, on a location selected and suggested by the Peasant Association of Fondwa.
In the past, there have been years of dry seasons. At these times, the peasants have lost their crops. Farming is their main source of food and income. Irrigation reservoirs will help them prevent future devastation by collecting rainfall runoff and storing it for times of need. The use of the reservoirs will lessen the impact of severe soil erosion, a very serious problem in the mountains of Haiti.
Additionally, there is a number of agricultural projects in the area, which require a constant water source, such as the reforestation nurseries and kitchen vegetable gardens already being implemented by our local partner. The building of the reservoirs will facilitate these projects, something which will undoubtedly contribute to the well being of the participants.
The implementation of activity 2 will result in the building of 10 open pit reservoirs, which will provide the beneficiaries with accessible water for the irrigation of fields and crops, irrigation of kitchen vegetable gardens and nurseries, but also the watering of available livestock. It is anticipated that 10 farmers on whose farms the reservoirs will be dug and their families (approximately 80 people) will benefit from this activity, alongside 600 more people, as each reservoir will bring water to an additional nine farms.
The implementation of the activity, will be structured as follows:
- Initial training for outreach workers and community education regarding the importance of crop irrigation. The outreach workers will be available to provide support and know how to the beneficiaries during project implementation.
- Selection of beneficiaries and sites.
- Training in building, using and maintaining the water reservoirs.
- Procurement of materials and equipment and subsequent construction (digging, pipe laying, concrete work. The construction of the water reservoirs, which will be subcontracted, will be supervised by an engineer at all times.
- Follow up regarding compliance with conditions of participation of beneficiaries, which will be specified beforehand.
- Follow up regarding proper use and maintenance.
In selecting sites for the construction of the reservoirs, selection criteria will be elaborated prior to implementation, with the close cooperation of the Peasant Association. Priority will be given to areas, where members have an active history of participation in the projects of the association, in order to multiply results. Laborers will be recruited from the region and participants will be involved directly in the implementation of the activity