Haiti is located on the boundary between the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates. This is why the island suffers frequently from earthquakes. 300’000 people died in 2010 in Haiti’s worst quake in 200 years. Over 1.5 million were left homeless. Recently, Haiti was struck by several hurricanes that inflicted new damage on an already fragile infrastructure. Helvetas has been active in Haiti on a regular basis since 1983, supporting emergency relief and restoration.
With Helvetas' support, people in various provinces of Haiti get better access to clean drinking water and sanitary facilities in order to prevent the spread of diseases like cholera. Local authorities and communities put together and maintain simple water and sewage systems, such as a chlorination system to disinfect the water or latrines for better hygiene.
Because Haiti is also racked by the problems of massive deforestation and soil erosion, Helvetas is active in sustainable forestry and agriculture. Much of the land is concentrated in the hands of big landowners, forcing the poor, over the course of decades, to clear-cut more and more of the nation’s forests for firewood and farmland.
Helvetas works to promote environmentally sound farming and protect the Forêt des Pins and Lagon des Huîtres nature reserves. The ministry of the environment is working together with the population to develop and implement plans for sustainable forestry and farming. Citizens train in the vital importance of protecting their forests and biodiversity to improve their own living conditions.
Not only the forests, but the soil, too, has been overused in the past. It’s absolutely essential to restore the fertility of the depleted soil and prevent erosion. Farmers learn how to do that, as well as how to manage their irrigation systems more efficiently and market their produce more profitably. This cooperation focuses in particular on adapting agricultural practices to climate change and to the mounting threat of natural disasters, such as droughts, floods and cyclones.
Visit the website of Helvetas Haiti.
If you would like to know more about our work in Haiti, click on each project for details.
Impasse Larose 1, Delmas 60
P.O. Box 15030
6120 Pétion Ville
Phone: +509 28 13 1730