by Monica Roy, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL)
Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, or SOIL, is one of our reforestation partners in Haiti. In this new post, Monica Roy provides an update of the 10,000 Trees for Haiti project that donors helped us fund at the end of 2012.
It’s been quite a year so far for SOIL! Among our many activities, we’re currently building a new office for our Cap-Haitien team in order to be closer to the SOIL farm and to reduce our long-term operating costs, we’re continuing to scale up our innovative new social business model for providing affordable sanitation services in Haiti’s most impoverished urban communities, and we’re transforming over 20,000 gallons of human waste every month into rich, organic compost critical for agriculture and reforestation. We sell some of the compost to support our ongoing sanitation activities, but some of it is used at our tree nursery to grow healthy trees.
Thanks to the support of Trees, Water & People, SOIL’s reforestation projects in Haiti continue to have a positive impact on improving food security, increasing rural incomes, and fighting soil erosion.
We’re happy to announce that we’re now almost halfway to our goal of planting 10,000 trees. There were a few hold-ups figuring out the best strategy to plant trees with a higher rate of survival (those pesky goats!), but we are on track to finish planting by the end of the year. So far, we have collaborated with the Scouts of Haiti, schools, community organizations, and our neighbors near the farm. There has been lots of positive feedback and a growing wait list for people interested in planting trees in their communities.
In the SOIL nursery, we focus on seeding fruit trees, which provide so many additional benefits beyond just re-planting Haiti’s largely deforested land. Not only will these trees help stabilize soils, they will also provide shade, food to eat, and an income for local people.
In the coming months and years, we will continue working with schools, community groups, and entrepreneurs to plant more and more trees in ecologically vulnerable areas such as mountainsides and mangrove terrain along Haiti’s coastline. We’re committed to ensuring that not only are we planting more trees every year, but also that we’re following up to make sure those trees have a lasting positive benefit for Haiti’s soil, environment, and people.
We’re very excited to continue this work with Trees, Water, & People and we thank everyone in Haiti and around the world that have supported this effort.