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5409: Re: Laleau responds to #5397: Re: #5389: Scrapwood to Charbon (fwd)

From: NLaleau@aol.com

Dear John,

Ideally one would get away from charbon completely, as you point out. I think 
that is a way into the future -- the best intermediate solution, I used to 
think, would be the one the Dominican Republic is using -- subsidized propane 
and cheap small stoves (like the camping stoves we use in the US, I think -- 
I used them in rural Ecuador 30 years ago and the campesinos liked them). The 
long-term solution would be way in the future, probably, and would have Haiti 
using the "greenest" fuels available, as, hopefully, the more advanced 
countries will then be using also.

But to "get there from here and now" and prevent further devastation of the 
island's trees, programs not demanding large-scale government or 
international intervention could go a long way toward at least halting the 
erosion. I like the briquet or scrapwood efforts because they can be 
implemented right now by thousands of people or groups and wouldn't take such 
sweeping changes of national or international policy... it's more grassroots, 
and as such, could work, in the short run. 

I think the problem is now -- the hills are eroding at such a fast pace that 
a lot of the country's hills are already  incapable of regeneration. Every 
rainstorm brings the topsoil  and stones of Thomassin and Kenskoff rumbling 
through the ravines of the capital. This process is progressive, like cancer, 
and is much easier to stop in its early stages (which have already passed, as 
you probably know).

Nancy Laleau