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#4217: Driver replies to Sheetz on Chabon and Cachon (fwd)
From: Tom F. Driver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Katherine Sheetz respnded to my post about deforestation in and around
Fondwa by saying that "the pigs were very important, and trees were lost as
a result, but the effects of poverty, overpopulation, etc. were there even
before the loss of their pig population."
I did not mean to say that the loss of pigs BEGAN the deforestation, only
that it had grown much worse since then. This is what people who grew up
there told my Witness for Peace delegation. I would love to see the photos
of the area from 1985 that Katherine mentions. Perhaps she can tell me
where to find them.
As for the work being done in the area by PADF with USAID funding, I can
speak only of some of the terracing, which I saw at first hand and discussed
with the people at APF. Some of those terraces were rained out the day
after being cut. Besides, the farmers had been told to plant tubers in them
to hold the soil, which is not such a good idea since tubers have to be dug at
harvest time, disturbing the terrace soil.
I won't say that USAID does nothing good in the region, but it is often
inefficient; and it is working under a policy guideline that does not
eencourage the re-building of Haiti's agriculture for domestic consumption.
In reply to:
Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 10:52:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: katherine sheetz <email@example.com>
I'm responding to Tom Driver's post on the strides made in the
Fondwa mountain area, and his statement -- "These projects give
the lie to people such as we met among the staff at the USAID office
in Port au Prince who say that Haitians cannot or will not do anything
to improve their situation." The very obvious terracing and
reforestation all along the road to the APF center and the watershed
of the Grande River there, has been managed by PADF with the
funding coming from USAID. Maybe USAID should examine where
their money went! Also, the deforestation in Fondwa, from photos of
the area in 1985 is not different from today. My point being, I'm sure
the pigs were very important, and trees were lost as a result, but the
effects of poverty, overpopulation, etc. were there even before the
loss of their pig population.
There have been many layers of events and situations that resulted in
the devestation one sees today in Haiti. I certainly am not trying to
get anybody off the hook, but I think it is impossible to diagnose the
erosion and present difficulties that have resulted on one event. There
are other valuable lessons to be learned.