BBC 2009 World Challenge: Online Campaign for Haiti Gains Momentum
By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, October 12, 2009.
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The Decheteries De Carrefour Feuilles factory, founded by CASCAF, was selected among 12 finalists in the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Challenge 09 Competition. This project has created jobs, cleaned up neighborhoods, and made available a reasonably priced alternative to the wood charcoal that has left Haiti's hills and mountains largest deforested. If you also feel that this program deserves to be expanded and replicated, vote for it at the BBC World Challenge website. Bon Chans!
According to Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald, during a speech with South Florida's Haitian community last month, Clinton pulled out an example of the briquette and held it up to the audience as an example of how a deforested Haiti can find alternative sources of energy other than trees.
In response, she describes how City of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones joined forces with South Florida's Haitian community and five U.S. cities -- Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles -- to launch a voting campaign to help Haiti win the competition on behalf of the environmentally friendly project.
According to Vibe, celebrities are coming out in heavy support for the project including actress Garcelle Beauvais, Russell Simmons, Tony Yayo, Jamie Hector and Wyclef Jean. Bill Clinton released a video statement endorsing the project. In the statement he says, "...this project cleans up the neighborhood, reduces the need to cut down trees and is an example of the kind of thing that can be done and replicated all across Haiti and in countries all across the world."
Haiti need a series of interventions to halt and reverse the environmental degradation. This could include electrication of all Port au Prince to reduce the demand for wood charcoal from the countryside, expanding access to subsidized kerosone, creating forestry jobs to plant and protect trees, advancing public/private partnerships to create internal demand for jatropha and other non food based biofuels, and promoting alternative energy sources such as briquettes. Who knows, perhaps one day there will be factories such as this throughout Haiti.
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