In 2010, The Foreign Policy magazine, has placed the deforestation of Haiti among the five worst disasters in the world with the fires in coal mines in China, the dispersed oil in the Niger, the draining of the Aral Sea and the trash island in the Pacific.
To this day the 98% of the trees on Haitian’ soil has been cut. The bare mountains proceed in their process of erosion at each rain. Every hurricane or high calamity that befalls this part of the Hispaniola island (the island that includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic) multiplied their destructive force as a result of this environmental tragedy, ravaging entire villages and increasing the already enormous difficulties of the Haitian population.
In a country where poverty is so common, one of the revenue of most of the population it’s given by the roadside sale of charcoal obtained by burning wood under low oxygen. The massive use of this type of coal, together with the search of pasture for livestock, is the main cause of deforestation.
Recently many international organizations had defined the environmental degradation of Haiti to a point of no return. But something is changing. Finally begin to be visible signs of an awareness of the government and of part of the population. In the north and in the south of the country, there are several plans of action against soil erosion carried out by the ministry of agriculture and the rural population with the help of international NGOs. Looking at the bare mountains of Haiti it’s easy to see the waves created by the disintegration of the soil and its descent to the valley, but is no longer rare to observe on the same mountains the retaining walls to combat the phenomenon. Furthermore, those retaining walls allows the stop of the erosion of surrounding land, ensuring a return to the cultures. In a country where the scars of the earthquake of 2010 are still huge, this awareness of the environment could become a realistic hope for an improvement of the food situation too.