Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education
HRI believes Vetiver Grass hedgerows will reconstruct Haiti faster than any form of Aid that can be offered.
When Haitians cut vetiver grass and turn it into pellet energy, the farmers who grow it will get $$.
The ladies who sell it will earn $$. Those who cook with Pellets will live longer.
Instead of cutting the trees for charcoal which eroded the mountains. The vetiver pellets after cooking food turn into charcoal. This biochar holds moisture and microorganisms and produces twice the food.
What is Biofuel?
Today when people hear biofuel they think of it as a renewable source of energy. Actually burning any cellular plant matter is biofuel such as wood or any other biomass, such as sugar cane, corn, cellulose or vegetable oils. The strategic goal of biofuel is to supplement or even replace fossil fuels, the amount of which is constantly and rapidly diminishing.
The main difference between fossil fuels and modern biofuel energy is that the latter is derived from plants that were alive recently, while coal is derived from biological material that has been dead for hundreds and thousands of years.
There is much debate about global weather but there is no debate that CO2 levels have been rising. Trees give off oxygen, actually they just take the carbon our of the air, leaving oxygen. Animals and decaying vegetation create CO2, the only thing that changes is how much carbon is in the air or in the ground.
Benefits and Drawbacks to Biofuel Energy?
There has been much said about the benefits of burning biofuel over fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse grasses. This is true but only if it is burned correctly, the increased needs for energy using fossil fuels puts carbon that was in the ground into the air. The only way to help the air quality is by burning biofuels pyrolitically and putting the carbon from the air back into the ground.
The drawback of Biofuel is using land to produce extra energy, the more demand, the more land required, this could eventually exhaust the soil. Trees have been cut for firewood or to produce charcoal for cooking food for thousands of years. Because of Haiti's mountainous terrain and common heavy rain periods, this has devastated the country.
Haiti Reconstruction's recommendation is a total permaculture solution where natural can take care of itself we just have to speed up the process. Grasses are the 1st things to stop erosion in nature. If we use vetiver planted in hedgerows its 3 meter roots will hold the soil together and the stiff grass will catch leaves and the eroding land above. The terraces will start to form, once eroded land that could grow hardly anything now would be making soil. The grass can be cut 2 to 3 times a year, this grass if used as biofuel will take something from the soil but it will be putting way more back into it as it will not wash away. If this grass is used for our TLUD cooking stove fuel it will make biochar. If this biochar is put in the terraces behind the vetiver it will make much better soil which will hold more moisture and micro-organisms.
In this case burning as biomass fuel this drawback is now a Benefit!
Trees will be saved and grow faster than ever giving off lots of oxygen. The air quality will be better because we will be reducing the CO2 levels.