Haiti and potential of Permaculture

Permaculture is an approach to designing agricultural systems which can be modeled on the relationships and human settlements.

Permaculture is not unsustainable land use layout. This is founded on biological and environmental principles, using routines that happen to minimize and effect work.

Permaculture aims to create secure, productive systems that provide for human needs incorporating the property with its inhabitants.

The environmental processes of their nutritional cycles, creatures, plants, climatic variables and weather cycles are part of the image.

Inhabitants’ needs are supplied for using proven technologies for energy, food, shelter and infrastructure.

Components in a system are seen in relationship to other components, where the output signals of one component become the inputs of another.

Within a Permaculture system, work is minimized; “wastes” become resources, productivity and returns increase, and surroundings are restored.

Permaculture principles can be applied to any surroundings, at any scale to individual houses from dense urban settlements, from farms to whole areas.

The earthquake hit Haiti in January 2009. Many reports determine that the greater life threatening situations were sanitation and water. Before the earthquake, there was a lack of city-wide water or sewage systems in the area. And there had always been a problem due to the waterborne disease but the risk became dire in the chaos after the quake.

In some areas the resources were almost non-existent and it was difficult for the rescue organizations to reach those places for weeks. This is where permaculture helped as a solution by using local resources that were not occupied by others for handling un-filtered water and human waste.

There was a problem for rescue teams to reach the quake zone as Port Au Prince airport was the only international airport that was near the war zone. But the roads were nearly unpredictable. However, many organizations managed to reach there.

The first team to reach there was Monika Chikhart and Mark Illian from Nature Healing Nature. They were specialized in teaching the people around the world on how to filter water with low-tech methods with the use of locally available substances like cloth and sand, plastic bottle and sand.

The second team to reach there was the team of Rodrigo Silva from Portugal that has build compost toilets for 30000 people at a time at European festivals.

The water team immediately set to work showing the people that how they can filter their own water. They took help from the sanitation team. Their educational work had a lot of potentials to save lives because the water filtration has traditionally been poor in Haiti.

The death rate from dysentery and other water borne diseases was high even before the earthquake.

The horrible sanitation in the make-shift hospitals was the cause of deaths of many injured people who survived from the quake. Operations were happening in the makeshift tents with improvised tools because all the hospitals in the area were damaged. The sanitation team contributed in this as well as they could.

Permaculture helped the Haitians to learn on how they can consume their own resources in a better way.


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