Haiti’s Bare Mountains

Haiti mountains

Years of deforestation have left Haiti’s mountains bare. Photo by Brian Tabben for CRS

CRS staff in Haiti have provided us with photos of deforested mountains in the Seguin area of Haiti. Photos by Brian Tabben for CRS.

Severe deforestation continues to force Haiti into a cycle of disaster.

With 99 percent of its mountains plucked clean, annual storms cause immeasurable damage to low-lying cities and villages. We saw this with the past succession of storms–Faye, Gustav, Hanna and Ike–which affected each of the island-nation’s 10 departments.

Without protective trees, mountains are unable to absorb rain water that subsequently sends floods to Haiti’s valleys. In the case of Gonaives, Hurricane Ike caused an estimated 3.2 million cubic yards of silt from the bare hillsides to flow into the city.

Haiti mountains

Deforested mountains in Haiti. Photo by Brian Tabben for CRS

Haiti mountains

Defortested mountains such as these send tons of mud into Haiti’s valleys following annual storms. Photo by Brian Tabben for CRS

Kai T. Hill

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One Response to “Haiti’s Bare Mountains”

  1. Pierre Shostal Says:

    This is a message for Greg Elder, program manager for Haiti.

    Greg,

    I am a member of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill (ICOH) in Alexandria, Virginia. Paul Faeth is also a member of this congregation. Thanks to Paul, we became aware of the need to restore the water distribution system in Labrande, near Gonaives. We understand that several weeks ago $10,000 was needed to complete this work. The ONE Campaign committee of ICOH has decided to allocate $5,000 for this project and has obtained a commitment from another Alexandria organization for a further $200 for this project, making a total of $5,2000.

    I would appreciate it if you would let me know the address to which this money should be sent. It would also be very helpful to know how much more money is needed to complete this project. With this information, we can contact other nearby congregations to encourage them to make donations.

    Many thanks in advance for helping us make the next steps in this process.

    Sincerely,
    Pierre Shostal

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