Trees for the Future, a leading nonprofit organization planting trees worldwide through seed distribution, agroforestry training, and in-country technical assistance, says the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti can be blamed on many things: poor sanitation, the lingering effects of January’s earthquake and inadequate medical care, but the deeper problem is deforestation.
Over 98 percent of the country has been deforested by logging and improper environmental management. The resulting lack of biodiversity leads to impoverished soil, which is more susceptible to erosion. The eroded hillsides cause deadly mudslides during heavy rains and pollute drinking water. Farmers find it harder to grow nutritious food, and Haitians become malnourished, leaving them vulnerable to diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and cholera. The chain of events moves forward with a cold logic; an unhealthy ecosystem results in unhealthy people.
To read “The Roots of Cholera in Haiti: Lack of Trees” written by Ethan Budiansky, head of Africa and Caribbean programs for Trees for the Future, go here
About Trees for the Future
Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md. and founded in 1989, Trees for the Future is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization helping communities around the world plant trees. Through seed distribution, sustainable management and agroforestry training, and in-country technical assistance, it empowers rural groups worldwide to restore tree cover to their lands, protect the environment and help to preserve traditional livelihoods and cultures for generations. To learn more, visit their site.