The result of deforestation is low agricultural yields, and more poverty. Imported fuel is too expensive for most Haitians.
World Concern has helped by promoting and teaching the production of alternative household fuel “briquettes” made from farm waste such as corn stalks, animal manure, leaves, wood shavings, paper, and even the powder and small pieces of charcoal.
The simple and unique press used to make the briquettes was developed by University of Washington Professor of Wood Utilization Technology, Dr. Ben Bryant, and his associates.
Using the press, Haitian families can make their own cooking fuel and sell briquettes to other families, schools, and businesses for income.
The industrialization of the process can provide briquettes on a large scale to bakeries and laundries that are the major users of firewood and charcoal in Haiti.
Over the past six years, World Concern-Haiti has been working with grassroots organizations and individuals to develop models for making and using briquettes.
We are training grassroots groups on how to make them will also produce and donate briquettes to 700 poor families.
At present, families using briquettes are experiencing a savings of $250 per year by not purchasing other sources of cooking fuel.
This comes close to the national average annual income for a Haitian family.
The savings can be used for education, housing, food or health care for a family.