Dear Members and Friends:
On behalf of our Board of Directors and myself, I want to thank you for your continuous support. Your assistance has helped us to continue our work for the past 19 years.
The last hurricane season was catastrophic for Haiti because the island was hit by not one, but 4 storms. The death toll and destruction of property has been the worst in centuries. My concern is that the recovery has been very slow and we are already at the end of March. Before we know it, the next hurricane season is going to be here.
Thinking about this desperate situation, my friend Gene Tinnie recently shared his opinion with me in an e-mail which I would like to share a few lines with you:
“I thought about you yesterday when I had a somewhat belated heartwrenching moment as I was waiting for an appointment and had an opportunity to see the September 2008 issue of National Geographic.
With a brief but shocking article on Haiti, where people were reduced to eating cakes made of clay. We know that poverty is not a natural situation (although it may arise temporarily from natural disasters: floods, storms, earthquakes etc).
Poverty is artificially and systematically created. Poor neighborhoods are made by conscious intent on the part of those who profit from such disparity. Material poverty, in turn engenders all the other related problems: high rates of illness and mortality, desperate competitions for resources leading to crime,etc).
The map and photograph of the island showed a parched and denuded Haiti adjacent to a green Dominican Republic on the SAME ISLAND. How is that to be explained? Why should nature behave differently on different sides of a political border? This is the result of human, rather than natural history.
All of this, made me think of you and Operation Green Leaves. It does seem that both stories – that of Haiti’s quietly kept devastation, and that of heroic efforts like OGL-need to be told to wider audiences. I believe the answer is to do what we can, and to do it well (or not at all). Everything in Divine Time. The situation is dire and urgent, but we can take the time to be well informed so that we may inform others. I sincerely believe that the extreme poverty in Haiti is directly linked to the environmental destruction of the Island, therefore I urge the governmental agencies in Haiti, the professionals, business leaders and nongovernmental organizations to make the environmental issues in Haiti a priority. Haiti needs a National Environmental plan where all spectrum of the society is involved.”
Join us online every Saturday at 10 AM EST on BlogTalkRadio.com. Click on the ON AIR tab and look for Eco-Alert with Nadine Patrice. Or, go directly to our show page: www.blogtalkradio.com/oglhaiti.
Every Saturday at 10 AM EST, the Operation Green Leaves’ radio program is on BlogTalkRadio.
The 13 September show featured three callers who were in Haiti during Hurricane Ike. They talked about the extensive damage caused by flooding and how a reforestation program is desparately needed before all of the top soil is washed into the sea.
One of the guests spoke Kreyol. Nadine does a basic translation to English. Click here to listen to the show:
EcoAlert with Nadine Patrice
As I watched the news this morning regarding all the hurricane relief help going to my people in my beloved Haiti, including some U.S. elected officials flying to Haiti with supplies, and some Hollywood celebrities like Matt Damon, I am very grateful and thankful for their help, and for caring for the plight of our people in Haiti. However, I have seen these images before.
I saw the catastrophic impact of Tropical Storm Jeanne, followed by all the help from all over the world, yet this hurricane season was even worse.
We did not learn our lesson, did we?
Preparation. Advance Warning. Evacuation. If there was a plan, it was not implemented!
The urgency of feeding and taking care of the victims needs will be addressed today, and in the coming months. But my question is – What will happen after the immediate humanitarian aid is delivered?
We encourage the Haitian people to ‘focus on the future.’ Elected officials from other countries bring assistance, and go home. Celebrities use their status, and drift away.
We must use whatever tools are available to DEMAND that the authorities and elected offficials make a real comittment to make building a basic infrastructure a top priority in their plans. They need to start with the principal cities in each of the Departments: PORT-AU-PRINCE, CAP HAITIAN, PORT-DE-PAIX, GONAIVE, CAYES, JACMEL & JEREMIE.
Excuses and corruption can not be tolerated.
If these main cities had a basic infrastructure – Strong Roads and Bridges, Electricity, Water, Hospitals, a working phone system, public housing, well-built school buildings that could be used for shelters, and an organized, efficient & competent local government – the impact of these storms would be significantly reduced.
THEY MUST BEGIN A NATIONAL REFORESTATION PROGRAM, TODAY!
For more info. visit: www.oglhaiti.com.
Today our Radio Show “Eco Alert with Nadine Patrice” was dedicated to all the hurricane victims of Haiti and their families. Our prayers are with them and most of all, we promise that we will never stop advocating for their rights. We will speak up in Unity with One Voice with all the ecological organizations of Haiti and the world to bring the necessary change in Haiti, so the next time we have such an active hurricane season the impact is not as catastrophic.
Today, we had guests from several enviromental organizations working on the ground in Haiti as well as abroad. We had The executive director of “Societe Audubon of Haiti,” Jean Vilmond Hilaire; Ney Joseph Belancourt with “Pennies for Trees,”; Jane Wynne with “Wynne Farm Ecological Preserve; Gabrielle Vincent of “Sonje Ayiti,” and Anceleau Joseph with “Group Vision Marien”.
I want to also mention that Bobby Chauvet, with “Federation des Amis de la Nature” (Federation of Friends of Nature and Gesner Champagne of “Fondation Seguin” were also invited but able to call at this time. We hope to have them on the show in the near future.
Since the early 1980s, Bobby Chauvet, a champion of promoting ecological restoration in Haiti, has been warning us about the possiblity of catastrophe if nothing was done to halt the rapid deforestation in Haiti. This week, possiblity became reality.
The good news is that TODAY at this time all the ecological organizations have decided to work together toward the ecological restoration of our beloved Haiti. We have decided to speak with ONE voice, to speak up so we can encourage the authorities and elected officials in charge to take the necessary actions so we will be better prepared by the next hurricane season.
We made a committment to make reforestation a top priority and demand that it becomes a National Project where all the environmental organizations will work together to make it happen.
If you missed the show, you can listen to it by visiting www.oglhaiti.com and click on the BlogTalkRadio logo.
Our message today on the show was urgent, we need it to reach as many people as possible, so please share the link and general information with others. We need your help to replant and reforest Haiti, please go online and make a donation toward our reforestation projects in Haiti. DONATE at www.oglhaiti.com or mail your tax deductible donations to: Operation Green Leaves Inc. P.O.Box 5254, Coral Gables, Florida 33114
We are in need of seeds and seedlings to distribute to the farmers in Haiti, as one of our guests on the show explained today, it is urgent that we provide seed and seedling to the farmers because OCTOBER, is planting season in Haiti for the farmers and they will need to rebuild the agricultural resources in the aftermath of these destructive storms. If they are not in a position to have the seeds and seedlings, they wil cut more trees to make more charcoal to sell to have the money to buy what they need. In 1980 there was stil 10 to 15% of forest cover left, TODAY, there is less than 1% and it could quickly diminish even more because the 3 most forested areas left are “Pic Macaya” which is the rain forest of Haiti, “Parc La Visite” and “The Pine Forest”. Most likely they are the areas they will they will start cutting. So please we need your help TODAY, visit www.oglhaiti.com and make your DONATION.
I was really hoping that after Tropical Storm Jane 4 years ago the authorities and elected officials in Haiti would of learned something and would of taken preventive measures, and be ready to implement their hurricane preparedness plan, but instead watching these horrific pictures, In my opinion, there was no evacuation plan, no prevention plan, and most of all the population was left to fend for themselves. The conditions in which people in these affected areas were living in, in the first place is not acceptable in 2008. I have been warning the people of Haiti and global friends about these catastrophic scenarios for years because of the serious deforestation situation in Haiti. Most of the mountains of Haiti are totally dunuded, we currently have less than 1.5% for forest cover left…So these deadly flash flood are the results of these conditions. Today I am inviting members of Operation Green Leaves, all Haitian Citizens abroad and in our homeland and friends of Haiti to make a personal committment to speak up and take some action to help bring the necessary change in Haiti so the next hurricane season the deadly impact will be reduced. This Saturday on our weekly radio show “Eco Alert with Nadine”, will be dedicated to all the hurricane victims in Haiti. We will be discussing, short, long and permanet solutions to this crisis. for more info. visit: www.oglhaiti.com