Stories of Change
Top: Sadira Jeanty. Bottom: Sader Saint Juste
Farmers in Haiti Adapt to Climate Change
If you have ever owned a plant, you’ll know that one of the most important factors in ensuring that your plant survives is the health of its soil. Too much water and your plant might turn yellow. Too little and your plant might slouch over. As temperatures and CO2 levels increase due to climate change, farmers around the world know this challenge well as they struggle to create the necessary soil conditions for their crops to thrive.
In Haiti, we are working to withstand these effects by teaching local farmers soil conservation techniques. These workshops teach members of the community how to build contour canals and rock walls that protect the soil, reduce the risk of erosion and increase the fertility and productivity of crops.
Sadira Jeanty, 76, lives in Nabou with his wife and five daughters. Sadira, who has been struggling with financial instability, joined our training sessions to learn a new way to generate income and care for crops. He shared, “at that training, I learned how to build rock walls and contour canals to diminish the force of the water descending onto our fields so that the soil can remain in place.” By participating in our program, Sadira was also able to earn an income that he can use to pay off existing debts and focus on his crops. He shared, “the money I earned was very useful for me because I owed money, so I paid the debt I had.” Sadira has now built contour canals and is preparing to start growing crops that he knows will be well protected.
Sader Saint Juste is another program participant who lives in nearby Diondion. When he was just 12 years old, he began growing crops on his family’s land. As a young boy, he would collect rocks found on his land and place them in small piles to make space for his crops. Sader, who is now 39, continues to grow crops. He recently attended one of our training sessions on soil conservation and learned how to use rock walls to protect soil. He told us, “I now build rock walls with the rocks, instead of making small piles in the middle of the land.” Sader also used the money he earned while working in our program to buy new seeds to grow crops.
As our planet undergoes extreme changes due to climate change, we are working to equip farmers like Sader and Sadira with the tools they need to withstand these effects. Their resilience and ability to adapt have given them the capacity to continue growing despite the challenges our changing environment brings.
We are thankful for the support of our partners Growing Hope Globally, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Association des Groupes Évangéliques d’Haïti pour la Prédication du Monde et le Développement d’une Nouvelle Génération for making these stories possible.