John and I arrived in Haiti a week ago to begin the installation of an aquaponic system at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission nwhcm.org. It has been a busy and inspiring week, as we met the many people who keep this operation moving forward and feeding, caring for and nurturing people every day. Executive Director or the mission, Janeil Owen, discovered aquaponics and attended one of our workshops about a year ago. Since then, we planned, designed, built and shipped an aquaponic system and tropical greenhouse to Haiti.
Once we arrived here in St. Louis Du Nord, where the main mission campus is, we began sorting out the 1000′s of individual components, organizing the parts and construction. With help from Haitians and American mission volunteers, we’ve made good progress all week. The site has been leveled, trenches dug, two corner main building posts concreted in place, and some of the greenhouse trusses assembled. By the end of the week, we hope to have many more posts in and a detailed construction plan laid out for the following weeks.
Haiti’s latest crisis, a cholera outbreak that to date has sickened over 3000 people and killed over 250, has not moved into this northwest corner of Haiti. The Haitian people, despite the poverty they live in and are surrounded by are incredibly resilient and friendly.
We are very excited about the launch of this project and the collaboration with NWHCM. I believe that this system is just the start of a new and innovative direction for all of Haiti. Fresh, nutritious food, produced locally and on a large scale has the potential to change the nutritional and economic future of a country that has suffered corruption, poverty, natural disasters.
We look forward to the further development of this project. We will be returning to Haiti again to assist with the aquaponics system installation, to train staff and workers about aquaponic technology and operation of the system and to install the energy system, which consists of solar panels, a battery bank and a generator. I’ll keep you posted on this blog and on our website at aquaponics.com