Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A day in the life: an eco-friendly Haitian household

A few weeks ago I took the time to leave Jeremie proper and visit Jean Marie Pamphile. Jean Marie is a friend of a friend. Here's the view of his small town, Gomier:
Considering that the availability of electricity is sparse in Jeremie... and Jean Marie lives outside of Jeremie... Jean Marie is doing what he can to make things happen without the need for electricity... and without the need for deforesting Haiti and cooking with charcoal. So he created this contraption to heat / boil his water which is safe for drinking:
He uses this old steel drum to smoke his fish:

This greenhouse is the second and newest phase of his smoked-fish process:

This is the back of his newest latrine, including the cement cap to his runoff tank:
Here's an already full septic tank:
His piggery currently uses this run-off tank:
He's hoping to use all of these waste tanks for the creation of biogas. At the moment, he -- like many wealthier Haitians -- use propane for their energy needs. If he can begin capturing the gas from his waste tanks, he'll be able to use that gas as an alternative to propane. He keeps his goats in this enclosure:
And Jean Marie composts here:

He keeps his bees a fair distance from his house and up a hillside here:
And he can sell the bees wax either locally for voodoo candles or, perhaps someday, internationally for products such as natural cosmetics:
Here's the view directly across the street from his house:
And I took this pic in Gomier, soon after leaving his house:I'm not sure what is happening here. My *guess* is that the oceanside residents are harvesting the rocks and sand from the beach, then merchants come along in a truck and simply buy these piles for use as construction materials. Tim White

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim, is anyone there in contact with the folks in India? Seems they have developed quite a bit in the biogas tech for home and small farm use. One is @ $400

This farmer claims the cost is @$60 for the concrete version.

I spoke with an Indian engineering student, and he said his family used this method with their cattle and it worked well.

I read your blog regularly - ask if you have any questions and I can try to get more info for you - or let me know if there;s a way to contact you that isn't public. It just seems like such a win-win idea, sanitation, fertile soil, and an alternate fuel to stop deforestation. Wonder if this could work with human waste, too? The city of Milwaukee has been doing something like this and they even sell a fertilizer product called Milorganite for decades.