Is sustainability achievable in third world countries? I am not certain the answer at the moment, but the thought crossed my mind this morning during a church service.
So to start, let’s evaluate why that would be of benefit? Well first off, I will focus on Haiti. We recently sent a team from our church to Haiti to serve the children there. Then we packed 2400 one pound bags of food to send down. Each bag will feed 6 people for one meal. There are some statistics that may be relevant here:
1) Population 9,993,000
2) 45,000 deaths under the age of 5
3) 80% of Haitians live on less that $2 per day, 60% on less than $1 per day
4) It is the third hungriest country in the world
5) The average Haitian eats one meal a day, which also means that many do not eat at all
6) The region is heavily deforested and the soil is very low in fertility.
There are a lot of reasons to develop a sustainable lifestyle for Haitians. There are many orphans that are either poorly treated slaves or basically homeless. The poverty level is so low that there is little recourse for food, other than to buy it at the local market. Many people eat dirt pies, which contain a large amount of internal parasites. These parasites could easily be treated for about 2 cents per treatment.
Now imagine a group of people who can grow their own food and even preserve their own seeds. This would involve a lot of work building up the soil. Composting techniques and rotational planting would aide in building the soil structure and nutrients. The Haitians would need to be taught how to plant, cultivate, harvest and preserve their harvest. Discipline and security would be vitally important as the temptation to eat every bit of food rather than to eat the seeds. The security would be required to protect the harvest.
In third world countries, the problem is often times the government. The government typically has a lot of money and even accepts poverty support from other countries. This support is used by the government, rather than given to the people that need it the most. Third world countries often times have a caste system as well. Creating a sustainable environment, or lifestyle, would possibly circumvent this government suppression of the people.
Well, sorry for the jumbled post, but I have at least been thinking along these lines today. Who knows what will come of it!
Until Next Time!