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but, .....I repeat myself.
Suppose you were a heartless bastard, and suppose you were a Republican, but, .....I repeat myself. Mark Twain
Sunday, March 14, 2004
NY Times - Life Is Hard and Short in Haiti's Bleak Villages
Published: March 14, 2004
PLAINE DANGER, Haiti, March 11 — Diplomats call Haiti "a failed state," a nation done in by dictators and disasters.
What that means is a hungry life and an early death for five million people in Haiti's little villages, places like Plaine Danger, 500 miles from Florida and light-years from Port-au-Prince, the capital, where President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fell last week.
Mr. Aristide always promised to make life better in Haiti, where public health, education and the economy have been collapsing for decades. But he never did; no Haitian leader ever has, and many made life worse. Governments and juntas rise and fall, 15 in the last 18 years, doing nothing to stop Haiti from sliding into the sea.
Haiti is slowly disappearing. The soil slides away from its steep hills, where all the trees are turned to charcoal, the only thing people can sell for a profit.

While not particularly knowledgeable about ecology, I remembered reading that Bamboo could grow to full size in 5 year and could be used to prevent erosion, so I did a little googling on Bamboo and came up with some interesting information.

With a tensile strength superior to mild steel (withstands up to 52,000 Pounds of pressure psi) and a weight-to-strength ratio surpassing that of graphite, bamboo is the strongest growing woody plant on earth with one of the widest ranging habitats of more than 1500 species thriving in diverse terrain from sea level to 12,000 feet on every continent but the poles. It also grows the fastest: clocked shooting skyward at 2 inches an hour. Some species grow one and a half meters a day.

Bamboo is the fastest growing canopy for the regreening of degraded lands, and its stands release 35% more oxygen than equivalent stands of trees. Some bamboo even sequester up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide from the air per hectare. Bamboo can also lower light intensity and protects against ultraviolet rays. Traditional belief holds that being in a bamboo grove - the favorite dwelling place of Buddha - restores calmness to emotions and stimulates creativity.

lDENDROCALAMUS ASPER Probable height in Southern California within 3 years = 20'
Probable ultimate height in Southern California = 60'
Height in habitat = 100'
Loses leaves around 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Loses canes around 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dies around 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
If growing in the ground it prefers to grow in full sun.
A clumping bamboo - rhizomes will not run sideways.
Minimum soil depth required for a healthy plant = 2'
Unrestrained rhizome depth in moist soil = 3'

I am not sufficiently conceited to believe that I am the first person who thought of using Bamboo in Haiti to prevent Erosion, after doing a little more research I came up on the following site Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment. I know nothing about the organisation other than what I have read on their website, if anyone is familiar with their work, please let us know if they are worthy of our financial support.

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