POET Helps Fight Pollution and Deforestation in Haiti
February 24, 2015 - Issue #205View Full Issue
In a partnership effort with Project Gaia to help fight pollution and deforestation in Haiti,POET recently announced its helping to replace Haitian wood-burning stoves with clean-burning, ethanol-fueled cook stoves.
Today, most Haitians rely on charcoal and firewood to cook their daily meals. Consequentially, the nation has experienced extreme deforestation over the years, and now less than 2 percent of Haiti’s forest cover remains. Additionally, the United Nations estimates that the average lifespan in Haiti is shortened by 6.6 years due to illnesses caused by household air pollution, which results from burning wood and charcoal indoors.
“The vision for this project is clear: to bring clean-burning ethanol fuel to the homes in third-world countries in order to improve the standard of living and drive positive socio-economic change,” stated POET Founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Broin. “For decades, we’ve known ethanol to be a clean, renewable fuel for our automobiles, and I look forward to bringing this same clean, renewable fuel to homes across the globe. With the help of our partners at Project Gaia, Dometic and Novogaz, I know we will be successful in our journey to bring clean cookstoves and clean energy to the world.”
“POET is leading the way in catalyzing a new market in Haiti for household energy. Ethanol offers perhaps the greatest opportunity to revitalize the agriculture sector and offer families a clean and affordable alternative to charcoal,” stated Project Gaia Assistant Director Brady Luceno. “By working with a strong local partner like Novogaz, the first shipment of donated ethanol will lay the foundation for a viable and socially responsible Haitian business to grow.”
The first 6,200 gallons of ethanol cleared Haitian customs on December 31, 2014. POET donated approximately 12,000 gallons of ethanol to jumpstart the project.