Rebuilding Haiti Through Leadership and Innovation

Join us Saturday, January 15, 2011, as we commemorate those we’ve lost and prepare for the future reconstruction of Haiti. The Simact team in collaboration with the Haitian American Business Network (HABNET) and Public Private Alliance Foundation has organized a public forum to discuss Haitian Reconstruction focusing on agriculture and alternative fuels.

SIMACT and several partner organizations are creating a project to help replace wood and charcoal fires by cookstoves fueled by sugar ethanol. Both stoves and fuel are to be produced in Haiti. Cooking over noxious fumes is currently the chief use of energy in Haiti. It has stripped the country bare, and makes the land and the people ever more vulnerable.

Our project combines non-profit and for-profit actors within and outside Haiti to focus on:

*Simple Clean Cook stoves from a well-known marine and leisure camping company,

*Syrup from a Haitian sugar mill and local sugar farmers,

*Conversion of syrup into fuel by community-level micro-distilleries,

*Target populations of low-income families, street vendors, and small businesses,

*Support by local and international relief organizations to people displaced by the earthquake,

*Participation by Haitian-American investors and supporters of micro-finance,

*Increased jobs and earnings by Haitian farmers and small entrepreneurs, and

*Improved health, especially for women and children, and decreased deforestation.

Exposure to smoke from traditional cook stoves and open fires-the primary means of cooking and heating for nearly three billion people in the developing world-causes 1.9 million premature deaths annually, with women and young children the most affected. Cookstove smoke contributes to a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts such as early childhood pneumonia, emphysema, cataracts, lung cancer, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, and low birth weight. The World Health Organization estimates harmful cookstove smoke to be the fourth worst overall health risk factor in developing countries.

SIMACT’s aim on the 15th is to host presentations and discussions on cookstoves and ethanol fuel as a humanitarian and business opportunity in Haiti. The featured speaker on stoves will be Harry Stokes from Project Gaia, and that on fuel and microdistilleries will be David Blume from Blume Distillation, LLC Stokes and his staff have been working with us to get started in Haiti, and Project Gaia is active in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Madagascar and Brazil. Blume has a lengthy career in research and promotion of alcohol fuels at community level in the USA and elsewhere, first for blending into gasoline for cars, along with agricultural co-products, and more recently for other uses including fuel for cookstoves.

The session will be from 3 to 6 pm at the Simact House.

Simact Foundation

2687 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210

347.985.2167 and 347.996.3245

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