When the annual rains come to Haiti, there are always fatalaties and thousands of people are left homeless. Relief workers are discouraged from continuing mobilizations, knowing that poor people will again construct makeshift homes on the banks and beds of dry rivers during the rest of the year.
In preparation for next year, perhaps an effort to prepare for them might be in order, since here on Hispaniola we have an annual rainy season from May to November. Flooding should not, please forgive me, take us by storm.
Indonesia is going to have a huge, nation wide party to plant 79 million trees in one day. Now, couldn't we do that in Haiti? If everyone could just all agree on what tree?
My vote would be for bamboo, for a variety of reasons. It grows very quickly. It produces food, shelter, timber, and aids in carbon restoration.
Here are a few more of them:
WHAT BAMBOO CAN DO FOR YOU
- Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth. Some species can reach for the sky at the rate of 2 inches per day. Over 120 miles of root system from one plant was discovered throughout a 1-acre area. Bamboo plants managed to survive the nuclear blast at Hiroshima at a point closer to ground zero than any other life form.
- Bamboo can withstand forces of up to 52,000 pounds per square inch, making it the rival of steel.
- Bamboo provided Edison with one of the first ever filaments for the electric light bulb. Alexander Graham Bell used bamboo for the first phonograph needle.
- Few people realise that a significant proportion of Chinese and Asian medicines are extracted from bamboo.
- Australia has at least three, maybe five indigenous bamboos. In Arnhem Land, one species has been used for the past 4,000 years or more to make didgeridoos.