Project

Chicken Farm- Leogane

Date of Activity: 01 Apr 2010

Developing a self-sustainable communal chicken farm on a cooperative basis for 15 large families in the Signeau area of Leogane

The first group of people in need of help we worked with in Haiti was a small camp in the Signeau suburb of Leogane, the earthquake's epicentre. After making sure every family here had a Shelter Box tent and medical care, as well as basic food and water and activities for children, we had to think to the future after camp life. 

 Having worked with this camp in January and March/April, we found that by the next trip in August they had been made to vacate the school land they had been camping on and had now moved back onto the ruins of their own land, although largely still in tents. We wanted to give this community some kind of communal project which would be widely benficial and which would be a good self-sustainable venture well into the future. Cooperative chicken farms had been implemented and worked well in Sri Lanka and so in agreement with the very keen committee, back at Easter we had decided this would be a great step forward. In August we gathered the whole community together once more to democratrically elect a committee of four including one manager. Each family had the option to opt in or out of the project, and the committee would be responsible for developing the land and running the farm with the help of everyone else. The idea was that each family would be entitled to their share of chickens and possibly vegetables too. The manager, Mario, is a very accomplished builder and so ths suited the project perfectly.

 Once this was achieved, we set about finding the suitable plot of land. This was by no means easy as the convoluted system of land ownership in the country is one of the major hindrances to development with the case often being that no-one was really sure who actually owned the land, especially if they were dead or lived abroad. We eventually managed to find a suitable plot and buy it inside the August trip, but were held up by officials and the mayor with deeds and papers until the next effort in November's short trip. In November we were able to get things moving with the construction and digging a well taking place, and we left the committee of John, Jean-Franz, Serge and the manager Mario to get on with their work. 

 When we came back in February we found that Mario had moved to the site of the land and was spending all of his time working on it, as well as the committee who also had other full-time jobs/education obligations. There was a good wall surrounding the land and a gate, and we really wanted to push things forward. We got all the community together and cleared the land fully, and also began the construction of the chicken coop itself.  The land is beginning to take shape very well indeed, and in little time should be hosting a very large amount of chickens and eggs s to provide the community's kids with essential proteins and also surplus to sell for income. It should be completely self-sustaining, and the more work each member of the community puts in, the more they get out!

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