Most kitchens in Haiti don’t offer the comfort of a stove, so charcoal is the most commonly used method for cooking. The immense demand for charcoal and exploitation during colonial times lead to extensive deforestation. This is not only having an immense impact on the ecological balance, but also causing soil erosion. The consequences are landslides and the loss of arable land. As a result, the destruction of Haiti’s natural forests is almost total, making the Caribbean country one of the most deforested in the world.
As Haiti’s trees have disappeared, landslides have become a major concern, especially during the rainy season, and the destabilizing effects of an earthquake on soil only worsen the problem. Forest canopies serve as natural buffers against wind and rain, and the deep roots of trees help keep the granular soil from shifting. As a result, during an earthquake, hillside stability is further threatened as the ground is shaken.
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