This weekend marked the third anniversary of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the nation of Haiti. Three years on and the recovery process still has a long way to go, but one organization in western New York has been helping to bring renewable energy to Haitians still living without power.
“Power really should be a human right for people, if you can imagine what life would be like without power it’s um, it’s impossible for people to pull themselves out of poverty without power.”
Paige Mecca is the executive director of the Buffalo-based organization, Solar Liberty Foundation and she says renewable energy should be a part of the Haitian recovery.
Even before the earthquake, Mecca says electricity supplies were unreliable and in rural areas, often non-existent; but she says that can change.
“A renewable energy source like solar energy in Haiti just makes logical sense. They’re right near the equator and it’s a reliable, excellent, clean way to power homes, health clinics, schools and everywhere that needs power.”
The Solar Liberty Foundation has already donated and installed a 4-kilowatt solar power system to a school on a small island off the Haitian coast.
The island of Ile-a-Vache has been put under additional pressure in the aftermath of the earthquake with many Haitians re-locating there from the mainland, after losing their homes and jobs.
Now, for the first time Mecca says the island has refrigeration and filtered water, and she hopes the improvements can be shared by the rest of the country thanks to renewable energy technology.