Haiti’s Search For Power Begins

Sometimes it seems as though the people here have only the sun and moon: the blinding sun that bakes their mud homes and moonlight that with flickering gas lamps fights against the dark of night.

Electricity arrived just three months ago in this mountain village, and it’s gone as often as it’s on. With no power, there is no industry, just tiny farms and grinding hunger. Now that will be changing, with the help of that sun.

A Haitian aid agency has just installed 63 solar panels that will power the pumps of a fish hatchery it hopes will give jobs to 100 people after it formally opens next month.

Boucan Carre is among dozens of projects across Haiti where the government and development agencies are using some of the $4.5 billion in earthquake aid to solve one of the bottlenecks that kept Haiti in poverty long before the shattering earthquake of January 2010: a critical lack of electricity of any sort, whether from hydro plants, solar cells or oil-fired generators.

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