Growing Shade for Trutier
As frequent readers of the SOIL blog will know, our composting waste treatment site in Port-au-Prince is housed within the boundaries of the municipal dump, Trutier. The Trutier dump site has long been one of the city’s most degraded and harsh environments, thereby making it an exemplary location to showcase SOIL’s land rehabilitation capabilities. The Trutier site is managed by SMCRS (the government solid waste management department) and a company called SOTEK has recently been contracted to conduct a debris recycling project. SMCRS and SOTEK have been working together to improve and optimize the site.
When our friends at SMCRS and SOTEK requested SOIL’s assistance in creating a fruit-tree barrier around their offices, we weren’t sure what to expect. However, we were aware of the difficulties we would face trying to create an environment in the Trutier dump site for the plants to grow and produce.
The combination of strong winds, intense sunlight, and compacted soil can create a challenging environment for most exotic species, especially if planted during a period of drought. However, mango trees can tolerate a wide range of conditions, from hot and humid to dry and arid. Citrus trees can also tolerate windy and exposed conditions.
We put together a team of SMCRS and SOTEK volunteers to facilitate management.
We also did some preventive care; adding a thin layer of SOIL compost around the base of the plants and covering them with mulch.
We dug some more planting holes in preparation for additional trees. We also started a leguminous trees nursery in our office backyard to provide trees for long term management in Trutier. The trees to be planted include Prosopis Juliflora, leucaena leucocephala, Cajanus cajan, and several other fast carbon cycle plants that will grow fast, produce shade, and secure the development of exotic species like mangoes and citrus trees. Below is Moringa Oliefera, a nonleguminous tree that will nevertheless be a great addition to the collection. Moringa is drought resistant and grows rapidly!
Now we are waiting for these key support species in our nursery to develop, while the mango and citrus plants are growing into a tree fence at the Trutier site, under watchful eyes! This project exemplifies SOIL’s mission to transform wastes into resources and restore degraded ecosystems and it is an honor to work closely with SMCRS and SOTEK, who have been very supportive of SOIL’s work.