Shortly after the January 2010 earthquake Dr. Lyons organized a trip to Haiti to see what could be done to help. The earthquake was the biggest to hit the region in the last 200 years. The epicenter was only 15km from Port-au-Prince, the sprawling capital. The earthquake couldn't have hit a more vulnerable place. Few of the buildings were designed to withstand such a quake and many of them collapsed completely. Many government facilities and personnel were lost and the medical resources were totally overwhelmed.
Haiti is an impoverished country with substandard buildings, minimal infrastructure and poor medical care located in an active earthquake zone. It is vulnerable to flooding, many of its people live in sprawling low-lying slums and it is located in the center of the hurricane belt. Unless something fundamental changes in Haiti it will be the location of an ever increasing number of natural disasters.
We wanted to do something substantial that would help Haitians for years to come. But what? The destruction was so enormous. Just digging out from the rubble was going to take months and many millions of dollars. Being an agricultural company we started looking at rural Haiti, outside the area of devastation. That is where you can plainly see the long term problems that have plagued Haiti for most of the last two centuries: abject poverty, insufficient education, little or no infrastructure, environmental degradation. We found an area in northeastern Haiti where we could make a difference.
Read more about the Alltech Sustainable Haiti Project.