Work Horse Project Vanuatu
From Peace Corps Wiki
Info about the Work Horse Project Vanuatu
Thirty years ago 880 hectors of pine trees were planted on the small, isolated island of Aneityum, in an effort to prevent erosion problems. In the past decade the community has begun to take advantage of this resource by establishing the Aneityum Forest Timber Community Project (AFTCP), a community owned project managed by local families. The project relies on an old, unreliable tractor for tree harvesting. Because of the island’s isolated location, new tractor parts and fuel are delivered infrequently and at a high cost. This has delayed progress on the project many times in the past year. Civic pride and faith in the economic future of the local community are undermined when the project is delayed, leading many young people to move to urban areas.
To address these problems the AFTCP has proposed a creative solution. Two work horses are to replace the tractor as the means of harvesting trees. On Aneityum, the horses offer many advantages over the tractor. They can be fed with local resources, they have a longer life expectancy, and they produce fertilizer, instead of harmful carbon emissions as a waste product. Horses also cause less erosion than tractors do. Beyond their immediate use to the timber project, horses can also serve as transport, pack-animals, and plow-animals for the community, as well as generate additional income in the tourism industry. It is hoped the horses will make the project more efficient, sustainable and profitable in the future. Since the project is community owned, increases in profits go to local families.
Partnership funds are requested to buy and transport two fully trained horses, work equipment, and the services of a trainer. The community is providing materials, land and labor to construct horse yards and horse feed areas, as well as room and board for an on-site trainer.