Trees, Water & People (TWP) has been entrenched in a multi-pronged effort to improve the health, livelihoods of residents and community environmental resource protection for decades. They are heralded by their partners and non-profit admirers as being top in their field.
Their work concentrates, as it must, on community-based decisions and innovative programming. Projects include clean cookstoves, reforestation, sustainable building and renewable energy.
Clean cookstove initiatives geared to replacing traditional open fire cookstoves with cookstove alternatives immediately improves the lives of families. Indoor air pollution is reduced, therefore dangerous health impacts are mitigated. In addition, the clean cookstoves are more efficient, saving time, money, and energy on wood and other items burned in order to cook. TWP’s development of clean cookstoves has been in conjunction with local cookstove experts and are manufactured in local communities.
Reforestation efforts recognize the broad approach necessary for success. In areas where deforestation is already occurring, TWP works to protect current forest stands, and in turn reduce soil erosion and improve soil quality. They also cultivate tree nurseries and planting projects at family homesteads and near forest edges. They teach best practices in tree management to local institutions, such as schools, and local residents to maintain the highest quality tree diversity in their region.
TWP’s renewable energy projects give residents the basic energy needs required to maintain a simple lifestyle. Their projects also create local jobs and job training. TWP’s renewable energy projects have taken place on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This is also where their work in sustainable building construction is located, as there is a housing shortage. While they build housing, they do so in sustainable ways, for energy efficiency, with cheaper building materials, and for longer lasting structures.