Just when you think that Haiti is finally on the road to recovery, natural disaster strikes again. Hurricane Matthew ripped through the southwestern tip of Haiti before it continued on its path between Cuba and Haiti. To date, there have been over 1,000 deaths, complete destruction of crops in some areas, and over 60,000 displaced.
With such a dire situation in the south, it seems somewhat distasteful to tout our better circumstances up in the northwest section of Haiti, which was largely unaffected by the hurricane. We have heard from our folks on the ground that everyone is safe, and that the city was mainly hit with heavy rains. All we can say is praise the Lord for this blessing in a time of great need.
Our in-country medical director, Dr. Eugene, relayed this message: “Thanks to all of you who have reached out to check in with us. We had a lot of rain in Cap-Haitien but not too much damage. Now our main concern is that cholera and other waterborne diseases will be on the rise after the Hurricane. Our hearts are with the thousands of Haitians in shelters across the country and those who did not have shelters to go to.”
Doc also asked for prayers and for any financial support that could assist with the fight against waterborne diseases. Without improved sanitation, excess rainwater causes sewage to mix with everything and people always get sick. Unfortunately, we will continue to have this problem until the infrastructure of Haiti improves, to include better sanitation systems and more effective rainwater runoff areas. The heavy deforestation in Haiti (caused largely by the desire to make charcoal for personal use and for sale) has had many third order effects, and this happens to be one of them. Without the needed trees that absorb much of the runoff, water and mudslides plague the mountainous areas.
Even before the recent rains, Dr. Eugene has been passionate about fighting cholera. He’s traveled to many neighboring regions to distribute sanitation supplies, such as chlorine, soap, hand sanitizer, Aquatabs, and other hygiene items that prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. This time has been no different. The photos below show his latest distribution for the community surrounding St. Anthony’s clinic, where he serves each Monday.
We want to say thank you to all of the supporters who have and will donate to this cause. Through your efforts, Doc has been able to purchase the needed sanitation supplies and distribute them throughout the areas affected by heavy rains. Thank you again!