Haiti Flood Response
(Completed Project - 2004)
In the week of May 24th, Caribbean storms dropped six feet of rain in a few days. These rains triggered huge, fast and very destructive floods in the southern hill country.
The statistics from the U.N. at that time were:
• 1,059 dead
• 1,606 still missing
• 1,698 houses destroyed and 1687 damaged.
• 6,200 families (more than 30,000 people) have been affected by the floods, the majority of which have been forced from their homes.
The crisis was made far worse because Haiti is a country ill-equipped to manage daily life, much less this disaster. Just three months prior, a provisional government took power when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted. The new administration is broke and unable to effectively respond to this disaster.
Relief efforts were swift but agencies were being severely hampered by the lack of access. Many flood-hit towns were impossible to reach except from the air. And continuing rain has hampered the access even of helicopters. With clean drinking water at a premium and the widespread rupture of sewage lines, and many corpses in the water, authorities said there is the added worry of epidemics. The spring rains were far heavier than usual. Both Haiti’s deep poverty and unstable politics complicated the country’s ability to recover.
Report from The Field
Esperandieu Pierre, Campus Crusade for Christ, Haiti
The village of Fonds Verettes is situated at the base of mountains along a river. Heavy rains fell for 10 hours last week and the flood waters were so powerful and so destructive that everything they touched was destroyed. 21,000 people were left homeless. Almost 1000 dead, hundreds still missing. “It is a catastrophic situation.”
The need is unprecedented. The survivors are destitute, they have absolutely nothing. They need food, clothing, shelter, clean drinking water. They are also all in state of shock and mourning.
Esperandieu is working with pastors and leaders in the local churches to coordinate a quick response to the crisis.
Key Project Operations:
The focus of us and Campus Crusade for Christ was to the villages of Mapou and Fonds Verettes.
- Our staff on the ground procured nutritious food and made up food kits that fed a familiy of 5 for 1 week.
- The emergency items was transported to Mapou and Fonds Verettes by truck and/or helicopter.
- Our distributions targeted those who were completely without other assistance.
- Our response was in partnership with the local churches.
150 families in 3 villages of Fond Verettes received aid on June 19, 2004. Each family was given a 50 pound bag of rice, a gallon of cooking oil and 9 bars of washing soap, plus the equivalent of US$8.00 to purchase other items they require to cook meals. The rice given was guaranteed to feed a family for at least 2 weeks. Distribution took place in local churches where the coordinator from the Civil Protection Office commented afterwards, “this was the best distribution that ever took place since the disaster hit Fond Verettes.”