I have received most devastating news of the level of destruction that has broadened as Hurricane Matthew has left Haiti. The Northwest has joined the South in its profile of water damage, catastrophic destruction of a fragile infrastructure, major destruction of roofs and tops of shelters, lack of access to the bridges and roadways washed away not to forget loss of communication. The damage is substantial and the count of lives lost has surpassed 283 and continues to rise. Homes, businesses and crops have suffered great damage; thousands are left without shelter and many without homes to go to.
Photo of a town in the South taken by Gladys Cassagnol
“Anpil traka nan Mowo” (lots of trouble in Leogane), La Gonave, Les Cayes, Miragoane, Cavaillon and Torbeck. That is the sound of every voice on the radio among the short calls we were able to get through. People are reporting roofs lifting and being dragged by intense winds and houses sinking in a flash in rising water right before their eyes. It is clear from individual calls that the damage is devastating. This hurricane is being considered by many the worst humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake.
Today we finally reached our Monitors and partners in the southern part of Haiti confirming the worst, but we are also grateful that so many lives were spared. Our Regional Monitor, St. Cyr, will soon be heading out into the field to visit our rural partners once the condition of the roads is at least passable. We know that there are parts of the South (Departments: South, Grand Anse and Nippes) that are cut off from access to Port Au Prince and the West due to the bridges that washed away, specifically in Petit Goave and in Miragoane; the lake that formed after the 2010 earthquake has spread over the surface, limiting access to the people stranded in inadequate shelter without sufficient food and water. Designated shelters that were established in schools and churches have also been destroyed; their roofs are gone.
Lack of communication between areas
The growing number of lives lost (up to now around more than 130)
People without shelter and the extreme lack of potable water
Loss of harvest and livestock as well as further erosion of the land
Loss of reforestation efforts
Potential upsurge of cholera and other health hazards
Further contamination of the water sources and high risk of waterborne diseases
What Lambi Fund is doing:
Utilizing our Regional Monitors and the active Partner Organizations (22 projects in portfolio) to survey the immediate needs in the South and Northwest in order to provide a primary response to these urgent needs
Providing $150,000 for urgent relief during the first phase of our response while completing a needs assessment of the resource needed for the second phase which will be to “Repair and Restore” the 22 active organizations’ projects that have been devastated
Launch of follow up response: Repair and Restore
Support the process of repairing the infrastructure damages (already established: 4 mills down in the Northwest, need to repair gardens, supply soil and nutrients essentially starting gardens over from scratch)
Meeting on the ground to follow through and support the overall process
We are all deeply touched by this event hitting the people of Haiti who possess the least resources to survive this battering, but as we did previously after Sandy (2012) and Jeanne (2004), we will partner and rebuild the sustainable projects that have changed so many lives in Haiti.
We urgently need your support and help. Please join the Lambi Fund in solidarity with its partners in rural Haiti. Support our urgent relief and rebuilding efforts.
You can make your donation online at www.lambifund.org or send your funding support to: Lambi Fund of Haiti 1050 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 500 Washington DC 20036
Thank you for your thoughts, your prayers and your generous gifts!