Thursday, September 4, 2008

News from Haiti

reposted from the Corbett list From the Lambi Fund--
Yesterday, Port au Prince was in a state of panic. It was extremely windy and raining hard. Many houses no longer have roofs, trees are uprooted, light poles with electric lines are down… but this is nothing compared to the devastation which has struck other communities throughout the country.The Minister of Education postponed the opening of classes until next week, but in light of the unanticipated problems brought by Hanna, we don’t know if they will not have to postpone it yet again ( we have heard that there are two other hurricanes on their way)No one is talking about schools right now; the focus is on the damage wrought by Gustav and Hanna.

We are all thinking about how to begin tackling the problems which have suddenly disrupted our lives.We are receiving calls from our partner organizations with horrible news about their communities.- ODPERIB ( Organizasyon Peyizan Rivie Blanch) called to say that one member of the organization has died , the flooding is really severe, many houses are destroyed. Some of the cisterns we have funded have sustained a lot of damage.- Fanm Sofa of Mapou Rollin, just called ,Vyolèn, the president of the organization said that Hanna is even worse than Jeanne. Her house is completely destroyed and she has lost everything. The grain mill we helped build is completely flooded and the corn and millet brought by the market women to be milled just washed away. The chicken coop which we also helped build is being used as shelter by over 100 local families. No one has eaten anything since Monday.- In Gros Morne, we just spoke to Mme Cedieu who said that she lost everything her crops and her animals. She said that the land cultivated by our partner organization, AGPCM (Association Gwoupman Plante Gwo Mon), was devastated, all the plantain trees are down. Fortunately our experimental field is still standing, not too many trees were destroyed, the irrigation pump will need to be repaired. I have not talked to the Bernagea the staff member at the Center, to find out about the conditions at the Center for Plantain Propagation. We are still trying to reach him. - Tidjo and Mago called us this morning and told us that the waters are beginning to recede in Gonaives, and at Tidjo’s house as well. Tidjo has lost everything and there are now over 60 people seeking shelter on Tidjo’s rooftop. They have not had anything to eat in 3 days.Once it stops raining we will try to go to Gonaives to bring some help to Tidjo and his family to see in what way we can begin to help our partner organizations and their communities. Reaching Gonaives will be very hard, since a veritable lake now lies at the entrance of the city.In the South, St Cyr has finally gotten news from home. As you know he came to Port-au-Prince from Les Cayes to attend a staff meeting when he got news that his home and neighborhood were flooded. He was extremely distressed to hear that his family and their neighbors had to seek refuge on their roof top. He was told this morning the waters had receded. He too has lost everything. Although St Cyr has learned that there is no way to get to Les Cayes, because the Etang de Miragoane has overflowed, he is now determined to get back to his family, and he will call us when he gets there.We have heard on the radio that Torbeck and Chantal are flooded. We are supporting projects throughout the area.We have not been able to reach any member of our partner organizations in Belfontèn but we heard on the radio that the area is in shambles.The calls are trickling in we will keep you posted whenever we hear something.

Josette Perard Lambi Fund's Haiti Director

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