Haiti Then, Haiti Now
Written by Plant With Purpose on January 12, 2017 in General, Haiti
January 12 is a day when Haiti is on the forefront of our minds. On this day in 2010 a terrible earthquake shook the country, destroying weak infrastructure, and killing thousands. In the months that followed, cholera took many more lives. The country has slowly recovered with little evidence of the massive piles of the rubble that years ago had taken over the capital city of Port-au-Prince. With steps being made, a setback once again hit this Caribbean country this time in the form of Hurricane Matthew. Plant With Purpose was posed to engage in recovery efforts which we are excited to report on below.
News outlets have moved on, urgency is fading, but Haiti still has a long road to recover from Hurricane Matthew’s devastation. While families are safe from the immediate threat of dangerous weather, food insecurity is a fundamental concern for rural families since the hurricane destroyed numerous crops and killed livestock.
Hurricane Matthew hit at the height of the banana, bean, and yam harvest. Today these staple crops are in critically low supply. Local products are scarce throughout the country. With widespread damage to subsistence production, households turn to markets to buy food. Some coastal markets have been able to import essentials like rice or maize, yet the destruction of transport routes poses a difficulty in delivery of goods to inland markets. Added to the scarcity of necessary products, many families lack the income to purchase essential food items.
Plant With Purpose partners are earning needed cash through our cash-for-work program. Farming families are building soil conservation barriers and contour canals to restructure their farms and prevent damage from extreme weather events in the future.
Thanks to faithful prayers and generous contributions exceeding $100,000, our partners are making exciting progress.
Partners are hard at work, taking ownership over recovery efforts. Plant With Purpose has created 2,090 temporary jobs including the employment of 693 women and 471 people who are new to Plant With Purpose. In total, more than 300 miles of soil conservation barriers have been constructed. This month the focus of recovery efforts will shift to planting bean seeds, the first steps to restore crop production.
Reports on how the recovery funds have been put to use are reaching our San Diego office. Partner Naël used the money he earned in the cash-for-work program to pay for his daughter’s school fees. He is more confident that his farm is protected against erosion with the newly planted living barriers. “My first plan is to buy livestock,” he says.Naël is raising his neighbor’s goat so that he can have the baby. “My other plan is plant beans because I lost 250 pounds of beans after the hurricane.”
The impact is impressive and Plant With Purpose partners are proud of their achievements. With widespread eagerness to participate, Plant With Purpose staff shared the responsibility of supervision with select community leaders. Empowered in their roles, these individuals exhibited exceptional oversight. Inspection committees have formed to ensure the protection of newly established infrastructure. One committee found that three cows were were destroying barriers in Cornillons. The owner of the cows was fined, the funds shared among the community.
With gratitude, we acknowledge Plant With Purpose’s global family that came together to respond to immediate needs following Hurricane Matthew. Food security and income generation remain grave challenges in Haiti. Fortunately, Plant With Purpose partners, new and old, recognize opportunity and are on their way to stability. Recovery efforts are well underway, and progress is being realized.
Please continue to pray for Haiti.
You can make a direct donation to Plant With Purpose Haiti here.