Haiti Flood Relief
On October 4, 2016 category 4 Hurricane Matthew made landfall on the Southern Peninsula of Haiti, destroying homes, infrastructure and livelihoods with its 130-150 MPH winds. The main road linking the rural, southern peninsula with Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, was totally impassable causing the communities there to be cut off from all resources. It has been estimated that in certain areas 80-90% of homes, buildings and infrastructures were destroyed in the hurricane. Final reports have stated that 546 people lost their lives in the destruction and 1.4 million people were in immediate need of emergency relief.
In the Village of Ranja, outside of Jeremie in the Southern Peninsula, our Camillian community began recovery efforts for more than 346 people. In the immediate months following the hurricane, we provided food, clean water and supplies for temporary shelters. Once the village community was stabilized, we began to plan with village leaders how to best continue their recovery while simultaneously building resilience. By June 2018, we had accomplished the following in Ranja:
• Re-built and secured 80 homes in the village
• Constructed a clean water system with access in the center of the village
• Developed and implemented a plan to create a community garden of climate sustainable agricultural products that are to be sold at market as well as shared within the households of the village
• Organized a Farmer’s Association where village farmers combine efforts in marketing, transporting and selling their crops at markets in the nearest larger cities.
• Organized a credit union and trained female leaders of the village in best practices for lending and financial literacy.
In July 2018, our Camillian community in Ranja began our final phase of this recovery project – the construction of a dual-purpose center to be used as a community center and evacuation center. This building has been constructed with climate resilient materials and practices so that it can withstand the next hurricane. It will house the offices for the credit union and farmer’s association. The community will hold events for families of the village and our Religious community will offer enrichment classes for the children and their families.
The community of Ranja has worked hard to become more resilient in the face of the multiple challenges including poverty. Our hope is that as a result of the structures built with our guidance, the community will be better able to withstand the next obstacle that may come their way.
On October 4, 2018, two years after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, we continue to pray for the safety and continued growth of the Village of Ranja. May God bless them and keep them safe from harm.