The Adventist Development and Relief in Haiti recently distributed water purification units and food kits to displaced families still affected by Hurricane Matthew, which hit the island-nation last October.
Hurricane Matthew moved into Haiti’s south peninsula on Oct. 3, and stayed for nearly 36 hours at winds of 136 miles an hour, causing mudslides and flooding. The effects also caused bridges and roads to collapse.
The distribution was the start of an ADRA response project that will assist some 1,730 families in the Roche-à-Bateau municipal district, as well as provide assistance to more than 3,000 families in the South and Grande-Anse departments in Haiti’s south peninsula in the coming weeks, said Fritz Bissereth, ADRA Haiti director.
“Today, 200 of the most needy families received one Sawyer water purification unit, and three boxes of 108 packs of rice rich in nutrients and vitamins from ‘Stop Hunger Now’, a nongovernmental organization,” said Bissereth. Bissereth said there are families still in dire need of homes, food and hope, and ADRA is doing what it can to bring some relief.
More than 500 were already in line early in the day waiting for ADRA’s delivery on Feb. 22, 2017, at the St. Michel Archbinge Catholic Church property in Roche–à-Bateau. The two hundred that held small pink notes stood in a tight line under the coastal afternoon sun to hear instructions on how to use the water purification unit to prevent cholera at home and in their communities.
Seeking restoration and stability
Antojean Claude, a 26-year-old farmer and father of a two-year-old son, waited for hours to get the goods. “My house was destroyed and I lost everything I owned,” said Claude. Claude was among many farmers who lost all their crops when Matthew swept and uprooted plantations in Roche-à-Bateau and the surrounding communities.
“We are waiting for the rain so that we can plant corn, beans, and cassava to sell and so that I can support my family,” explained Claude. In the meantime, he is grateful for the rice and the help ADRA is giving to his hometown.
The mayor of Roche-à-Bateau, Luvana Beaubrun, thanked ADRA and its volunteers for the commitment to providing assistance to her district. Beaubrun is among three mayors overseeing shelters with local officials to coordinate relief assistance with ADRA in the district. She too, like the 23,000 people who live Roche-à-Bateau, was affected by the hurricane.
“My house was completely destroyed and I had to stay at a shelter for sometime so I sympathize with all our homeless families here,” said Beaubrun. Beaubrun said she had never seen such a disaster come through the south peninsula.
The last severe storm to hit Haiti was in 1963, according to the National Meteorological Center.
“We are so thankful for the continued assistance ADRA will be providing for our people here in upcoming weeks and months,” she said.
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SOURCE: Adventist.org, Libna Stevens