It is about health and human dignity
The food crisis is at its peak. Food prices are enormous. People choose to pay for food over housing. Many families lose their roof over their heads and live on the streets.
Baie de Henne and Roche-à-Bateau
The water situation is critical in both the villages of Baie de Henne and Roche-à-Bateau. It hadn’t rained in western Haiti for five months. Temperatures remain around 40°C during the day and do not fall below 25°C at night. Irrigation canals bring less and less water to the farmers’ fields. Plants without moisture die and subsequently even cattle and small animals have nothing to eat.
Meteorologists have declared this April the driest since 1987. Although the Ministry of Agriculture and various foreign organizations support small farmers financially, even by distributing seeds of fast-growing crops, plowing is difficult without water.
Our partners supply the local people with bags of rice and beans. For water, they goes to distant wells in the hot sun. Many families are miserable. Some are ashamed to tell anyone about their life situation. A local priest goes door to door to find out how people are doing and to offer help. It is not just about health, but also about human dignity.
In Gonaïves, food aid has grown to giving away more then 1,440 meals every day. On the one hand, this means a huge financial strain for our partners, but it also requires a lot of energy and good logistics for finding and distributing food. The situation is so bad for some that they prefer to buy food before paying for their own home. Often even whole families lose their roofs over their heads. Being on the street means not only a security risk, but also health and social risks.
Together with the holy sisters from St. Joseph Emmaus, we are looking for a solution to contribute to the construction of houses in twenty-five percent inflation, so that their funds can be used efficiently and effectively. So far, families live together with their neighbors, but this is not a long-term sustainable solution. As soon as the state of emergency in Haiti ends (in mid-July), we will focus on building housing for those who lost their homes during the economic crisis.
Lada Matyášová, Archdiocesan Charity Olomouc