Continued Support for Haiti Following Tropical Storm Sandy

Written by Plant With Purpose on November 6, 2012 in General

In a day and age where communication is almost always immediate, we’re sometimes thrown off when disasters strike. Plant With Purpose USA is just starting to receive reports of the effects that Hurricane Sandy had on Haiti and on the communities partnering with Plant With Purpose. What we are hearing from the Fonds-Verrettes region is not good, but it could have been worse had Plant With Purpose not been involved in these communities. 

The head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Haiti, Johan Peleman, has reported that over a million people in Haiti are facing food insecurity as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. We are seeing loss of crops that were reaching their fruition as well as the loss of seeds that had just been planted in the ground.     

Mr. Peleman noted, “The country is relatively well prepared, but it is also very vulnerable to this type of disaster, not just because of the poverty but because of decades of deforestation and erosion.” The problem, of course, is a vicious cycle of poverty and deforestation. People desperate to feed their families have cut down trees to sell as charcoal. In a blog post seen on the Huffington Post Impact blog today, Executive Director Scott Sabin shared that a Haitian farmer once told him, “Either this tree must die, or I die in its place.” But through the work of Plant With Purpose, farmers are discovering that their choices don’t have to be either/or decisions. 

Plant With Purpose Haiti staff member Elie sent this report from Fonds-Verrettes:

It appears that the town is nearly destroyed. There is almost nothing in the zone deemed city. The waters covered the homes of all those who live in the city. 

I met with our farmers, and some farms are totally destroyed. There is nothing like their way of surviving if not the breath of life. Some schools have closed their doors because they have no way to pay teachers.

However, the soil conservation and reforestation activities begun in 2006 and continuing today have been a kind of defense for the town. If we had not done this work, the situation would be far worse. It is true that some farms are destroyed but many more survived the storm because of soil conservation work. This is obvious evidence that we must involve more farmers in this kind of work.

Both food insecurity and deforestation are issues that Plant With Purpose is working hard to address in Haiti. We are committed to the continued work in regions that were hit hard by rain, wind, and destruction.  

To support Plant With Purpose Haiti’s ongoing work in Fonds-Verrettes, please visit our Sponsor A Village Haiti page. 

Today, we also launch our online Alternative Gift Catalog. The gifts you purchase will go to help families and communities in need. This holiday season, consider giving gifts that will transform lives.

Thank you for your prayers and support during this time of concern for those affected by Tropical Storm Sandy. 

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