When we updated the website one of the things we were most looking forward to was being able to provide real time updates from Haiti when something big was happening. If you’ve been watching the news you may already know that last week a tropical depression formed in the Atlantic, and it’s now turned into a category 4 hurricane that has been traveling parallel to the south of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Last night Hurricane Matthew took a northward shift up toward Haiti and Jamaica. It’s course right now is to travel up between the two, but it took a slight eastward shift this morning and there’s a great possibility that it will be touching down on Haiti’s southern peninsula in the next 48 hours.
While we’ve never chosen to focus on the if and maybes, we do believe in being prudent, wise, and calculated whenever possible. We know that friends and family and our support network will want to know what’s happening here and how they can help when the time comes. This will be the most intense storm Haiti has experienced in about 15 years, and it’s not a matter of IF there will be damage, it’s a case of when and how bad and where.
For those that are concerned about Clean Water for Haiti specifically, please know that we’re not that worried. All of the buildings at our new facilities are solid with concrete roofs. Everything is bolted down well and secure as much as it can be. The only slight concern we have is for our work yard coverings, but worst case scenario is having to replace some roofing tin. We have a large bank of solar panels that provide all our day to day power, but we also have a backup generator with a full drum of fuel exactly for times like this where we might have overcast weather for several days in a row. We have food, we have water, time on our phones and internet, and our cars have gas. We should be fine.
Our bigger concern right now is for our staff and their families, our neighbors, and community. Many live in small homes with tin roofs, which are not weather tight even in the smallest storm. Please be praying for families all over Haiti in the next few days.
While the wind from the storm is obviously a big concern, what is almost a bigger concern and may lead to even more damage is the flooding that happens in Haiti with any large amount of rain. Because of the extensive deforestation in Haiti, heavy rain runs down the mountains into the lower lying areas and has in the past created a lot of damage from flooding.
How is that connected to Clean Water for Haiti?
When flooding happens it destroys water sources and leads to a spike in water-borne disease. That’s where we come in. We can deliver a filter, install it, and within hours that family can be passing mud puddle brown water through and getting clean, safe, drinking water.
After the storm has passed I know our staff will be eager to connect with our network of Community Promoters to find out which areas have been most impacted and are in need of filters. We already have a list of people waiting, but it will increase following the storm. That’s just fact. We currently have about 120 filters on the ground waiting for delivery, with a load already on the truck. We were supposed to deliver those tomorrow, but we will all be hunkering down to wait things out.
We have the ability and space to produce and install 400 filters per month. Once we know what the needs are we’re going to jump into production mode and get going. This is where you come in.
If you want to help us be ready to go, and to help Haitian families in a way that will truly make an impact quickly, we would love it if you would donate to the work we’re doing. Each filter we install costs about $100 US, which includes construction, delivery, installation and multiple follow up visits for the first year.
Our other greatest need right now is the funding to purchase a new delivery truck. This is when having that equipment matters most. After excessive rain the only way to get into the areas we need to go is with 4 wheel drive. We have both of our trucks back from repairs, and we’re crossing our fingers they’ll stay running, but only one of them is a 4×4 and able to serve in the way it’s needed. The funds needed for the new delivery truck are $53,450, and we have $2500 already committed to the purchase.
If you would like to be on the front end of this, to help put us in a position of being able to respond quickly, we would love it if you would go and donate now. You can click on that button right down there and go to our Donate page where you can choose your giving option. Every bit helps.
Thanks in advance for loving the people of Haiti. Check back here and on our Facebook page for updates in the coming days.