HURRICANE SANDY has caused serious damage to the Gran Sous water facility, which captures and treats the largest water source on all of La Gonave (population 120,000). The facility, which was our first project ever, weathered the 2010 earthquake and other major hurricanes, but didn’t make it through this one and we need your help!
At the moment there is a single 18,000-liter tank full of treated water that will be rationed off to the community at one bucket per household. After that, it is unclear where the community will get their drinking water or even bathing water. Rain falling further up the mountain gathered volume and strength as it descended through the ravine leading up to the water facility in Gran Sous. The river of rainwater crashed over and around the protective wall, destroying the structure protecting the spring and dislodging some of the heavy iron piping.
A significant amount of local gardens have been wiped out, leaving the communities with serious economic and food issues for the area. And, once again, people have lost their homes due to major flooding and mudslides caused by the heavy rains. As you read this in fact, the families whose homes were destroyed are figuring out where they are going to stay, even if only temporarily. Our local partners are out in the rain right now assessing approximately how many homes have been destroyed.
I know it is very hard to put what I am sharing with you into context because you likely haven’t been to Haiti or ever entirely lost access to water or your home, but I am asking you to try. Try to understand what this means to these people who are mothers, fathers, neighbors and friends, just like you. I have NEVER written to you asking you for emergency support went it wasn’t completely warranted. Once was after the earthquake, another time was at the onset of a cholera outbreak in the area, and now we have another disaster that has had, or will have, the very same type of devastating consequences as these previous two emergencies.
So as we collect more details from our local community partners on La Gonave, we know we are going to need to tackle this in two parts, the short-term and the long-term. We also know the consequences fall into three important categories: water, food, and housing.
If you are willing to help us address the immediate needs that will be surfacing over the next few days, please make a one-time tax-deductible donation right now via our Causes page: Roots of Development Hurricane Response Page
Or, if you are tired of these issues beating down these communities over and over again and are committed to addressing these issues with long-term solutions, sign up to give a small amount of money each month via our website (check the option, I want to make a recurring donation): www.rootsofdevelopment.org
We could also use your help putting us in contact with any businesses or foundations that are able and interested in providing emergency relief funds.
Thank you for caring, thank you for “getting it”, and thank you for your willingness to be there when you are most needed.
Chad W. Bissonnette