Once again Haiti is experiencing another catastrophe. On Saturday, August 14, 2021, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck at 8:20 p.m. This earthquake has left the population in the South of Haiti in another dire situation adding to all the calamities experienced in the last few years caused by hurricanes, floods and other severe material emergency situations.
Since the August 14 earthquake, the population of all communes in the South is living a dramatic situation. Many people lost their homes, many died and many others were injured. The latest official toll from the Office of Civil Protection speaks of 2189 dead, 12,268 injured and 15,000 houses destroyed or damaged. Families are still planning the burial of many other dead bodies under concrete. Many of the population in urban and rural areas never have the possibility of true sleep, there are many places where the population cannot even find water to drink.
Many businesses in the middle of cities are destroyed, many roads are cut or blocked due to landslides from the tops of mountains, many peasant fields are devastated, many animal heads disappear. Life has also become expensive in the Department because there are no basic necessities due to broken businesses but also because food aid cannot easily reach the Department. This earthquake shows again how vulnerable the country is. The Southern Department, like the rest of the country, is not prepared to live in these situations considering the situation of misery, hunger, unemployment that already exists in the country due to the socio-political and economic crisis that almost always exists in the country.
Lambi’s plan for this program includes 3 steps:
• Phase 1 (completed): Provide victims with urgent survival goods. Lambi has provided targeted organizations with financial means to purchase food, drinking water, first aid kits, self-care Lambi Fund of Haiti Page 4 products and very simple materials for construction of temporary, very rudimentary shelter. This phase has been implemented with $150,000 benefitting 1,500 members so far. More peasant organizations are in still in need for this type of support, but Lambi Fund is lacking funding to extend help under this phase. Direct cost (excluding local staff travel and supplies): $150,000 ($100 per individual x average 50 individuals per organization x 32 organizations.)
• Phase 2: Rehabilitation: Lambi will make available to traders, planters, and members of participating organizations funds that will help them resume economic activities, encourage them to work together (“konbit”) to repair roads near their homes and repair irrigation tertiary canals to allow small farmers to resume production of fast-growing crops that will mature in 2-3 months. At this stage also, the women’s organizations with small trade projects will have a way to start relaunching the activities by replacing merchandise that was lost during the earthquake. We anticipate this phase will last 3-4 months. Estimated cost: $300,000.
• Phase 3: Reconstruction: Restore all damaged earthquake projects. Organizations have begun to perform damage assessments. This phase includes reconstruction of mill houses, broken materials, storage centers, goat pastures and damaged nurseries, and repair damaged irrigation infrastructure (headwaters.) This support will also allow the organizations to resume operations, to continue to plan activities, to reflect on their level of vulnerability and to take steps to develop more collaborative work among the organizations. Estimated cost: $200,000. This phase will last 6 months and may run concurrently with Phase 2, depending on availability of funds.