Build Latrines in Rural Haiti

by Lambi Fund of Haiti

As the Lambi Fund of Haiti reported a few months back, while the heart of Hurricane Sandy did not hit Haiti, the storm brought days and days of persistent rain.  This significant rainfall caused severe flooding – causing widespread loss of crops and livestock.

In response, Lambi Fund moved swiftly to respond to our partners’ needs.  Field Monitors in both the North and South met with community organizations throughout the country to assess damages.  As suspected, widespread loss of crops and livestock were reported, rainwater cisterns and irrigation canals were damaged and tree seedlings planted for reforestation efforts had washed away.  Lambi Fund staff members also estimate that the overall pace of projects, organizational capacity, and economic conditions in these communities will be negatively affected.  

As such, Lambi Fund has been working with community organizations throughout the country since the storm.  So far, 13 grassroots organizations have been provided emergency relief grants.  These grants are going straight to Haitians hit by the storm to help:

  • Rapidly replant crops to increase their resilience to the famine that experts predict will occur in Haiti within the next few months
  • Accommodate short-term family needs
  • Allow the organization’s community-run enterprises to get back on track
  • Prepare soil for planting
  • Repair irrigation canals as necessary 
  • Purchase seeds that do not require a long time to harvest (such as beans, vegetables and corn)
  • Groups with animal husbandry projects will also be provided with funding to replace lost livestock 

In addition to this, Lambi Fund’s field monitors have been in contact with over 50 other community organizations that may qualify for similar emergency relief.  Once initial assessments are complete, these groups will be provided with the resources necessary to get back on their feet as well.

For each and every one of you that donated to Lambi Fund's emergency relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy, a very big mesi ampil  is in order.  Your support is helping Lambi Fund respond swiftly and appropriately to communities in need.  Hopefully through concentrated efforts like these, we can work to help curb the impending food crisis as much as possible and keep impoverished Haitians’ incomes flowing.


Flooding in Haiti from Sandy (photo by EFE)
Flooding in Haiti from Sandy (photo by EFE)

Typically, the Lambi Fund of Haiti uses these project updates and an opportunity to highlight progress on specific projects and how your support is working to move Haiti forward.   Setbacks in this type of work are inherent though and hardworking Haitians have been dealt a very harsh blow by Hurricane Sandy.

As I am sure many of you are all too aware, Hurricane Sandy tore through the Caribbean and then continued onto the Eastern Coast of the United States wrecking incalculable damage.  In Southern Haiti, it rained unrelentingly for four days straight.  In a country riddled with severe environmental degradation and soil erosion, the flooding was severe.  Initial reports from our project partners in the area are speculating that famers lost over 90% of their crops and livestock.  Homes were destroyed and roads were washed out.  For a nation already struggling to feed itself, this news is just devastating and the country is now facing a severe food crisis.  On top of that, Haiti's already meager water and sanitation infrastructure is severely strained.  The excess of flooding and standing water is escalating fears of a spike in cholera infections and other water-born diseases.

As such, the Lambi Fund of Haiti is working hand-in-hand with community organizations throughout rural Haiti to aid in recovery efforts.   Seeds, tools and fertilizers are being provided to farmers so that they can quickly replant crops, community credit funds are being replenished, livestock replaced and much more.  Building latrines throughout the region will be a critical part of recovery efforts.

It is setbacks like these that make our work in Haiti heartbreaking and trying at times, but in witnessing the unbreakable spirit of hard-working Haitians, we continue to move forward.   Please consider supporting Lambi Fund’s Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts which are urgently working to fight the looming food crisis in Haiti and help get families back on their feet.

Mesi ampil and our thoughts are with the thousands of families in the Caribbean and across the U.S. who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.  May your recovery be swift.


Grain mill where latrines were just built
Grain mill where latrines were just built

Since the cholera outbreak in the fall of 2010, the Lambi Fund of Haiti has been hard at work on educating communities in rural Haiti on how to prevent the spread of cholera.  Teaching clean cooking techniques, healthy hand-washing and sanitation habits have been at the cornerstone of decreasing the spread of infection.  In addition to this training component, Lambi Fund has partnered with community organizations to build latrines.  Out of these partnerships, latrines have been built in grain mills throughout the country.  Recent successes have been the construction and opening of latrines at EIGHT community grain mills within the last few months.  

Making latrines available at these grain mills has been a huge success and is a significant step towards greater access to sanitation.  These grain mills are essentially community centers for the organizations we work with.  The grain mills not only allow citizens to affordably mill their grains, but the mills become impromptu centers of commerce where locals buy and sell goods.  Given this reality, providing mills with latrines for members and patrons to use is a major step towards improving community health and protecting the environment.

Mesi ampil for your support in making the opening of these latrines a possibility.  Lambi Fund’s initiative to build latrines at project sights is still very much in its infancy and your support in helping make this a reality is much appreciated. 


A local grain mill in rural Haiti
A local grain mill in rural Haiti

    In partnership with a community organization in the Artibonite valley, the Lambi Fund of Haiti has build four latrines.  These latrines were built at the local grain mill, a project that Lambi Fund helped launch.  Each of the latrines have a door for privacy and vents for proper ventilation.  Now that they have been in use for about two months, the community organization happily report that the latrines are a hit!  They are so popular in fact, that members from the entire community have come to use the latrines.  Demand for the latrines is so high that the organization has had to limit latrine use to visiting and using the grain mill services.  This wild success is an indicator that many more latrines need to be built in rural Haiti and Lambi Fund is on a mission to build them.  Offer your support and help build more latrines at local grain mills throughout Haiti.

Local grain mill in rural Haiti
Local grain mill in rural Haiti


The Partnership for Change in Ravin Olyann (ACHVRO), a community organization in Gwomòn, Haiti just opened a sugarcane mill in their community.  As part of the project initiative, latrines were built in the mill.  These latrines are especially exciting in that these are the only latrines available in the community.  Without latrines available, community members typically use open fields for bathroom facilities- meaning contraction of waterborne illnesses is incredibly common. These latrines, which have doors allowing for privacy and proper ventilation are providing important sanitation and management of human waste in an area where cholera has been a constant concern.  Members of ACHVRO now have access to these latrines and running water which are providing an important step towards more comprehensive clean water and sanitation management in rural Haiti.



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Organization Information

Lambi Fund of Haiti

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Marie Marthe Saint Cyr
Executive Director
Washington, DC United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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