6th October, 2016
Despite the huge winds and very heavy rain and the assurance that hurricane Matthew has wreaked havoc on many families in this area of Haiti where the only livelihood centres on farming, crops and animals, mainly goats, others have turned a devastating occurrence to their advantage.
There are always some enterprising souls ready to seize their opportunities as soon as they strike and by Wednesday afternoon many people had begun harvesting timber from the large numbers of fallen trees around the town of Jean Rabel. This they will likely sell as charcoal for cooking, it being the main source of fuel in the whole area.
An initial assessment of the damage and devastation that hurricane Matthew has wreaked among a very limited number of people we have been in touch with since the hurricane shows a huge need for homes for people, at least 30, much refurbishment for up to 10 homes and the loss of crops, particularly bananas and the loss of animals, mainly goats.
This is probably only the tip of the iceberg of the damage that has been done in the greater Jean Rabel area, of which we will only hear about as people begin to move about again in the coming days.
The greatest loss however has been the loss of life of a relative of the director of one of the schools Sr. Rose set up since coming here 10 years ago. This is very sad news for the area, we had thought there had only been damage to property and livestock, until we heard how this man died suddenly during the hurricane.
Such a loss is much more difficult to come to terms with than loss of livestock or property, which can be reinstated in time and with the help of generous funders.
But such occurrences are not new to Haitian people who have long lived with hardship, tragedy and huge catastrophes.
They will surely rise again once more following hurricane Matthew’s destruction and devastation they simply have no other choice!