Recent donations have gone towards buying new seeds for the people of the greater Jean Rabel area who lost their crops to hurricane Matthew. (Thank you all for your kindness).
It was decided that bean and corn seeds were the best options as it is now the planting season. Hopefully, they won’t have been ruined already by the latest bout of rainfall but will thrive and give a good harvest in due season.
Driving out to school yesterday it was very obvious again the huge crop damage hurricane Matthew did to the whole of this area of North West Haiti, downing banana trees by the thousand and diminishing the overall crop yield.
The majority of the people, even those living close to the town, live a subsistence existence growing enough food for their families and a little bit extra to trade for other products they need. When the harvest fails they are in danger of real hunger as they have nothing to trade for the necessities of life.
As well as losing their crops many of their livestock have died as well, hens, goats and sheep mostly leaving them completely bereft of any livelihood.
In due course the Sisters here hope to be able to help the people out with the purchase of some new animals but for the moment the main focus is on distributing new seeds and getting them planted.
We are also looking toward developing a strategy that should help out for years to come in diminishing the number of livestock falling prey to the havocs of our Caribbean weather during the hurricane season.
The wind of hurricane Matthew is what killed most of the livestock and a strategy needs to be put in place in order to protect livestock during any future hurricanes. Whether the people agree to take their animals into their homes during such times or to build quality sheds that will withstand the vagaries of hurricanes and cyclones into the future has yet to be determined – and many people simply don’t have the money to carry out such work.
A well built communal space may be the best solution but this will cost money and agreement among those concerned, as well as a willingness to use such a facility and arrange to have their animals rounded up and under such protection in advance of any ensuing hurricane. But if it could be arranged and built it could cut some of the devastation hurricanes cause in this neglected part of the world, and the dependence of its people on foreign hand-outs in their aftermath.
The people would be a little more independent and would feel a greater sense of self-determination in a land that has had so much of its natural resources plundered and raped, by greedy tycoons and others purporting to aid the nation.