On Tuesday Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti with winds at 145 miles per hour. The most devastated section of Haiti is where Sirona has been focused for the past three years installing solar stations that provide electricity to hundreds of homes. The south of Haiti was completely severed from the rest of the country when the bridge outside of Petit Goave was swept away. In addition to the loss of the bridge all communication to the south was cut off as well when cell towers were destroyed.
The wait for news has been excruciating. What we do know is that crops were lost, the fishing industry destroyed, thousands of people are homeless and the death toll is rising as more information comes in. The majority of our solar station operators were between Les Cayes and Port Salut, the area that took the brunt of Matthew’s assault. Sirona is waiting for news to determine first how our system operators and communities were impacted, and for information to assess the destruction and loss of equipment. Once we have assessed our needs we will post more information. Our biofuel program is based in the area around Petit Goave and we are waiting for word on the thousands of families that we work with in that area as well.
Many thanks to those who follow and support the work we have done in Haiti over the past eight years. Sirona will be working to rebuild after this tragedy, and donations to that effort are greatly appreciated. Following a tragedy an appeal to donors is based upon immediate need, and we cannot yet assess our needs. If you wish to donate to directly assist victims of this disaster the following organizations would be my top choice for humanitarian assistance because I personally witness the good work they do in Haiti both during good times and times of crisis:
Aid Still Required has been working in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Unlike other aid organizations that came and went, ASR has stayed in Haiti expanding programs that support communities and build self-sufficiency. ASR has supported Sirona’s biofuel program and gone further by building an incredible school for children of our farming community. The school mercifully survived the storm, but many homes of the families were damaged or destroyed and ASR will work to assist the community directly.
Mission of Hope International started by Lex and Renee Edme has been working in Haiti since 2000 to build schools, increase community sustainability, and provide assistance during crisis. MOHI is an outstanding organization that will put use funds for long-term improvements in their communities.
Food for the Poor has worked in Haiti since 1986 and the signs of their work are found throughout the countryside. Following this disaster this organization will have a major impact as food security has been greatly impacted by Matthew’s destruction.
Doctors Without Borders is an organization that provides medical assistance in Haiti to those that would not receive it otherwise. There is a great fear that the cholera epidimic will increase and this organization will be working with communities to provide care.
Thank you in advance for thinking of the people of Haiti. More posts will follow as we get more information from the field.