In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused severe damage to the vulnerable country of Haiti. The hardest hit area was a 50 mile band from Les Cayes to Jeremie in which eighteen Living Waters for the World (LWW) water systems were located. The hurricane destroyed solar equipment, cutting off power to LWW water systems, and in many cases damaged water tanks and PVC components as well. As a result, clean water ceased to flow for these battered communities.
Solar panel being restored at the system in Cavaillon, Haiti after the hurricane.
Immediately, Living Waters for the World launched a campaign to raise funds to repair the systems and restore the flow of clean water. The outpouring of support was extraordinary. Over $58,775 was given to help our Haitian brothers and sisters!
Two weeks after the hurricane, Haiti In-country Coordinator Ancy Fils-Aime and the LWW in-country network team had visited and assessed all the systems and provided preliminary reports for each. Ancy said, “We were awed to see how desperate the whole city was and how difficult the situation would be for months to come.”
The following week, LWW deployed funds for the first phase of system repairs, and within five weeks of the hurricane, nine systems were brought back on-line. As the network team worked with the affected communities, they felt the looming and real threat of waterborne diseases. Ancy shared, “We expected cholera to spread quickly right after Matthew, but because of the team’s quick intervention, we were able to stop disease in many areas.”
The system at Fond de Negros withstood 140 mph winds with no damage.
Today Living Waters for the World has restored 16 of the original 18 systems hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew. The two remaining communities have required additional support from the network to come back on-line because the sites were experiencing sustainability issues before Hurricane Matthew impacted them. LWW's in-country team is staying in close contact with the two sites to help them restore operations as soon as possible.
LWW’s Haiti network team remains committed to not only completing system repairs but to expanding the capacity of LWW systems to serve communities impacted by the hurricane. Thanks to the rapid and generous response of LWW donors, the network had the resources needed to respond quickly and restore the flow of clean water.
Haiti Network Co-Moderator Ashley Goad with Haiti Network In-Country Coordinator Ancy Fils-Aime.
While this crisis has passed, you can still help our Haitian brothers and sisters. Make a gift to the Haiti Network and keep clean water flowing.
Living Waters for the World gives special thanks to the Haiti Network Coordinating Team Co-Moderators who oversaw the hurricane response effort:
Bob McCoy, Holy Spirit Haiti Mission, Huntsville, AL
Ashley Goad, First United Methodist Church, Shreveport, LA
Bill Mendenhall, Fondren Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS