April 2013 Newsletter: Shada Flood
All of our long time supporters are by now familiar with the community of Shada in Cap-Haitien, where SOIL has been working since 2006. This is the home of the magnificent and charismatic Madame Bwa and the thousands of residents that inspire us with their courage and resilience. That courage was once again put to the test when spring rains brought massive flooding to the community of Shada earlier this week.
Flooding is not new in Shada, as the low-lying neighborhood has always been hit hard during heavy rains, but this year there is something new which has put the community even more at risk. In an effort to facilitate access to the downtown area in Cap-Haitien, there was recently a temporary causeway constructed across the bay of Cap-Haitien. As important as this access may be, many are questioning the decision to use this construction method, which effectively blocks rainwater from leaving the low-lying neighborhoods in Cap-Haitien, creating huge risks for those living in Cap-Haitien’s unplanned settlements at sea level.
Whether caused by natural or manmade forces, the flooding has the same outcomes for the community of Shada: lost possessions, discomfort, and most frighteningly, a likely rise in cholera and other waterborne diseases. SOIL staff in Cap have been working day and night to respond to the crisis with everything from food for our staff members living in the community, to large scale clean up and hygiene promotion efforts. SOIL’s public toilets have remained open since the flood and continue to protect the community by providing emergency sanitation services and keeping the waste sealed in waterproof drums.
We have done all we can with our limited resources, but today we are reaching out to you to ask that you help us do more to respond to this crisis. You have always supported us in the past and we know we can count on you to give a little today to help us reach our goal of $2000. The money raised will go towards paying for boots and buckets for community clean up crews, soap, aquatabs for water purification, chlorine to use in hygiene promotion, and food to feed community volunteers.
With all of our love from Haiti,
Sasha and SOIL
Updates from the Cap-Haitien: www.oursoil.org/heavy_rains_and_hearts/
Emergency Flood Relief campaign: www.oursoil.org/emergency-flood-relief/