Sandy & disaster prevention

Hurricane Sandy has ripped through the Caribbean the past few days, and Haiti has unfortunately been hit pretty hard.  According to Haiti’s Office of Civil Protection, the number of hurricane deaths has risen to 51 as of October 28.  In addition to the 51 deaths, there are 15 people missing, and 18 injured.  This is truly sad news, and we would ask you to pray with us for the people of Haiti during this time.

Flooding is a constant threat to people in Haiti when heavy rains come.  Here is a video from Reuters showing the damage flooding has caused in Haiti.

The situation is obviously quite dire in Haiti right now.  Storms like Sandy and Isaac (which killed nearly 30 people in August) highlight the need to focus on equipping families and providing resources to communities before a disaster strikes.  In development jargon, this is called disaster risk reduction (DRR).

A few months ago, Martha and I were in Haiti and had the opportunity to witness World Concern’s work in reducing the risk community’s face when a disaster comes.  This is exciting because taking even small preventative measures can save lives.

We saw this in practice in the village of Côtes-de-Fer, in southern Haiti.  Since this village is near the coast and in a low lying area, water from heavy rains used to sweep down the mountainside and flood the homes of those living in Côtes-de-Fer.  This was a major safety hazard for people in Côtes-de-Fer and disrupted their lives.  World Concern worked with community members to build a canal that is designed to direct water away from homes and into the ocean.

“The water used to flood my house,” said Dieudonné Felix, who lives in Côtes-de-Fer. “The last time it rained, the rainwater went straight to the sea. This is a big improvement.”



This is one way that World Concern is empowering communities and transforming lives in Haiti.







It appears that hurricane Sandy is currently leaving the Caribbean and heading north.  However, for people in Haiti the challenges continue.  Pray that the waters would recede and that there would be no more deaths or injuries from the storm.  Also keep the World Concern Haiti staff in your prayers as they work hard to meet the needs of those affected by Sandy.

If you are interested, here is a short article from the Caribbean Journal about Hurricane Sandy in Haiti.

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