HAITI: Salesian Missionaries are Assisting More Than 50 Families Affected by Flooding in Northern Haiti
(MissionNewswire) Torrential rains that pounded Haiti’s northern region on Nov. 5 and 6 have caused extensive flooding and killed 10 people, according to the Haitian civil protection agency. The city of Cap-Haïtien has been particularly affected by the sudden and violent flooding which saw nearly one foot of rain fall within 48 hours. The flooding comes just more than a month after Hurricane Matthew, which devastated parts of Haiti and killed more than 500 people.
Salesian missionaries on the ground are reporting that four people from one family were killed following the collapse of a wall. Others who were seriously injured were taken to the hospital for medical treatment. Many have been left homeless and in need of food and shelter.
Foundation Vincent, the Salesian house in Cap-Haïtien, faces huge challenges as nearly the whole building is below the water level. A part of the wall has fallen and several classrooms are flooded with water and mud. Nevertheless, Salesian missionaries have been able to help and accommodate more than 50 families from the surrounding areas who have had their homes destroyed or badly damaged.
“While Salesian missionaries have been working to provide relief efforts in Les Cayes and other communities affected by Hurricane Matthew, those in the north are turning their attention to help families who have been affected by this flooding,” says Father Victor, a Salesian priest in Haiti. “It downpoured all weekend and many areas are flooded, affecting the entire community including our Salesian center. We are doing our best to offer food and shelter to those who need it as we continue to assess the situation.”
Living and working within the communities they serve, Salesian missionaries are perfectly positioned to immediately assess the needs of those who have been affected by these natural disasters. The Salesian-run Rinaldi Foundation of Haiti, which has been heading up the Salesian response to Hurricane Matthew, has been working in communities across the country to provide assistance to those affected by the devastating hurricane. Salesian missionaries continue to provide emergency relief kits as well as clean water and soap to prevent the spread of cholera, which has already killed 13 and sickened 62 more people. The concern is with the lack of available water and proper sanitation, there will be another deadly outbreak of cholera.
Salesian missionaries are also looking to reconstruction efforts with the Rinaldi Foundation, which is preparing the distribution of building materials for those affected so that they can repair their homes or rebuild them. They are also planning an education project that will provide intensive training for 300 youth in the construction industry including courses in metallurgy, carpentry and welding. Students who might not otherwise be able to continue their studies will also be able to access scholarships.
Because the needs are so great in Haiti, Salesian Missions, along with other Salesian NGOs around the globe, has launched an emergency fundraising drive. Those who want to help victims of Hurricane Matthew are urged to make a donation online at www.salesianmissions.org/haiti-relief/give.