A Project 81 team returned from Haiti April 3rd. Much is still needed to provide the Haitian people with resources to meet their basic needs in life. Many thousands of people still lack even a simple tarp for shelter. Crude structures of bed sheets and cardboard remain the only shelter for many. As the rainy season sets in these shelters will become useless. More tents and tarps and more space for these encampents can not come fast enough. The people are forced to stuff as many people as possible into every shelter. The shelters are jammed together so close that on the pathways meandering through the encampments you must step aside if you meet someone coming down the path.
Health services remain scarce. Many people continue to be ill with easily cured maladies. Simple antibotics are needed to cure a variety of bacterial infections. Many, many people are still dealing with the stress and shock of the quake and their current situation. As the rainy season sets in, the overall health of the people will likely continue to deteriorate as water born illnesses will likely spread throughout the over crowded, unsanitary camps. Malaria is also concern.
Even the people fortunate enough to have a proper tent are mostly living in areas with little or no sanitation. Latrines and outhouses are few and far between. Camps of several thousand people have only an outhouse or two. Garbage is scattered everywhere. There is no real system of disposing of waste. Much of it is piled in the streets, empty lots, or waterways and periodically burned.
So much work still needs to be done to help the amazing people of Haiti!
The main tasks for the team on this trip were food distribution and medical clinics. The team met a container of 44,000 lbs of food (285,000 meals). The food was packaged by Kids Against Hunger and shipped/distributed by Project 81 in the greater Port-au-Prince area and the rural countryside near St. Marc. Another container containing medical supplies, basic goods and hygiene products, clothes, shoes, tents, tarps etc… was also shipped.
The team worked in cooperation with Delmas mayor Gael Jean once again. The mayor provided much of the logistics, transportation, security and planning for the food distributions and medical clinics in the Port-au-Prince area. The medical team treated hundreds of patients in several days of clinics. The team distributed approximately 17,500 lbs of food in a Delmas tent city and roughly 5,000 lbs of food in rural villages in the St. Marc area, including the namesake village 81. Project 81 friend Pastor Marcel assisted the team in the rural areas. The team visited the amazing children at Destiny Village orphanage while in the countryside and several of the children helped as translators for the team. The remaining food was stored in a warehouse and will be distributed in regular intervals to needy people in the tent cities.
Another container of Kids Against Hunger food will soon be on its way to Haiti! The need is still immense! The media coverage is largely gone but the aftermath of the overwhelming disaster persists! Project 81 is desperately trying to help the people of Haiti as much as possible! It is a race against time and the weather to give the people the proper resources to ensure their basic needs are met! Your help and support is desperately needed! Thank you for making these trips possible! The Haitian people are so gracious!