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Haiti: Tragic Anniversary after Earthquake and Hurricane


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On the 12th of January 2010, the ground in Haiti trembled. More than 222,000 people lost their lives in the earthquake. Houses, roads and water pipes were destroyed.
That was exactly 8 years ago. 

On the 4th of October 2016, Hurricane Matthew swept through the island with speeds of over 120mph. More than 600 people died, again infrastructure was destroyed and crops lost.
That was exactly 465 days ago.

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After the earthquake, Jean Luc received from Welthungerhilfe the house that can be seen in the background. Hundreds of those bungalows were built: Intended as emergency accommodation for three to five years, they are still standing strong today.

In the rainy season the blue cistern catches water. For Jean Luc that means he does not have to walk the more than half mile journey to fill his jerrycan at the water supply by the river.

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Elune Denis is Jean Luc's daughter. Since the earthquake they have been living under one roof with Jean Luc's partner Elen André. After school the 13 year-old Elune helps with the cooking. Today plantains are on the menu.

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Jean Luc grows djon djon mushrooms, which can be dried, cooked and eaten with rice.

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The food is prepared over an open fire. For the required charcoal, which Jean Luc can be seen producing here, deforestation is happening all over Haiti. The consequences are disastrous: During storms like Hurricane Matthew the fertile soils are washed away, in the hilly areas water flows powerfully from the slopes, landslides cause great damage.
This is why Welthungerhilfe supports reforestation projects in Haiti.

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Roselyn (36) and her children also live in a house constructed by Welthungerhilfe. It withstood Hurricane Matthew – only two corrugated metal sheets on the roof had to be nailed down again. Roselyn repaired a window that had been pushed in by the storm herself.

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While Roselyn's husband works in the capital of Port-au-Prince and only comes home once a month, she tends to the garden by her house where she grows aubergines and cereals. 

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Facil's hut, in front of which her grandchildren are playing, was completely inundated by a flood wave during Hurricane Matthew.

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Directly after the storm in October 2016 she received warm meals, blankets and a mosquito net from Welthungerhilfe.

Facil had already received support from Welthungerhilfe after the 2010 earthquake had caused her house to collapse. She hadn't been home at the time but at work as a housekeeper. "Welthungerhilfe saved my life“, the 54 year-old says today.

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Goimbert is a Project Coordinator for Welthungerhilfe in Haiti. "My work means a lot to me. On the one hand, I can provide for my family. On the other hand, it also gives me inner satisfaction. There is a strong team spirit among the colleagues, and that's an important social value for me. This comradeship shows me that we complement each other and have a mutual goal.

What I enjoy most at work is educating people about the dangers of natural disasters and improving the precautions together with local disaster prevention committees."

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Goimbert's tasks include providing disaster prevention support for families: Do they know the members of the local emergency services? Do they know what to do in case of flooding or storm alarm? 

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Joseph is Welthungerhilfe's Head of Project in Petit-Goâve. He coordinates a long-term urban development project that was started after the earthquake. Here he can be seen checking the construction site of a drainage channel to ensure the progress.

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Legal notice

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All photos: Nicoló Lanfranchi

Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V.
Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 1
53173 Bonn
Tel.: +49 (0) 228-2288 0
Fax: +49 (0) 228-2288 333

Welthungerhilfe is recognised as a non-profit organisation by the German tax office; it is exempt from income taxes.

Registration court: Bonn
Registration number: VR 3810
VAT identification number: DE812801234

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Chapter 1 Haiti - A Tragic Anniversary

A Tragic Anniversary

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Chapter 2 Luc Jean Jaques

Jean Luc Jaques

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Chapter 3 Roselyn Derosier

Roselyn Derosier

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Chapter 4 Facil Lormil

Facil Normil

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Chapter 5 Goimbert Gilbert

Goimbert Gilbert

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Chapter 6 Joseph Edner

Joseph Edner

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