Incredible News!

Message from Etienne Francois to Jim Shaw on 2/09/23:

“Good evening my friend how are you? We are back in Les Cayes after two days in a mission to repair 7 wells. Now the community of the Les Anglais area are getting clean water!  People are expressing their love and gratitude to you all and also I delivered I-V’s, medicines, hand sanitizers, bleach, HCl, oral rehydration solution packets, and spray bottles.  Both to the clinic of Les Anglais and also to the school.”

From Jim:

“I am so excited to hear that our friends in Les Anglais now have some tools to keep people from dying and to help them keep from getting the deadly disease.
Thank you to all those who have given our foundation the resources to respond to this disaster and give the Les Anglais community some hope and tools to respond to the Cholera Outbreak there. Now we can hopefully go back to our projects of Goat Programs, Water Tank Distribution Programs, and Agriculture Assistance Programs.”  

Striking Back at Cholera

Cholera has struck the Les Anglais area, sickening and killing many people.

The Haiti Ap Grandi board of directors met with Etienne on Sunday, Feb 5 via Zoom to discuss the cholera outbreak in and around Les Anglais and the specific ways we can help those suffering from cholera and reduce further transmission of this deadly and very contagious disease. It is treatable and preventable, but only if clean water, medical treatments, and supplies for cleaning and sanitation are available.

Conditions are ripe for a cholera epidemic:
– Many wells were broken during the 2021 earthquake and the landslides caused by the hurricane that followed soon after. We have for years funded the digging and maintenance of many of these wells, but have so far been unable to get the parts and contractors needed to repair them.
– The area around Les Anglais has received almost no rainfall for the last 5 months, so people can’t collect rainwater and the rivers have turned to muddy trickles.
– Many people have no choice but to drink water from the contaminated rivers.
– The population in and around Les Anglais, as for most other rural towns, has increased greatly due to people moving out of Port Au Prince.
– Medications, cleaning and sanitation supplies, and other necessities are scarce due to port and road blockages, in addition to continuing global supply chain issues.

Madan Monique Girard (aka Madam Pastor), Superintendent of Schools at the Les Anglais MEBSH church with over 700 grade school and high school students, told Etienne that two of their children died last week. The school is in desperate need of basic supplies including bleach, gloves, water purification tablets, and rehydration solution to contain the spread of the disease. The clinic across the street from there that serves a large area around Les Anglais has also run out of supplies and medications. We asked Etienne if there are NGOs that could give or sell us supplies, but there are none that serve as far west as Les Anglais.

Based on the information he collected, Etienne recommended two actions to immediately save lives:

  1. Repair as many wells as possible: Providing safe water to people is of utmost importance. Etienne has been in communication with IPD, the well digging contractor we have engaged in the past. They are available now and have parts, and will meet Etienne in Les Anglais on Wednesday, Feb 9 to begin work. Etienne plans/hopes to repair the wells at the clinic, near the beach village, and in Digue, and any others they can.
  2. Buy supplies for the Les Anglais church & school: The cleaning and medical supplies they need are available at stores in Les Cayes. He will buy them and deliver them to Madan Girard to help stop the disease from spreading within the school.

The Board authorized Etienne to spend up to $10,000 of the money we wired him last week (see our previous post) on well repairs and medical, cleaning, and sanitation supplies.
We will replenish the agronomy projects’ funds later.

Photo Update: Etienne buying supplies in Les Cayes earlier today

New Year, New Projects

Our first Board meeting of 2023 was devoted to reviewing and funding the new projects Etienne proposed for this year.

Children looking at goats in the back of a pickup truck
Family drawing water at a well
Water: Colse is a mountain village without a nearby water source. Residents have to walk down the mountain for water, then carry it back up. Etienne will buy water storage tanks and transport them to the village.$7000
Goats: Etienne plans to start a goat program in Coquione, a village above Charbonnier. He needs money to buy the goats, transport them, and run the training program for the recipients.$7000
Seeds: Etienne proposed buying seed for farmers in Les Anglais. We are requesting that he also buy additional seeds to restart the community garden on church grounds.$3000
Agronomy Agent: Etienne recently hired a new agent, Mr. Legoute, to help farmers establish crops of cacao, coffee, and bananas in Bwa Picon. His pay is $600/quarter.$600
Transportation: Rebuild Etienne’s old, non-working motorcycle. Having this to use when he doesn’t need the truck will save a lot of expensive fuel and reduce wear and tear on the truck. We will buy the parts in the US and ship them to him through Agape Air.$1500
Fuel: We need to send Etienne money to cover his increased fuel costs due to huge price increases in Haiti.$1000
Amount to send Etienne (sent on 1/26/2023)$18,600
Motorcycle parts to buy in the US$1500
Total Spend$20,100

We will continue to hold $6000 in reserve to repair the wells damaged in the August 2021 earthquake. Parts shortages, damaged roads, and too-busy well drillers have prevented us from being able to schedule the repairs. We’ll ask Etienne to check in with the well-drilling company to see if they are able to start work soon on these wells.