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Baradères Struggles to Recover After Hurricane Matthew
December 27, 2016

Two UPLIFT Haiti volunteers returned from Haiti last week, 10 weeks after Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on southwestern Haiti.

First the good news.

  • We advanced our plans for a large medical clinic in March, in collaboration with the Little Sisters of St. Therese, who operate the local government-owned health clinic.

  • The Maxwell Vocational School was largely spared and classes have resumed. Flood water stopped rising about 6 inches short of the floor level of the school. The school's many banana and plantain plants were damaged, but large bright green leaves sprouted forth.

  • Similarly, during our visit the College Ste. Jean Baptist secondary school operated by the local Catholic parish was open. Students were studying for finals. The large parish elementary school was also open.

  • Humedica, a German medical nonprofit, is supplying critical support to the town medical clinic, including medications and the salary for additional Haitian doctor and nurse through February 6.

  • Throughout the area, residents had repaired or were repairing homes to the best of their ability. In some instances this meant draping tarpaulins over gaping holes in roofs.

  • Baradères' open-air Saturday market was busy on December 17, although there seemed to be many more venders than buyers. We saw some locally grown and harvested rice, but most of the market food was believed to have come from distant areas or from mountain communities spared the floods, if not the winds, of Matthew.

Still, when Hurricane Matthew hammered southwestern Haiti on October 4, it caused devastation throughout the Baraderes region, home to more than 40,000 people.

The downtown district of Baraderes, through which the Baraderes River winds in multiple channels, was still a disaster area. Most homes showed severe damgae - missing roofs and crumbled walls - and many homes were simply gone. Homelessness is the biggest problem, according to Sister Marie Judith Prophete, who administers the medical clinic

We have been posting news and photos to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UPLIFTHaiti).

We still plan to conduct medical clinics in Baradères in early March.  Please consider making a donation to support that activity as well as our continuing hurricane aid.

We have been able to send two small shipments of food, water, fuel and other supplies to our local partners in Baradères, who have been sheltering hundreds of people.

Baradères is a large village in a remote river valley.  The village was flooded up to 6 feet deep during the hurricane.  Access by road has often been impossible. The region has a population around 50,000, but as of today still has not received any large deliveries of food and water aid.

No aid has reached Kay Mak, a dispersed community of about 10,000 subsistence farmers at the top of steep mountains.  Hurricane wind and rain destroyed Kay Mak homes, crops, livestock and the coffee harvest, along with much of the headquarters building of the farmers’ association that is our local partner.  

We are grateful to our volunteers and other donors for joining us in believing that the people of Haiti have not given up on their country and we will not give up either.


Flooding in Baraderes
Several days after Hurricane Matthew, flood waters still cover the village of Baradères.


KPM headquarters damage
Hurricane winds destroyed solar panels and tore off the roof of the headquarters of the farmers' association. Rainwater destroyed office equipment inside the building.

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