By: Jean-Baptiste Chavannes(*) / Source: MPP and MPNKP / The Dawn News / October 20, 2016
The Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) assessed the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti on October 4, 2016.
Haitian authorities had announced that hurricane Matthew, classified 4 in a 5-point scale, was going to hit the country between October 3 and 4. As forecasted, the hurricane hit the country on October 3 and 4 and caused great damage in 75% of the country, according to estimations.
- Consequences of Hurricane Matthew
The exact magnitude of the disaster is still difficult to measure. But we know it devastated most of the departments of the country: Grand’Anse, Sud, Nippes, Sud-Est, Nord-Est, Artibonite and Centre, in order of seriousness. Only the Nord and the Nord-Est.
The four southern departments (Grand’Anse, Sud, Nippes, and Sud-Est) had over 80% of its surface devastated. The Ouest and Nord-Est departments have had over 50% of their territory affected. Some estimate that 90% of the houses, public buildings like schools, churches, health-care centers and roads have been damaged in the affected areas.
In the Centre department the plantations in the mountains have been devastated and many animals, especially goats, died.
The situation of the peasant sector is alarming, according to the reports that we’re receiving from peasant organizations of eight departments in the country. Peasant families of the most affected areas have lost everything: houses, plantations, fruit trees, forests, animals. 80% of crops had been lost last year, but this year was going much better. Sadly, the fields have been destroyed and the stored produce was dragged away by the water.
According to statements by the current ambassador of the United States, who accompanied the President of Haiti in his visit to Grand’Anse, 1.5 million people have been affected by the hurricane, and 350,000 are in a state of emergency. A leader of the National Congress of Papaye Peasant Movement (MPNKP) in Grand’Anse reported that there had been 450 deaths registered in his department, and that a staggering 95% of houses on the countryside had been destroyed or severely damaged.
We’re in permanent communication with peasant organizations in all areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. They are making a calling to national and international solidarity to be able to survive, in the first place, and in the second place they seek support to rebuild houses, be able to produce food again and help the environment recover.
(*) Jean-Baptiste Chavannes is a National Coordinator and Spokesman for the MPP and MPNKP