by Allison Archambault
Though only a tropical storm when it hit Haiti, Hurricaine Sandy brought devastating floods and winds that tore down homes, reshaped rivers, and decimated crops. Throughout Haiti, the combined effects of the earlier drought and tropical storms Isaac and Sandy have erased 90% of this year’s locally produced food, so long-term effects of the storm will be felt at harvest time and beyond. Sandy hit the South especially hard. The Les Anglais river captured crops, homes, and animals and cut off passage to the communes in the western part of the peninsula for days.
Thank you to everyone who contacted us with concern. Despite the devastation, things are moving back to normal. The river is again passable, and roads have been cleared. Like many victims of the flooding, Enèji Pwòp’s leading cookstove artisan, Jean Douyon, lost his home to flooding but is now living with his family in temporary housing and planning to build his home back stronger to resist future floods. The flooding has worsened because deforestation in the mountains for charcoal production leads to large storm surges in the lower river. Thus in a small way, the efficient cookstoves Jean produces for Enèji Pwòp are helping to address one of the macro factors that have led to these big floods.