Haiti (MNN) — Life in northern Haiti moves from bad to worse as severe drought drags on. Hurricane Dorian recovery may be getting the most headlines lately, but ongoing drought makes daily life increasingly desperate.
“Everyone is describing the Cap-Haitien area as the worst it has ever been. When you’re talking about Haiti, that’s bad,” For Haiti With Love’s Eva DeHart tells MNN.
“They have no fuel, no sources of water, no food. It’s really, really bleak.”
Essentials limited in Cap-Haitien
Though it’s becoming increasingly severe, Haiti’s drought is not new. Widespread water shortages have plagued several nations in Latin America and the Caribbean since last summer. See a complete overview and updates here.
Regardless, the drought in northern Haiti is so severe, DeHart says, that it’s sucking water out of even the deepest wells. Usually, hurricane rains can help offset this shortage by raising the water tables that wells use as their sources. No such luck in Cap-Haitien.
“As the hurricane (Dorian) went through, it kind of sucked Cap-Haitien dry and took all of its water to Freeport,” DeHart explains.
The region is also running low on fuel, which limits electricity – another life necessity in northern Haiti. For example, a ministry staff member recently took his daughter to the local hospital to deliver her baby, DeHart says.
“The hospital had no power. They ended up delivering that baby by the light on their cell phones,” DeHart says. The little girl is okay, she adds, “but pretty drastic delivery conditions!”
As if these effects weren’t enough, it’s getting even harder to find food. Food insecurity is nothing new in the Western hemisphere’s poorest nation; approximately 4.5 million Haitians struggle to access food, USAID reports – a statistic made even worse by drought and rising food prices.
For Haiti With Love typically helps by distributing food aid like rice and beans. However, since there’s no water with which to boil rice or beans, DeHart says, they can’t even provide food in Jesus’ name.
“We’re not big enough to have the resources to handle anything like this (drought),” she adds.
“The best we can do is to keep praying for rain and to just take care of the people as they come into the clinic.”
How to help
For Haiti With Love and the people of Cap-Haitien are running out of options. Partner with them in praying daily for restorative rain.
“Not only are we praying for rain, but we’re praying for a light, soft rain that won’t result in a bunch of flooding,” DeHart says, adding that – sometimes – prayer requests need to be specific. A deluge on dry ground hardened by drought will only lead to more problems.
Pray also for immediate provisions of fuel and food.
“We just need God’s attention right now.”
Header image is a stock photo representing drought. Photo by icon0.com from Pexels.