||Dear Reef Check Supporter,
Reef Check Haiti staff are hearing directly from villagers that there is an immediate threat of starvation in many small coastal towns located west of Jeremie, and moving south around the southern peninsula, to Port Salut and Abacou. Many villagers' houses, pigs, goats, clothes, personal belongings and gardens are simply gone. These areas have been difficult to reach by the large aid agencies, so no food aid has yet arrived, and it may take even a few more days. Reef Check has personal contacts with the Fishermen's Associations in each town, and we can access the towns by SUV and boat. The Associations often work in teams to fish tuna offshore and when using large beach seines. They have a system to equitably distribute the fish catch and any cash raised. Our staff know each Association leader and can hand deliver funds to them so that they can buy rice and oil in the next few days. We can ensure 100% of funds raised go directly to the fishermen's families in each location.
Reef Check is not a humanitarian relief organization. However, after learning about the issues facing the large relief organizations, we clearly recognize there is a short-term urgent need to get some food to these families whom we have been working with for the past five years, and will continue to work with on marine conservation in the future. So by distributing funds now this will help build confidence among the villagers that we don't just care about fish and corals. Any size donation is welcome. Each village has between 30 to 150 fishermen. The locations we will target are: Anse d'Azur/NumeroDeux, Bonbon, Anse du Clerc, Abricots on the north coast and St Jean, Martin (Abacou), and Port Salut on the south coast. If we could raise $1000 per village that would keep our people fed until the major relief agencies arrive. $1000 may seem like a small amount but in Haiti, many villagers live on less than $2 per day, therefore this would be enough to feed 100 people for 5 days.
The latest heart wrenching report from our Training Coordinator Romain Louis is given below:
*********Report from Romain Louis Oct 12, 2016*************
Good morning to all. I wish to share what I've seen so far.
Driving down from Port au Prince, damage is limited-here and there. It gets progressively worse at Bergeau where most cement power polls are leaning. Caye has wind and water damage to trees and most houses are standing but missing roofs.
Things get really bad around Torbeck. Cement poles snapped in half. Imagine a soup where trees, poles, and houses are ingredients. If the soup isn't stirred, things stick together...That was a bad site.
I thought going up the mountain to get to Port Salut would be the worst of it, that is until I got to Port Salut. The Naz Inn Hotel and Rayon Vert were destroyed and are good representations of PS's present state. From PS on, the ocean robbed the land of its possessions. It took the road, houses, everything that was on it. Trailers and trucks and boats are everywhere, like ingredients in the soup. The stench of death hangs in the air.
We saw a few of our kids' parents. They complain of their losses, needs and hunger. The schools are destroyed.
From this point west, on there are very few houses standing and those are badly damaged. In some places even house foundations are gone.
People are living in the streets as it was after the earth quake. The quake took more lives but left those behind with more houses and gardens.