More woes for Haitian Producers
Anyone who follows the news has heard of the devastating cholera outbreak that is currently spreading across Haiti. This, coupled with Hurricane Tomas which raged across the country one week ago, is causing more pain and suffering for Haitians in a year that has been filled with troubles.
The cholera outbreak began on October 15, just nine months after the earthquake caused so much death and destruction. 700 people have already lost their lives to the disease and 11,000 more are currently hospitalized. The hurricane has made the situation worse as ruptured water pipes in some areas, prevent access to clean drinking water. Hurricane Tomas destroyed over 1,000 homes and some areas lost 70-90 percent of their crops. Over 24,000 people are homeless.
There are currently nine Fairtrade certified producer organizations in Haiti. FLO’s liaison officer for Haiti has been in contact with each of them to assess damage and determine steps forward. Fortunately none of the groups have experienced loss of life, but all report some damage to their crops and to local infrastructure such as roads and access to electricity. Some groups are also located in the area of the cholera outbreak. Thankfully there are no cases of infection within these organizations so far. But it is very difficult to move from place to place, meetings have to be cancelled, transport is restricted.
FLO is deeply troubled by these developments in Haiti. We will keep you up to date on any new developments.