ELLINWOOD — Star of Hope schools in Haiti report that they are welcoming children back into class even with damage to the buildings.
Myrtha Dor, director of Star of Hope Haiti reports that Bois Negresse has been affected the most. Half of the metal roof is gone from the newly opened school building. Trees are down some taking the flimsy homes of the people. The farm fields have been washed out and the road is still cut by a failed bridge.
In Boyer, there is some road damage but the school and all the children are reported to be doing well. In Dano, the road is still out and the reports of loss of fields and livestock continue to come in to the office in Haiti. The debris and dirt caused by the water that flooded the school has been cleaned by the local people. Rigaud is reporting no problems.
In Hesse, the road is still impassable and reports from the school is that one of the buildings lost half of the metal roofing. Jeanton school is okay and the roads in to the community are damaged but passable. The Marigot project has been flooded twice in less than two months. The people are beginning the cleanup process.
All of the Star of Hope projects are functioning today. The children are excited to return to school, even if they will sit outside under a tarp. Repairs are being planned for the damaged buildings. A1.
Haitian agriculture suffered damage on the order of $104 million dollars because of tropical storm Sandy. As an initial response the Haitian government has declared a state of emergency. These areas face a famine according to Ady Jean Gardy, the Minister of Communication. Star of Hope has projects in the hardest hit areas.
Haiti has multiple growing seasons each year. During the spring 2012 season, drought hit the areas causing an estimated $80 million dollar loss to the agricultural segment of the economy. The next crop was destroyed by Hurricane Isaac with an estimated $70 million dollar loss. Now, Sandy has destroyed the majority of the crops that should be ready for harvest in the coming weeks.
Price of basic food items has been increasing throughout the country and is
impacting the poorest and most vulnerable. The government has noted that the poorest have entered into a survival mode as noted by the increase in charcoal production, keeping children home from school and abandoning their small farms.
The planting for the spring growing season which should take place in March. As it stands right now, that planting is in doubt as the small farm families have no resources to buy seed or the simple hand tools needed to work the fields. Star of Hope has initially identified 2,100 families in their project communities that are especially at risk and in need of help to survive.
Star of Hope is a nonprofit organization located in Ellinwood, Kansas with projects across the world in seventeen countries.