Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. One year later, SIFAT continues to install water purification systems to provide clean, safe drinking water to a country torn apart by the devastating earthquake, hurricane and cholera outbreak.
Can you imagine being thirsty, but knowing the water you drink may be contaminated with cholera? SIFAT teams are making a difference by installing purification systems and training local Haitians how to do maintenance and upkeep. Now, they have hope! Hope that life is looking up…hope that they will not only survive, but also thrive!
In 2011, Bahamas Habitat will provide air transportation for 12 SIFAT teams. As I write,Â SIFAT graduate Trey Reed is in Cape Haitian, which isÂ now the area with the highest cholera outbreak in Haiti. SIFAT is working with medical clinics, partnership organizations and SIFAT graduates to install water systems where they are most needed.
In May 2010,Â SIFAT taughtÂ 15 Haitian community leadersÂ at ourÂ Alabama campusÂ during a three-week intensive session on practical skills,Â such as food production and water purification. We have made a 3-year training commitment with approximately 70 Haitian community leadersÂ to holdÂ seminars and provide technical support.Â To accomplish this, Dr. Byron Morales from Ecuador has joined our staff to conduct seminarsÂ periodic training sessions in Haiti with these community leaders.
Your continued prayers and support are needed now! To donate to our work in Haiti, please designate “Haiti” on your check. If you are donating online, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject online donation for Haiti, and we will make sure your donation is applied to our Haiti fund.
Tom and Trey made it back safely late Wednesday night. We will have more details about their trip and some photos posted next week – so keep checking for updates and news about future plans in Haiti.
Thanks for your support and prayers!
Since our last post, Tom and Trey have witnessed two aftershocks in Jimani. They are safe, and the clinic and orphanage didn’t suffer any damage. However, the Haitian patients and refugees are frightened. They moved from sleeping inside the building to outside. During the first aftershock, many jumped from second story windows because they were scared the builiding would collapse on them.
Tom and Trey had not been able to travel into Haiti yet, but they were exactly where they needed to be. Saturday morning around 2 a.m., the entire facility’s water system shut down. With close to 1,000 people relying on this water system, this was a huge problem. Tom and Trey worked for several hours, and were able to reestablish water at Jimani. Check www.haitifooddrive.blogspot.com to find out more about the Jimani project and how Tom and Trey helped.
Yesterday (Sunday), they finally made it in to Port-au-prince, where they set up one water purification system at one of Harvest Field Ministries’ facilities. They are returning today to set up another system. Most of the roads into outlying communities are impassable, but Tom said the main roads are cleared and aid is starting to be distributed more easily.
Here are some excerpts from emails Tom sent last week:
“So far we are holding up, and we feel good that there is so much for us to do here while we wait to get into Haiti. We are staying busy. I think Trey will agree that this is the most extreme mission ever, and we are not to ground zero yetâ€¦Thank you for praying for us.” Â
Tom and Trey arrived in the Dominican Republic yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. They traveled to Jimani, which is near the Haitian border, to a hospital sponsored by The Jimani Project, one of HERO’s partners. They were unable to purchase the car batteries for the water filtration systems because yesterday was a national holiday. Today, they should be able to buy the batteries and cross the border into Haiti to begin setting up the systems.
We will update when we hear more! Thanks for your prayers and generous contributions.
To donate to SIFAT online, click here. Please follow the directions for designating contributions. You can also donate by check – 2944 County Road 113, Lineville, AL 36266.
Plans have changed so many times during the past few days as we plan how SIFAT is getting involved with the Haiti relief effort. We told you our first plan on Monday. We always tell mission teams to remember to be flexible – and flexibility has been key this week. However, God is opening doors for SIFAT to take water purifiers that will give clean water for up to 10,000 people per system per day.
Ten water purifiers are on a plane. They were supposed to get into the country yesterday, but didn’t. We hope they make it today. Tomorrow, our executive director Tom Corson and SIFAT graduate Trey Reed will fly commercially to the Dominican Republic and travel into Haiti.
SIFAT is partnering with several organizations to make this happen. To get an idea of some of what Tom and Trey will see and people with whom they may work, visit this blog.
Recent news articles about SIFAT and partnering organizations:
The Randolph Leader’s article about SIFAT’s response