As more reports come in from municipalities in the southwest area of Haiti, the death toll is now over 1,000, according to Reuters news service, with some cities and most of the rural areas not yet counted. The hurricane struck one week ago, carrying 145 mph winds across the southern peninsula and destroying thousands of homes. Extreme flooding and mud slides were added due to 20-40 inches of rainfall in a short window of time. Aid groups estimate that 1.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and hundreds of thousands are displaced, in shelters, or have no shelter.
The Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund is partnering with World Hope International and Global Partners. Nearly 400 large tarps (e.g., 16 x 32 ft.) are being purchased, shipped, and distributed. These will assist some families who have lost everything, to erect temporary shelters.
Also in process are over 2,500 personal hygiene kits and 1,000 water filters, initially. These last items are so critical because of the expected spike in cholera. Cholera spreads in contaminated water and can kill people very quickly, due to a short incubation period. There are already reports of cholera spreading in the south.
Prior to the 2010 earthquake, there were no cases of cholera in Haiti. Following the deadly quake, cholera appeared and the resulting epidemic took over 10,000 lives. According to the New York Times, researchers traced the source of the specific strain of cholera to United Nations peacekeepers who inadvertently brought the disease from Asia. Health workers have been striving to suppress the disease in Haiti ever since.
With hundreds of thousands of Haitians displaced and using potentially contaminated water, addressing the potential of a new cholera epidemic is critical. This is why Wesleyan Emergency Relief is asking for as much help as possible to get more water filters into the hands of families that need them.
A $100 dollar gift would buy 4 large tarps, 3 water filters, or 20 hygiene kits, and will literally save lives. Thank you for your help.
Haiti Wesleyan Mission Area Director Dan Irvine (pictured above) wishes to thank all those who are praying and giving. Please continue praying for Haitian families and churches as they struggle to recover. As God leads, please consider a contribution to the emergency relief fund. The Wesleyan Church has 137 churches and preaching points, a hospital, and many schools in Haiti. The Wesleyan mission in Haiti will partner with church leaders to effectively distribute the relief goods in the areas where they are needed. Thank you so much for your prayers.