Another significant earthquake in Haiti occured. Although Headwaters has not traveled to Haiti to assist on the ground, due to dangerous conditions and political unrest, we continue to support schools and orphanages with food, supplies and educational sponsorships.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Tropical depression Grace is predicted to reach Haiti Monday evening, bringing strong winds, flash flooding and mudslides to a country just hit by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake over the weekend. More than 1,400 people are confirmed dead and thousands of others are hurt.
The devastation is expected to get worse but people like Ruben Joanem are already on the move to help.
“This is the generator back there,” Joanem said while at a rest stop 100 miles north of Bloomington, Illinois. “I’m driving it all the way down to Florida.”
The 110kW generator will then be shipped by boat to Haiti, where communities are coping with a variety of issues including power outages after Saturday’s earthquake. Joanem says leaders on the ground will decide which communities will use it. “It was already purchased to go down there prior to the earthquake but the events the last two days kind of precipitated the actions,” Joanem said. Originally from Haiti, Joanem has lived in the Twin Cities the last 30 years, working with different organizations, churches and hospitals to collect donations and provide relief.
Before the latest disaster, Haiti was already struggling with the pandemic, gang violence and political uncertainty after its president was assassinated last month. It’s also still dealing with the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. “We got hit again,” Joanem said. “Many of the victims have yet to recover or rebuild their houses or their structure or their life.” Now as the U.S. sends a 65-person search and rescue team from Virginia and the Coast Guard helps with airlifts, Joanem is doing his part. “It’s interesting trying to be part of the solution and there’s no meaningless effort,” he said. Joanem expects to reach Florida by Wednesday. He says the generator should reach Haiti within a week or so. Meanwhile, Dr. Roshan Khatri, medical director for Headwaters Relief Organization, says its Minnesota volunteers are not currently in Haiti due to COVID and political unrest. He says none of the schools or orphanages they work with on the ground are directly affected by Saturday’s earthquake. Dale Snyder is executive director of Haiti Outreach, a nonprofit organization that develops sustainable and clean water infrastructures in Haiti. He says the 49 Haitians and one American who work on the ground in Pignon, Haiti, are safe. While their regular work is not in relief, Snyder says the organization is collecting donations and is ready to assist the Haitian government with requests to fix water systems and wells.