Each year, Haiti is hit by a torturous dry spell, which starts in January and ends in April when the first rains begin to fall. In 2015, the effect of climate change was felt hard in the region of Belle Anse and nearly 1000 small farmers suffered greatly. They lost crops and livestock during the devastating 8-month period, which was only made worse when combined with a broken irrigation system that cut off water to the fields.
Already in a state of food insecurity, the entire region braced for even less food as a result, and local Haitians, like Orilus Louis and Aroma Jean Francois, struggled to put food on the table.
Upon learning about the drought, Malteser International staff responded quickly, coordinating efforts with COTEDO - our partner in Haiti, and about 50 local farmers to rebuild the irrigation system. The combined efforts opened up the flow of water to the fields, allowing important food sources, such as banana and mango trees, to flourish once again.
Moving forward, to reduce the risk of disasters and to prevent food insecurity, local farmers will receive seeds and plants to bolster their crops, and the local community will be educated on how to prevent and manage extreme climate events.