Months of severe dought
Farmers suffered greatly
Each year, Haiti is hit with 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. Local farmers lost crops and livestock during the devastating 8-month long dry spell, which when combined with a broken irrigation system that cut off water to the fields, caused even more strife.
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.
“All the plants died and we had nothing to eat. Every day we prayed to God for rain and for help.” –Orilus Louis
Upon learning about the drought, Malteser International staff responded quickly to the drought and coordinated efforts with the agency’s local partner in Haiti, COTEDO, and about 50 local farmers to rebuild the irrigation system. The combined efforts opened up the flow of water to the fields, allowing main crops such as banana and mango trees, to flourish once again.
Moving forward, to reduce food insecurity and increase disaster preparedness, local farmers will receive seeds and plants to bolster their crops, and the local community will be educated on how to better prepare for and manage extreme climate events.