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Still Meeting Desperate Needs After Haiti Quake

SAMARITAN’S PURSE IS PROVIDING CLEAN WATER AND EMERGENCY SHELTER WHILE ALSO OPERATING A FIELD HOSPITAL.

Early on a Saturday morning, Dano and his family were outside of their home cleaning up after breakfast. They expected it to be a normal weekend full of cooking, cleaning, and a trip to the market. Instead, their lives abruptly changed.

The earth started to shake. What started out as a tremor turned into a violent earthquake. At first, they didn’t know what was happening, but they soon learned that they had just lived through a devasting 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

The earthquake rocked the entire southern coast of Haiti — killing more than 2,000 people, destroying homes, and burying people under the rubble. Hundreds of thousands of people were affected.

Calling on Jesus as the Earth Gives Way

Dano lives in Maniche with his two young daughters and his mother, Rosemaria. If the earthquake had struck any earlier that morning, they would have been crushed inside their home. Thankfully, they were already outside and avoided injury, but they lost almost everything.

It looked like the earth was breaking. Deep fissures opened up along the ground, and Dano feared they might be sucked down into them. He clung to his daughters as the earth rumbled.

The walls of their home crumbled under the pressure, making it uninhabitable. Despite their great material loss, Rosemaria, the matriarch of their family, praised God. During the earthquake she said the name of Jesus over and over again, calling on God to protect her family.

As she looked at their destroyed home in the minutes after the quake, she said, “God thank you for life. Thank you that my family didn’t die.”

Clean Water and Shelter Rushed to Hard-Hit Town

Dano couldn’t fathom how his family would start to rebuild. All he could focus on were their emergency needs. One week after the quake, they still needed simple items like a tarp so that they would have a dry place to sleep at night and consistent access to clean water.

The town of Maniche experienced tremendous damage because of its close proximity to the epicentre. Roughly 90 percent of homes were destroyed, and many people were killed in their community. Samaritan’s Purse first identified this town for emergency relief, and it became the site of one of our water filtration systems.

This community water system was specially designed by Samaritan’s Purse to quickly provide a sustainable clean water source in the aftermath of disasters. It can serve up to 10,000 people each day and is designed for flight on our DC-8 cargo plane, fitting in one pallet position. Now, Samaritan’s Purse can provide clean water faster than ever before.

“This is going to be good for us,” Dano said. “We can use it in every type of way — cooking, drinking, and washing.”

A few days after the clean water point was established, Samaritan’s Purse conducted an emergency shelter distribution in Maniche that targeted the most vulnerable people in the community. Here, Dano’s family received tarp and a solar light.

He thanked Samaritan’s Purse for coming back and not forgetting about them. Most importantly, he credited Jesus. He said, “If it wasn’t for Jesus, I wouldn’t be standing here right now.”

To date, Samaritan’s Purse has distributed more than 7,000 emergency shelter tarp pieces, nearly 9,000 solar lights, and provided more than 800,000 total litres of clean water for Maniche and Chantal.

Emergency Field Hospital Fills in the Gap

Samaritan’s Purse is also operating a 36-bed Emergency Field Hospital in Les Cayes. The field hospital was deployed with an operating theatre, pharmacy, laboratory, and three patient wards so that our medical team could serve people injured in the earthquake. The local hospital was damaged during the quake — reducing their capacity as the region experienced an increase in need. Since its opening the field hospital, Samaritan’s Purse has treated more than 2,000 patients and performed 84 surgeries.

Glennda, one of the first patients treated at the field hospital, remembered Samaritan’s Purse. She recognised the logo from 2016 when Samaritan’s Purse responded to Hurricane Matthew in the Les Cayes area.

“Thank you guys on behalf of me and on behalf of Haiti. Every time something bad happens, [Samaritan’s Purse] is always here to help us out. I really appreciate the doctor and the pharmacy,” Glennda said.

A wall collapsed on top of Glennda during the earthquake, leaving her with deep lacerations that became infected. Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses cleaned and bandaged her wounds and prescribed necessary antibiotics.

The Samaritan’s Purse disaster assistance response team continues to respond along the southern coast of Haiti, bringing relief to thousands of families affected by the earthquake.

Support Our Work

When disasters strike, Samaritan’s Purse responds quickly to bring relief to people in need. Your gift today can help us provide a lifeline to a family that has lost everything, to help them get back on their feet.

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