"I have never seen anything as painful":Paul Farmer writes from flood ravaged Haiti
On Saturday, September 6, PIH co-founder Paul Farmer wrote to colleagues and supporters of Partners In Health describing the devastation caused by flooding from Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna in Haiti. The previous day Paul and colleagues from Zanmi Lasante had driven to and through the coastal city of Gonaïves, where tens of thousands of people have been driven from their homes and thousands more are living on rooftops without any access to food, water or shelter. Hurricane Ike arrived the next day with more torrential rains and deadly floods.
6 September 2008
I am writing from Mirebalais, the place where our organization was born, having just returned from Gonaïves—perhaps the city hit hardest by Hurricane Hanna, which, hard on the heels of Fay and Gustav, drenched the deforested mountains of Haiti and led to massive flooding and mudslides in northern and central Haiti. A friend of mine said this morning: “I am 61 years old, born and raised in Hinche. I have never seen it under water.” Gonaïves, with 300,000 souls, is in far worse shape, as you’ll see from the other pictures I append. The floodwaters in Hinche are dropping, but as of 5 p.m. last night, when we left Gonaïves, the city was still under water. And hurricanes Ike and Josephine are heading this way as I write.