Sunday, June 13

Plans and Progress

After 2 nights in Port au Prince I spent half a day in the office catching up on logistics, sorting currency, meeting up with national staff again.  It was lovely to see them and I got a great welcome. Arrived in Leogane just before the end of the office day so had time to count the cash box, meet everyone and then the day was at an end. The Area coordinator and I were the only expats there and were able to move into the house next door to the office.  As we each carried a bed in they were still trying to wire up the lighting.  We ended up with none in our rooms or the bathroom.  Some lights were on and attracted a lovely lot of bugs for us to go to bed.  There is still no more furniture as yet though we are hoping for some at the end of this week.

Many homes have been doing rubble clearance which means that a number of roads I have travelled along are now half their original width due to rubble spilling into the roads.  I’ve tried asking a number of people but no one has any ideas as to where it is all going to go. Washing and cleaning facilities are still a challenge for many people living in the temporary settlements.  It is a common sight to see people washing their clothes and themselves in steams of water at the edge of the road.  Some of it does not look too clean, especially as it mixes with the potholes in the tarmac and the debris as it flows along the road.

Tearfund’s programme in Leogane and Gressier is focusing on education, shelter, livelihoods and water and sanitation.  We have currently exceeded our target for latrines and the education programmes are going well with schools clubs now operating in many areas. Livelihoods supervisors start next week and the construction teams have been working hard.  Getting supplies in is a challenge for many INGO’s.  To get treated wood, suitable for construction takes time to get it into the country.  I heard today of some toolkits available as a gift in kind.  Hopefully we may be able to get some of those, the challenge will be getting them through customs.  We still have a number of vehicles that we are waiting to clear customs.  They have been here since around the time I last left Haiti but each week we are promised it will be soon that they are released.  Please do pray that this happens as it will reduce our costs for rented vehicles and will give us the ability to access some of the areas that are difficult to currently reach.

Each week I will be spending two nights up the hillside at a place called Tom Gato, which is our upland base.  This will be in a tent, as hurricane season approaches, at least it may get rid of some of the mosquitos!  There is currently no consistent management support for the site up there so I am covering Monday to Wednesday morning and then the area coordinator will cover Wednesday to Friday morning. I'm quite looking forward to seeing the programme from a different perspective.

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