Our Christine Farm programme in the Cavaillon Valley stands as a centre-of-excellence for farming training and development in Haiti. In the past few months, it reached new heights, bringing in substantial orders for its high-quality produce and providing training to hundreds of local farmers.
Unfortunately, the Cavaillon Valley, close to Les Cayes in the south of Haiti, was gravely affected by Hurricane Matthew, with the torrential winds and rain bringing severe flooding and damage to the area.
Once safe, our Country Director, John Moore, visited the farm to assess the full extent of the damage done there. Here’s what he saw.
John reached the farm on foot as the roadway is completely impassable. The access ramp off the main road has been washed away and the road in to the farm is blocked with trees.
On arrival at the farm, it was obvious that 100% of the crops had been lost. Aubergine, carrot, papaya, banana, cherry trees are damaged and lost. The cover on the two tunnels for pre-planting has been torn off and the frame dislodged in places. Initial estimates or expectations are that some of the frame is salvageable.
The open meeting area is flattened and collapsed on the ground in situ. The fencing on the cherry orchard has been broken by the winds; the trees are bent over to the ground.
The first storage building looked intact with minor damage and flooding from the rain; it needs a good clean-out to be put back into use. The storage shed to the back of this with the capacity to store all the heavy machinery has been completely flattened.
After our recent Enterprise Trip to the same verdant green farm, it’s difficult to see a project brought to its knees now.
We do not have contact with all our farm workers as of yet to determine if they, their families and their homes are okay after Hurricane Matthew.
The scale of the devastation on the mainland in some way prepares John for what awaits in Île à Vache.