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EVERYTHING revised FINAL FINAL

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We know you were affected by the disaster. When we first came you were pregnant then you had the baby. You've been living under tarps so how are things? Things are not good yet because… We lost everything. We don't work. The land isn't producing anything. We have nothing to make a living. And what about your garden? We did plant some things but the sun dried them up. We did have some plantains but the winds damaged them. Tikele is in front of us. Over there is Titayo. They say many people were [farming] in the hinterlands and died there. After sunset... we could hear it was on its way so we got up. That house had a porch so we sat under it. We were in a corner. The wind came from afar ready to rip the house away. I trembled like a leaf. When I realized I couldn’t stay in the house, I got up. That big house, it was filled with people. I heard screaming. Everyone was running to Despa. All the houses here were destroyed. Despa wasn't destroyed. So we ran to Despa. After Matthew, we were hit hard. We had our fishing nets in the sea, all were lost. We also lost our fishing traps, three motors. We lost two canoes. One was damaged. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) witnessed that. The motors were damaged. There were two fishermen who went fishing and we haven't seen them since. How is it with all of the heat inside? We stay outside because the tarps make it very hot inside. Sometimes it rains and I have to sleep at the neighbor’s. Water goes under the tarp and into the house. It gets muddy and I can’t fix the children’s beds. So I sleep there. Who gave you the tarps? The foreigners gave us tarps to cover our homes. They told us if we sold them we would not get more aid. So, the people do not sell the tarps. We put it on our homes when it rains to prevent leaks. During the day it is hot. Yes. You have to wet inside the house in order to breathe. You get water from a creek, put aqua tabs in it and sprinkle inside. How many children do you have? Six. A young woman like you...how old are they? One is 18, one is 14... One is 10, 8, 3... one is 7 months. The 7 month old was born after the hurricane? Yes, here she is. She's sleeping. In terms of fishing we know people lost boats, fishing traps… We lost fishing nets… DCP [Dispotif de Concentration de Poisson] ... We lost a lot of canoes. Most of the youth you see sitting around it’s because of canoes. They don’t have canoes. What have the government, international organizations, NGOs done... to re-establish fishing here? Only FAO and Plan International... gave each fisherman 700 Haitian dollars (USD $56), which isn't much... because one net cost 150 Haitian dollars (USD $12) at that time. When you give them that under those circumstances, what can it do? It can’t do much. But, it is something. At that time, if someone gave you 100 Haitian dollars it was something. We were thankful for those two NGOs that helped us. We would like to tell the World Bank... Inter-American Development Bank, USAID... if there is one thing they could help the Sud department… particularly the commune of Les Anglais with... is developing its agricultural potential. because before the river got to this point... we produced food for the entire department. It was known as the “Breadbasket of the southern coast”. Agricultural production in Les Anglais remains... the primary activity even today... because 98% of the population works in agriculture. Sweet potatoes are growing now? Little branches. When will they be ready? September, October. Then you’ll have something to sell? To sell? To eat! When August has passed you have hope. Why? You have hope that hurricane season has passed by October. What do people have to eat? There used to be a lot of production… but not anymore. Did this start after the hurricane? Nothing serious is happening. Some places don’t have plantains. There used to be a lot of plantains but I don’t see that. Near my house there are trees but they haven’t produced anything. Everywhere you go it's the same thing. What about Breadfruit? It used to be your main resource but I don't see any. The little trees haven’t produced anything yet. We’re in trouble! This is my land. My husband has his own. I farm here. The country offers you nothing to succeed or make money. The farmer has to go to the market to sell. I can't sit around doing nothing, I have to work. I can’t wait for a man to say, “Here, here, here…” Women can’t sit around waiting for men. We want to work but can't. It costs about $2.60 to hire a farmer. For 2 people it costs $4.85. Are there small labor groups] here? Yes. It costs $2.82 for 4 farmers? What about a kove? It doubles, triples, quadruples! If the government would create a credit union to make loans it would be good. The can't keep giving us money but we could take out loans. You’d have loans for agriculture, petty commerce and fishing. But they would have to give us the loans at a low rate. In town it's high but they still take it. The youth use it to buy motorcycles. Others pay school fees. I’m the President of Chemin La Vie [The Path to Life] and Espwa Demen [Future Hope]. It’s a women’s group with two cooperatives in it. How were things before and after the hurricane? Before, it was very good. We lent a lot of money to members. Women weren't in need. Now they are. The women have always been [economically] active. They had to borrow from merchants in Les Cayes to make a living. So we decided to start this cooperative. Members would save $0.80 and put $0.08 back in our register. We started this on our own. We had livestock. We stockpiled cereal seeds. We had cows, sheep. Beans, maize, all seeds. When we made loans we would sell them. And petty commerce? Yes. Members took out loans for that. In the cooperative, we had a livestock program... where we purchased a cow for a member… and they'd pay interest on it then reimburse us the money [for the cow]. It was so successful, we all had livestock. Mules, donkeys for our own activities. Before Matthew we were doing well but after we stopped. What activities did you have? We met and with the money we collected we lent it to 1, 2 or 3 people. After that, we stopped. We all lost everything. Our homes were destroyed. You could only save your life and your children. There was nothing to sell. We've been around for 6 years and will balance our budget in August [2017]. Once all our members have their money I would like to do a draw. Each month we will give 2 members a female sheep. We will have livestock. By our 7th year we will all have our money. We will collect money. So that there is no conflict... We will randomly draw two names. The following Tuesday, we will buy a sheep for them at the market We will do it every month until everyone gets a sheep. Then we will continue to lend money. A store for the cooperative would be a great move. We can get land. If we have a good idea we have members who will give us land. What are you waiting for? You can’t just decide to open a store. It's costly. If we can get support, advisement, training… If you had said monetary support, I would leave. A community store could have cement, Iron bars, nails, metal sheets for sale. Paint, other little things. It could have seeds as well. A few of us partnered to start the organization… so that we could meet regularly. Scene Maritime came here. They shared with us a motorized system… for us to purchase in installments. That worked out well. And we had a store as well. After the hurricane everything was damaged. We met with the fishermen… With the motors they saw how well we did. We caught more fish. A lot of people joined the organization. It existed before Matthew? Yes, since 2007. The association has between 150 and 200 members. We don’t have enough canoes, motors. We need fishing nets and have limited economic means. We're afraid to live here but there is no alternative. But we’re not happy about living here. Aren't you afraid to continue living here? Yes, we’re afraid. Are you afraid because of Matthew? I’m afraid of any little wind. I don't feel safe. Why don’t you feel safe? We no longer live the same way. We don’t have a place to sleep, to live, to breathe. We are in hurricane season. If they announce another hurricane like Matthew, where will you go? There isn’t a safe place. We are all under tents. You rebuilt in the same place. Are you putting yourselves at risk? There’s the river and the sea. Of course you’re afraid. You can't deny it. The situation is so bad you can’t move, you have no choice. You say, “Lord, your will be done.” You return to the same place even if don't want to. We are many. We shouldn’t be here. But our situation is bad. We don’t have anyone advocating for us. Those in power work for "big shots" like themselves. The "little guy" gets trampled over. When aid comes they claim it in your name but you don't get it. They give it away because they don't need it. We have to find someone who knows someone. The government should have intervened right after the hurricane. The sea meets the lagoon and we’re in the middle. On the internet, television you see how homes are destroyed when sea levels rise… the sea and lagoon meet at the bottom of Calis mountain. Before the next hurricane season they should have relocated people. Built homes for them in the mountains. They keep saying they will but nothing happens. Even if they would offer us a home we would never stay here. We would build a home somewhere else. But for now... We have to stay here... How long have you been here? Since the hurricane. You've been here 10 months. Where did you get the metal sheets? We collected scraps from destroyed homes and put them together. But if you had the means you would leave? No, I would never stay here. Do most people think the same way? No, they wouldn’t stay. Those who have the means buy a little land to build somewhere else. They don’t stay near the sea. The danger is the sea and the river. Yes, at any moment the river may flood. You hope to have 3 temporary shelters... here, down by the river and in Grand Despa. What other activities do you hope to do with this space… when there isn’t a disaster? We would like to have a complex. It would have state offices. There would be space for literacy [programs]... which is very important for us because… people are voting but there are things they don’t understand. And have some sort of cultural space inside... so that the youth can work in groups. This is the water you drink in the area? Yes. When it rains, the water from up there doesn’t fall in? No. It doesn’t fall in? It flows. Over there. But you don’t clean it, it has mold. They were going to clean it yesterday but didn’t. But you see there… Yes. But they usually clean it. But is there a water committee that cleans it? There's no water committee. The young men usually clean it. They sweep up and clear out the trash. What about water, how is it in the area? The water is not clean. Where do you get water? Is there a cleaning committee? Do you drink this water? No. What do you use it for? Washing dishes. Where do you get drinking water? In Dal. Water is a huge problem. The children play in it so we collect it in the morning. How often? 3 times per day. You get it early in the morning. Why? The water is cool. Children haven’t played in it yet. At noon, when the sun is hot and children aren’t in the water. In the afternoons because you need water for work. When do you get drinking water? In the morning. I don’t see any toilets or latrines in the area. Where do you relieve yourself? By the sea... because there is nowhere else to go. In terms of latrines, toilets, where do people go? Everyone goes in the sea. You live right next to the sea. When people go to the bathroom doesn’t that bother you? I can’t stay here anymore. It’s not good for me. Even if I find tarps and a piece of land I will move. When it rains I can't breathe. The stench is too much. Where do you go to relieve yourself? You have to do it in something and then dispose of it. We go in the sea. There are places that don't have latrines. I have one but there are places that don’t. What problems does that create? Water flows into the gutter, to the ravines and ends up in the water. Someone will use the water but it’s contaminated. Water drainage is the greatest challenge when it rains. How will you create a drainage system? We want to dig a hole to drain the water. Erect a gabionade and build an embankment on both sides. We will capture the water and build a cistern to capture rocks. We will build a second cistern to store water. Flooding will not cause the same damage as the water will remain [in the mountains]. We will cut the hills and make dry wall to contain and conserve the soil. The water will have a place to go when it descends. The way we will construct the dry wall... when you place your feet on it, it will be secure. We will drain it to capture water up there. When the water starts flooding from up there... if the big ravines capture the water it diminishes its strength. The greatest challenge we face is the river. The river [level] is higher than the town. Any little rainfall... threatens the town. If the river, the riverbanks are protected… we have bridges over the river… the population will be safe. In terms of agriculture... because much of the [cultivable] land has eroded. And people will not lose their lives... if there is flooding in the middle of the night... we will be protected. I have been coming to Chambellan since 1978. I used to cross the bridge to go to the market. The river was 100 meters. It wasn't this wide. As the number of hurricanes increased annually, it expanded. I have issued several warnings. If they don’t build an embankment the town will disappear. Just like [the town of] Moron disappeared some time ago. In 10, 15 years, if we have another Matthew... the town will disappear. The state has many incentives to protect the town. There are more than 500 families on the riverbed. All the major investments… the building we just came from, the town hall… less than two years ago… the government invested a lot of money in that administrative complex. It houses the Mayors Office, Civil Registry, Tax Collections office... the National ID office, public water company… and the Communal Agricultural Bureau. Further down [the street] you have the police [station], the justice [system]. We have many schools on the riverbed. At 1.5 kilometers, if they don’t protect it… It's quite simple. They have to dredge the river... we secure the riverbanks, secure the gabion to protect the town. If they don’t protect the riverbanks, one day the President will learn that… Chambellan suffered the same fate as Fond Verettes or Mapou. 2,000 to 3,000 people are gone... There are 701 families living there. At any moment the river may flood and 2,000 to 3,000 people will die.

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Duration: 34 minutes and 3 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 8
Posted by: tonicela on Feb 14, 2018

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