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10/03/2013

Hurricane season 2013, entering the final part…

Since it officially started June 1st, the hurricane season has been very nice with Haiti for now.

Announced as a hurricane season to be feared with 18 tropical waves predicted and from which 8 should be given a name… meaning being at least a tropical storm, a terrible destructive hurricane for the worst!
So far Haiti can consider itself as still very lucky.

After tropical storms Chantal and Dorian that collapsed just before reaching Haiti’s shore at the beginning of July (already mentioned on a previous blog), numerous tropical waves and storm have been identified and followed carefully by all the specialists and all the Islands of the Caribbean.
Last in date, tropical storm Gabrielle that changed its route surprisingly IN FAVOR of Haiti!

While storm and hurricanes almost always tend to change their routes to hit Haiti, once again mother nature decided to spare the poorest country of the western hemisphere!

Still we’re only halfway through….

The hurricane season ends officially at the end of November and every Haitian can remember Thomas in November 10 or Sandy last late October!
In addition to these surprisingly pleasant turns in storms trajectory the 2013 hurricane season is amazingly dry.

If it helped preventing another cholera severe outbreak, the drought is becoming a serious problem when it comes to agricultural matter!

The spring harvest results have been just published and the result isn’t good… the first harvest of this year represents only 60% of the 2009 one (last solid reference before January 10 earthquake). It is a bit better than last year but with the constant and regular inflation times are getting really difficult for many Haitians.

Even if inflation did tend to reduce lately it is today estimated that 1.5 million people are living under food security stress.

Another consequence of the drought is of course access to water. Even in Leogane where the water table is known to be rich most of the wells are basically empty!

In JEN office for example it now takes more than an hour to refill the water tank while it only took 20 minutes to our small electric pump to do the job back in May!
Limited access to water also creates fertile environment for cholera somehow… not in urban environment where heavy rain would for sure spread the disease by mixing clean and dirty waters! But in the remote areas of the countryside limited access to water means many more people and animals sharing the last accesses!

At date 35,000 people have been infected already this year in Haiti!
If the total amount decreases in comparison with 2011 and 2012, the last few months saw a rise in fatalities as 1.4% of the people affected die countrywide, some remote areas reaching 4% when an acceptable rate of fatality should be under 1%...

So… should we hope for rain, save agriculture but get cholera rising in large cities or should we hope for drought, which will spare the cities of severe cholera outbreak but will see terrible rate of fatality in remote areas and severe food insecurity for many?
Fortunately it’s for nobody to decide!
What’s sure is that we entering the second part of the hurricane season!
And the bigger threat is still… HURRICANE!



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October 3, 2013 in Haiti |