Today around noon I got a call from a Pastor who just came back from Haiti. He was there during the storm and he lived the experience. As a matter of fact, he was in Port-de Paix. So I asked him to share with me what he had seen ask him for a hurricane update.
One of things that surprised me is that he explained that at least 800 boats in La Tortue were destroyed, and the people of La Tortue were desperate and hungry.
In all the media coverage thoughout this ordeal I never really heard anything mentioned about La Tortue (which is an island located accross from Port-de-Paix). He explained that he went there to provide what he could, and most of all pray with, and for them.
He said the poverty and hungry faces he saw there were unbearable.
Right after I hang up the phone with him today, my mother called to tell me “guess what, you should see on channel 6, they just had a report that a huge boat carrying 154 people coming from La Tortue was just intercepeted and returned back to Haiti.” So his report was confirmed and accurate, what he saw there in La Tortue was despair, hunger and poverty.
He went on to ask me how I can help. He said they need food, but the problem is that the food does not reach the needy. He explained that he personally witnessed the food containers that were supposed to be for the victims being sold, and taken away to private warehouses by people with big guns. This is not the first time that I have heard this kind of report since the 4 hurricanes ravaged Haiti, but this time it was from an eyewitness that I personally know.
He asked me to find a way to help not only La Tortue, but Port-de-Paix as well. A huge part of Port-de. Paix was under water. The other information he shared with me is that a lot of the people lost their lifes through the deadly mudslides, the water, mud and everything washed donwn from the mountain carrying the people. It took 4-5 days to find dead people, attached to young trees or branches.
I promised him that I will do what I can, but I know I cannot do it without help. So visit www.oglhaiti.com today to donate and share the information with your friends & colleagues.
Other desparate calls and e-mails I am getting are from Arcahaie, and Cabaret.
First they are in need of food and water. They lost all their crops. All the banana plantations and other crops are under water. They need to be able to replant. We need to be a able to support these communities by providing food and water and their basic needs while they replant their crops.
Operation Green Leaves will provide the seeds and the support but we cannot do it with your assistance. So please visit our site at www.oglhaiti.com and make your tax deductible donation TODAY.
If you don’t like to donate online, you can mail your donation to Operation Green Leaves Inc. P.O.box 5254, Coral Gables, Florida 33114. We will have a report with pictures of the assistance provided in our next newsletter.
Operation Green Leaves is looking of a few good artists who would particpate in a fundraising effort for reforesting Haiti. Check out www.oglhaiti.com and click on the ARToire Project link on the left.
The Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida has donated outdated furniture and bedding to Operation Green Leaves. Most of the bedding will be shipped to Haiti, but we need to sell some of the furniture to cover the cost of shipping.
Rather than sell the armoires as furniture, we’d like to sell some of them as art.
We’d like to display the finished art during the Art Basel Miami Beach event in early December, then sell them to acquire trees to plant in rural areas of Haiti. More later.
I beleive when the power of love overcomes the love of power in Haiti, our beloved homeland will know real peace and prosperity. Yesterday on our weekly radio program “Eco Alert with Nadine Patrice” I was discussing with my guests how poverty is at the root of all the ecological problems of Haiti. Like my friend Dan was saying , the poor, peasants and farmers are cutting the trees out of desperation and need to have money to feed their children and survive one more day. We also dicussed a 2007 USAID study available online regarding the vunerability of Haiti’s Environment. According to the study 23 million trees are cut in Haiti every year. To create the necessary balance and to put Haiti on the path to sustainability and self reliance, we need to plant at least 25 million trees a year which goes back to our firm belief and committment that Reforestation in Haiti needs to be a National Mouvement. To hear more details on the issue , you should visit www.oglhaiti.com and click on internet radio. According to the report mentioned above 500 million dollars is used to finance the occupying force in Haiti. A small percentage of these funds could be put to better use by creating and financing A National Reforestation project in Haiti. Poverty and economic distress is at the root of all the trouble in Haiti including the violence. Again I challenge all the Haitian Nationals around the globe and in our homeland to say ENOUGH. The next time you are watching these awful pictures of our people in Haiti, use your sadness and anger THIS TIME to make a committment to yourself and your country to take some action to encourage the necessary change in Haiti to improve the standard of living of our people in Haiti. I am heartbroken, and extremely sad and may be a feeling a bit frustrated to continue to watch in horror and despair pictures of our children in Haiti, clothless (naked), shoeless and hungry. We need to change these pictures, we need to speak with ONE VOICE, Haiti must catch up to the 2st centrury. It is deplorable for our people to be living in these conditions in this hemisphere, in the 21st century, only 800 miles form South Florida’s shores. visit www.oglhaiti.com
The level of poverty and misery you witnessed this week through published pictures of my people in Haiti is unacceptable. I ask myself how this can be?
In the last 30 years, money from foreign governments, including the U.S., international institutions and NGOs has poured into Haiti. Yet even before last week’s destructive storms pictures still showed my people, especially children, naked, shoeless and hungry. A basic infrastructure does not exist.
Electricity, telephone (I am not talking about cell phones), clean drinking water, roads, bridges, schools, etc… Something is not adding up!
At what point do we say ENOUGH!
At what point do we put our ego, personal grudges and greed aside.
At what point do we put the interest of Haiti and its people first.
The horrific pictures you have been watching both in the Haitian and International media are of your brother, sister, child, grandparent… WE ARE ONE!
ONE LOVE…ONE HEART…ONE SPIRIT.
Some of us have been blessed. Doors were opened up at some point in our life. Won’t you open a door for someone else?
It’s time for change in Haiti.
We can no longer close our eyes or look the other way because we ourselves are comfortable. We need to speak for the voiceless. We need to teach the children.
I challenge you today to do something!
Get involved today to help put Haiti on the path to self-sufficiency and sustainable development. DO SOMETHING! DO WHATEVER YOU DO BEST. JUST TAKE SOME ACTION AND GET INVOLVED.
I will continue to plant trees and provide education and environmental awareness with a renewed urgency because I refuse to look the other way. I am committed to improving the lives of my brothers and sisters in Haiti.
We you join me?
Visit: www.oglhaiti.com. Listen to the BlogTalkRadio show we did on Saturday, 13 September. Some if it is Kreyol. All if it is significant. Listen to the show this week at 10 AM Saturday: www.blogtalkradio.com/oglhaiti.
Every Saturday at 10 AM EST, the Operation Green Leaves’ radio program is on BlogTalkRadio.
The 13 September show featured three callers who were in Haiti during Hurricane Ike. They talked about the extensive damage caused by flooding and how a reforestation program is desparately needed before all of the top soil is washed into the sea.
One of the guests spoke Kreyol. Nadine does a basic translation to English. Click here to listen to the show:
EcoAlert with Nadine Patrice
As I watched the news this morning regarding all the hurricane relief help going to my people in my beloved Haiti, including some U.S. elected officials flying to Haiti with supplies, and some Hollywood celebrities like Matt Damon, I am very grateful and thankful for their help, and for caring for the plight of our people in Haiti. However, I have seen these images before.
I saw the catastrophic impact of Tropical Storm Jeanne, followed by all the help from all over the world, yet this hurricane season was even worse.
We did not learn our lesson, did we?
Preparation. Advance Warning. Evacuation. If there was a plan, it was not implemented!
The urgency of feeding and taking care of the victims needs will be addressed today, and in the coming months. But my question is – What will happen after the immediate humanitarian aid is delivered?
We encourage the Haitian people to ‘focus on the future.’ Elected officials from other countries bring assistance, and go home. Celebrities use their status, and drift away.
We must use whatever tools are available to DEMAND that the authorities and elected offficials make a real comittment to make building a basic infrastructure a top priority in their plans. They need to start with the principal cities in each of the Departments: PORT-AU-PRINCE, CAP HAITIAN, PORT-DE-PAIX, GONAIVE, CAYES, JACMEL & JEREMIE.
Excuses and corruption can not be tolerated.
If these main cities had a basic infrastructure – Strong Roads and Bridges, Electricity, Water, Hospitals, a working phone system, public housing, well-built school buildings that could be used for shelters, and an organized, efficient & competent local government – the impact of these storms would be significantly reduced.
THEY MUST BEGIN A NATIONAL REFORESTATION PROGRAM, TODAY!
For more info. visit: www.oglhaiti.com.
Today our Radio Show “Eco Alert with Nadine Patrice” was dedicated to all the hurricane victims of Haiti and their families. Our prayers are with them and most of all, we promise that we will never stop advocating for their rights. We will speak up in Unity with One Voice with all the ecological organizations of Haiti and the world to bring the necessary change in Haiti, so the next time we have such an active hurricane season the impact is not as catastrophic.
Today, we had guests from several enviromental organizations working on the ground in Haiti as well as abroad. We had The executive director of “Societe Audubon of Haiti,” Jean Vilmond Hilaire; Ney Joseph Belancourt with “Pennies for Trees,”; Jane Wynne with “Wynne Farm Ecological Preserve; Gabrielle Vincent of “Sonje Ayiti,” and Anceleau Joseph with “Group Vision Marien”.
I want to also mention that Bobby Chauvet, with “Federation des Amis de la Nature” (Federation of Friends of Nature and Gesner Champagne of “Fondation Seguin” were also invited but able to call at this time. We hope to have them on the show in the near future.
Since the early 1980s, Bobby Chauvet, a champion of promoting ecological restoration in Haiti, has been warning us about the possiblity of catastrophe if nothing was done to halt the rapid deforestation in Haiti. This week, possiblity became reality.
The good news is that TODAY at this time all the ecological organizations have decided to work together toward the ecological restoration of our beloved Haiti. We have decided to speak with ONE voice, to speak up so we can encourage the authorities and elected officials in charge to take the necessary actions so we will be better prepared by the next hurricane season.
We made a committment to make reforestation a top priority and demand that it becomes a National Project where all the environmental organizations will work together to make it happen.
If you missed the show, you can listen to it by visiting www.oglhaiti.com and click on the BlogTalkRadio logo.
Our message today on the show was urgent, we need it to reach as many people as possible, so please share the link and general information with others. We need your help to replant and reforest Haiti, please go online and make a donation toward our reforestation projects in Haiti. DONATE at www.oglhaiti.com or mail your tax deductible donations to: Operation Green Leaves Inc. P.O.Box 5254, Coral Gables, Florida 33114
We are in need of seeds and seedlings to distribute to the farmers in Haiti, as one of our guests on the show explained today, it is urgent that we provide seed and seedling to the farmers because OCTOBER, is planting season in Haiti for the farmers and they will need to rebuild the agricultural resources in the aftermath of these destructive storms. If they are not in a position to have the seeds and seedlings, they wil cut more trees to make more charcoal to sell to have the money to buy what they need. In 1980 there was stil 10 to 15% of forest cover left, TODAY, there is less than 1% and it could quickly diminish even more because the 3 most forested areas left are “Pic Macaya” which is the rain forest of Haiti, “Parc La Visite” and “The Pine Forest”. Most likely they are the areas they will they will start cutting. So please we need your help TODAY, visit www.oglhaiti.com and make your DONATION.
EcoAlert with Nadine Patrice, Operation Green Leaves internet radio show on Saturday @ 10 AM EST – www.blogtalkradio.com – will include several callers who are in Haiti, and whre there as hurricane Ike emerged from the darkness, killing men, women and children as it flooded low lying areas, washed away bridges and covered roadways with several feet of water.
Listen to EcoAlert with Nadine Patrice on Saturday at 10 AM EST – www.blogtalkradio.com/oglhaiti.
The show is produced by Ken English, the BlogTalkRadioGuy, for the Social Radio Network.
Check out www.oglhaiti.com for additional information, and to make a donation to help local organizations in rural areas of Haiti recover from this unnatural disaster. If there were trees in the mountains, there would not be severe floods in the valleys.
I was really hoping that after Tropical Storm Jane 4 years ago the authorities and elected officials in Haiti would of learned something and would of taken preventive measures, and be ready to implement their hurricane preparedness plan, but instead watching these horrific pictures, In my opinion, there was no evacuation plan, no prevention plan, and most of all the population was left to fend for themselves. The conditions in which people in these affected areas were living in, in the first place is not acceptable in 2008. I have been warning the people of Haiti and global friends about these catastrophic scenarios for years because of the serious deforestation situation in Haiti. Most of the mountains of Haiti are totally dunuded, we currently have less than 1.5% for forest cover left…So these deadly flash flood are the results of these conditions. Today I am inviting members of Operation Green Leaves, all Haitian Citizens abroad and in our homeland and friends of Haiti to make a personal committment to speak up and take some action to help bring the necessary change in Haiti so the next hurricane season the deadly impact will be reduced. This Saturday on our weekly radio show “Eco Alert with Nadine”, will be dedicated to all the hurricane victims in Haiti. We will be discussing, short, long and permanet solutions to this crisis. for more info. visit: www.oglhaiti.com
We are going to provide information on our website: www.oglhaiti.com.