Goal: USD 15,000

Support the Response

On August 14th, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook Les Cayes, Haiti injuring and killing thousands. This earthquake was an even greater intensity than the earthquake that had devastated Port au Prince 11 years prior. Two days after the earthquake, while the country was still experiencing major aftershocks, the southern peninsula of Haiti was hit by a tropical storm causing widespread flooding and landslides. These events happened only weeks after the assassination of the country’s president and in the midst of ongoing concerns surrounding the global pandemic, political turmoil, civil unrest, and violent gang activity.

Please join us in praying for the people of Haiti as they seek to recover from these catastrophic events and circumstances.

EMI has been involved in many projects in Haiti over the years and partnered with many incredible ministries who are bringing hope to this country. Over the past two years, EMI has been involved with disaster risk reduction project to rehabilitate evacuation shelters in the southern peninsula of Haiti and are positioned to respond to the areas that have been impacted by these events. A team of engineers are being deployed immediately to provide structural and WASH assessments for these shelters and communities.

We need your help in order to do this! Please consider giving today to help us bring restoration and offer hope.

September 29, 2021

Update from Riley Poynter, EMI WASH Engineering Fellow

EMI’s second response team made it to Haiti earlier this week. This team of four is made up of EMI’s WASH Program Director Jason C., structural engineers Bernard K. and Steven P., and environmental engineer Joshua K. Over the past few days, they have been able to complete about 10 assessments of evacuation facilities on the western end of Haiti’s southern peninsula.

EMI team members and World Concern engineers discuss structural damage. - Jason C., Grand'Anse, Haiti

An update directly from team leader Jason C.: “Thankfully the facilities on the west coast have been much less impacted by the earthquake. In addition to assessing structural damage, we have also been assessing WASH needs and other challenges the facilities are facing, like drainage and site security. We are hearing from the owners and the concerns they have and providing some immediate feedback to help them.”

Team members Steven P., Bernard K., and Joshua K. inspect structural damage at one of the facilities. - Jason C., Grand'Anse, Haiti

While there may not be a danger of structural failure, the EMI team has still observed challenges that these facilities must contend with to be effective evacuation shelters for any future natural disasters in the region. This is what EMI will continue to work on in the coming months with our partner engineers from World Concern in Haiti.

Environmental engineer Joshua K. takes a water sample at one of the evacuation shelters. - Jason C., Grand'Anse, Haiti

EMI is thankful to be able to respond to these disasters, and we thank you for your financial and prayerful support that makes it happen. This team will be travelling throughout the southern peninsula of Haiti for assessments the remainder of this week. Please continue to pray for safe travels and productive visits.

September 14, 2021

Update from Riley Poynter, EMI WASH Engineering Fellow

Our first response team is traveling back home today, and they have had a busy three weeks in Haiti. In our typical projects, EMI is able to come alongside local engineers to provide further technical expertise, and this response trip to Haiti was no different. The picture below highlights the team that worked together this week that included our American volunteers Sam, Craig, and Bill and two of our Haitian engineers Sascha and Altidor.

Left to Right: Sascha, Bill, Sam, Craig, Altidor

The team inspected a school in the Grand’Anse department (picture below). The school consisted of a one-story classroom building and a two-story classroom building, both of which were very damaged by the earthquake and subsequently broken up more by an excavator or similar piece of equipment. This school had been one of the selected shelters for rehabilitation in the ongoing disaster risk reduction project that EMI is working on in Haiti, but with the collection of this information, EMI and World Concern is considering where resources may be best spent to provide the most resilient shelters on this southwestern peninsula.

Local town residents breaking up the concrete rubble of a school building to reclaim the rebar. - Samuel C., Grand'Anse, Haiti

The team also provided positive news to some of the Haitian communities. The pictures below show the First Presbyterian Church of Les Cayes, which had been deemed unsafe to occupy by the city. Further assessment of the church indicated that liquefaction had occurred at the site resulting in the building sinking 50 mm. However, while the floor is uneven and requires rebuilding, the building experienced minimal damage otherwise. The team was able to share that it was safe to occupy.

The sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Les Cayes. The team assessed and was able to share that the structure is safe to occupy. - Craig. C., Les Cayes Arrondissement, Haiti
Damage of church floor due to soil liquefaction - Craig. C., Les Cayes Arrondissement, Haiti

While there is still much assessment to be done in this region of Haiti, we are thankful for the volunteers who have already been mobilized and for our local partners who work in this region and have travelled to the sites with our team. Continue to look for updates as another team is mobilized in the next week or so.

September 8, 2021

Update from Riley Poynter, EMI WASH Engineering Fellow

Over the weekend, our team of disaster response volunteers hosted a training session at the American University of the Caribbean. Craig C. (structural engineer) provided a summary to 15-20 engineering students about structural design and vertical and lateral loads.

EMI Disaster Responder Craig C. (Structural Engineer) teaches engineering students about structural design and assessments – Samuel C., Les Cayes Arrondissement, Haiti

After this discussion, the team and students toured buildings on the campus, where Craig described the damage that they observed and why that damage occurred. At this site in particular, there was both shaking and liquefaction damage. EMI is looking into ways that this type of training may continue to equip these students in the places where they live and work.

Please continue to pray for this team as they are in their last week in Haiti. More teams will likely be deployed in the coming months, so continued prayer for that is also needed. Thank you for your support!

September 2, 2021

Update from Riley Poynter, EMI WASH Engineering Fellow

Our first disaster response team of three volunteers has now been in Haiti for a little over a week, working with our partnering Haitian engineers from World Concern. This partnership that EMI has developed since 2019 has allowed for our responders to have a focused response goal and to perform assessments alongside local engineers.

Since they arrived, Craig C., Samuel C., and Bill M. have performed detailed assessments of about 20 evacuation shelters across the Nippes department on the southern peninsula. They have observed a range of structural damage at these different facilities and the need for WASH interventions. The team is now beginning assessments in the Sud and Grand Anse departments, where the greatest damage has occurred from these disasters.

Alongside the work with World Concern, the EMI response team will perform structural evaluations of a few hospitals in the region and will provide assessment training for engineering students at a nearby university.

Please be praying for this team as they continue their work on the ground over the next week and for the teams that will be following them in the coming weeks. The next team of expert disaster responders will be heading out near the end of September.

Structural engineer Craig C. investigating a blown out wall in the town of Maniche.

August 19, 2021

Update from Jason Chandler, EMI Disaster Response Manager

Over 700 evacuation shelters have been assessed since 2019 when we began working in Haiti, along with our partner World Concern. These are existing schools, churches, and community centers where people are going when a storm comes along the southern peninsula. Out of these 700 shelters, 100 were selected for rehabilitation which was just beginning to start when the earthquake and tropical storm hit.

Many of the improvements that were being proposed to these facilities were small upgrades that would promote life safety and ability for the facility to function as an evacuation shelter. Things like increased water storage, rainwater catchment, hurricane straps, latrine improvements, etc.

Recent events have changed the landscape of the needs in this area. Many of these shelters are now anticipated to need major structural repairs and WASH interventions. Much of our previous assessments and designs are now out of date and need to be revisited.

Thankfully, we have a team of expert disaster responders who answered the call and will be spending the next three weeks beginning to assess these facilities again and determine the repairs that are needed. We will also serve the communities and our partner ministry with rapid assessments of structures to determine their safety for occupancy.

Please be praying for this team as they mobilize and lay the ground work for likely many other teams to follow.

Support the Response

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