Cap-Haitien “Is at It’s Worst” as Severe Drought Drags On, Leaving Haiti Without Fuel, Water, and Food

Farmer Jean Romain Beltinor, 59, works the rocky dirt on his parched hillside to prepare for planting seeds he does not have in Bombardopolis, northwestern Haiti. After months of drought, the subsistence farmer struggles to find food for his 13 children. To earn a little money, he must turn to cutting what little wood remains for charcoal. (Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

Life in northern Haiti moves from bad to worse as severe drought drags on. Hurricane Dorian recovery may be getting the most headlines lately, but ongoing drought makes daily life increasingly desperate.

“Everyone is describing the Cap-Haitien area as the worst it has ever been. When you’re talking about Haiti, that’s bad,” For Haiti With Love’s Eva DeHart tells MNN.

“They have no fuel, no sources of water, no food. It’s really, really bleak.”

Essentials limited in Cap-Haitien

Though it’s becoming increasingly severe, Haiti’s drought is not new. Widespread water shortages have plagued several nations in Latin America and the Caribbean since last summer. See a complete overview and updates here.

Regardless, the drought in northern Haiti is so severe, DeHart says, that it’s sucking water out of even the deepest wells. Usually, hurricane rains can help offset this shortage by raising the water tables that wells use as their sources. No such luck in Cap-Haitien.

“As the hurricane (Dorian) went through, it kind of sucked Cap-Haitien dry and took all of its water to Freeport,” DeHart explains.

The region is also running low on fuel, which limits electricity – another life necessity in northern Haiti. For example, a ministry staff member recently took his daughter to the local hospital to deliver her baby, DeHart says.

“The hospital had no power. They ended up delivering that baby by the light on their cell phones,” DeHart says. The little girl is okay, she adds, “but pretty drastic delivery conditions!”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth