Friday, November 16, 2012

Concerned About the Rain on the Roof Project


Seven community members from Platon, including three women, hiked down the mountain and crossed the river to talk to Amoce today.  It's been almost a month since Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti.  They came to ask us to fix the roofs on more houses, especially since the hurricane caused so much damage.  MSM is currently planning to fix three houses -- it's all that we have a budget for right now.  They asked us if we could do five.  Paul and I know several of the people who came -- Erlus Paul, the mason (he's the serious looking one on the far right), and Yanie's father, Mr. Dominique with a Boston Red Sox cap in the front (given to him by Dr. Mark).  The man in the striped shirt, Blaise, cannot live in his house now because he lost his roof in the hurricane; he goes to the school, sleeps there, and then has to leave before the students come. In the picture they all look very stern, but that's just their picture-posing; it's hard to get Haitians to smile for photos.

While we don't have the donations to replace more metal roofs at this time, we may try to buy large tarps and hand out as many as we can for the time being so that people at least have a dry roof over their heads. Each house costs approximately $750 to replace the roof and the PVC gutters.  This cost often includes new rafters (tree poles) and the transportation cost of Robert using his pickup truck to drive the materials through the river and to the bottom of the mountain.  At the bottom of the mountain, the local people pick up the materials and hike with them up to the work site.  This labor is all provided for free by the community members because everyone in the community benefits.

(History:  There are 93 houses which we identified as needing new roofs.  Seventy of those have large water-collecting cisterns attached to the rusty roofs.  The cisterns collect water from the roofs for the whole community, but for the most part they are empty because the roofs are so rusted.  MSM has fixed 13 of those roofs so far, and we want to fix as many as we can, knowing that we probably cannot fix them all.)

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