In the village of Boucan Carre in the heart of Haiti’s Central Plateau, Partners In Health (PIH) and their Haitian sister organization, Zamni Lasante (ZL), run a public clinic where an average of 200 patients receive free health care every day. To reach the clinic, vehicles and pedestrians must often cross a river called Fonlanfe, which literally translates from Haitian Kreyol to English as “Deep Hell.” During the dry season, the typical peasant travels on foot and must wade through waist-deep water across a very rocky and uneven riverbed. But when the rains come, the waters of Fonlanfe swell, a condition that combined with severe flash flooding, makes passage virtually impossible.
Because of Fonlanfe’s raging waters, urgent deliveries of medical supplies and food have been delayed or denied altogether. Patients and staff members, whether on foot, horse, motorcycle or SUV, have been stranded for hours on either side of the river waiting to cross. Vehicles, including PIH/ZL ambulances, have been swept away by sudden floods. People have drowned while seeking medical care, and others still have died on the banks, waiting for the waters to recede.
In a country where 80% of the population lives below the International poverty line (CIA 2003), Haiti’s Central Plateau lies at the bottom of the economic ladder. Massive barriers to adequate healthcare, education and economic sustainability exist for these people who strive daily to meet the basic demands of life. In this struggle, Fonlanfe stands as a literal roadblock to those living in the Central Plateau, as well as to anyone trying to provide assistance.
The rains have already begun this year and still without a bridge, the people of Boucan Carre and their dedicated friends at the PIH/ZL clinic continue to fight for social and economic justice. Your support is vital. Today, you can help build a bridge – a simple structure of concrete and steel – that will change the lives of more than 20,000 men, women and children in Boucan Carre.
Your contribution counts! Join with Rocklopedia and donate to help build this bridge over troubled water today.