ORE Hurricane Matthew Relief Program
We need your help after Hurricane Matthew has devastated Southern Haiti
Hurricane Matthew assaulted the southern peninsula of Haiti with deadly fury on Tuesday, destroying tens of thousands of homes as tin roofs were ripped off by the 145 mph winds. Precious crops were flattened and destroyed by torrential rainfall and there was widespread damage from flash floods with loss of livestock and destruction of the already vulnerable infrastructure. In Jérémie alone 80% of the houses are without roofs.
The latest government figures on October 11th estimated that over 175,000 are currently homeless staying in some 224 temporary shelters. The official death toll is estimated at 473 deaths. (But the figure may well be much higher as more information gradually comes in from isolated areas). In the meantime the extent of the damage and human suffering is overwhelming, the government says that 1.4 million are in need of humanitarian assistance.
As reported by the BBC, the top United Nations official in Haiti, Mourad Wahba, described the storm as “the largest humanitarian event” in the country of 11 million since a devastating earthquake six years ago, with thousands scrambling for shelter.

ORE helpers providing food and clothing during a relief operation.

A team of ORE volunteers providing tents for the homeless in 2010

Your support for the humanitarian relief program following Hurricane Matthew is making it possible to assist the hundreds of thousands of people in the South and Grande Anse departments of Haiti.
ORE is providing pure drinking water from our deep well/bottling facility, helping to repair homes and offer food and shelter to those most in need. In order to ensure there will be food and income in the near future we are also supplying seeds to farmers as they have lost their crops and their seed stocks.
The seeds being distributed are a variety of vegetable seeds, and also improved seeds bred by ORE in Haiti. All our seeds are naturally bred, open population, never GMO, never hybrids. They are bred using age-old traditional methods to select for higher yield so that the improved seeds perform well even with low-fertilization and rainfed conditions. The improved seeds include high yield local corn seeds, QPM quality protein corn (originally from CIMMYT in Mexico), high yield sweet potatoes, vitamin A rich sweet potatoes, high yield sorghum and bean seeds.
We would like to give our heart-felt thanks to all the volunteers who are giving their time so generously, and all the donors who personally contributed their gifts to make this all possible. God bless you all.
Help by donating
Whatever you donate will go directly to those in need.
With your help we can offer
      • Food for those immediately in need
      • Seeds for farmers who have lost their crops
      • Materials to rebuild broken homes
      • Shelter for those in immediate need
      • Clothing and basic necessities
      • Whatever else is required to rebuilt the communities’ well-being

See what is being done with your donations!

The tragic longterm effects of a horrific natural disaster

Any help you offer will make a huge difference!

Even the smallest gift will go a long way to alleviate the suffering that thousands are going through as a result of this natural disaster… women and children, the old and the needy. thank you for your help. Every donation goes in full directly to those in need.

ORE's Current Relief Activities & Plans
  • Delivery of ORE’s high-yield HP-2012 improved corn seeds. 100 tons planned for January’s planting season

  • Early November delivery of 15 tons of improved corn seed to farmers

  • 100 tons of ORE’s high-yield improved corn seeds planned for January’s planting season

  • November delivery of 15 tons of improved corn seed to farmers

  • November delivery of 15 tons of improved corn seed to farmers

  • Pre-hurricane shot of high-yield ORE-corn-seed production

  • Drying first 15 ton batch of HP-2012 improved corn seed

  • Bamboo propagation by mist spray at ORE

  • Bamboo seedings – with 75,000 more in production

  • OXFAM loading drinking water at ORE’s deep well facility

  • Pure deep-well drinking water being collected at ORE

  • High yield sweet potato varieties being propagated for the current season

Current activities as the situation evolves

As Dr Mousson Pierre, ORE’s CEO, explained to me today, everyone is focusing now on the planting of crops which is an absolute necessity in these purely agricultural communities: so seeds are in high demand. This is the main trust of the relief effort.
Here are some explanations about the various photos below, the seeds involved and some data about the drinking water and other relief activities.

The seeds being distributed:

Delivery of ORE's high-yield improved corn seeds - HP-2012The photos are of the initial post hurricane distribution of 15 metric tons of improved high-yield ORE Corn seeds (variety HP-2012). This is an improved variety which was released by ORE in 2012 from selected local variety chickencorn. This quantity is sufficient to cover an initial 750 ha in communes of the coastal region. The goal of the program is to distribute 100 metric tons seed in all  for the January planting season. With farmers planting 20 kg per hectare the program will benefit approximately 10,000 farmers.
 November delivery of 15 tons of improved corn seed to farmers
The tested yield data for the HP-2012 corn compared with traditional corn saved by farmers is as follows:
Corn yields:
Traditional seeds: 0.8 tons/ha
ORE HP-2012 seed (under rainfed conditions) 2 tons/ha
ORE HP-2012 seed (with irrigation) 4.25 tons/ha
There are also pre-hurricane photos showing the cross pollination of the open-population using traditional techniques, non GMO, non hybrid seeds, which ORE is performing as an ongoing core project to assist farmers with high yield crops that grow well under local conditions.
Pre-hurricane shot of high-yield ORE-corn-seed production
Yield data for ORE’s sorghum seeds since we hope to produce similar quantities for the next planting season are:
Sorghum yields:
Traditional seeds: 0.50 tons/ha
ORE improved sorghum seed (under rainfed conditions): 1.1 tons/ha
ORE improved sorghum seed (with irrigation): 2.75 tons/ha
As previously explained we are also propagating high-yield sweet potato for distribution and a large variety of vegetable seeds. 

Distribution of Pure Drinking Water

OXFAM loading drinking water at ORE facilityThe ORE deep well drinking water was tested by OXFAM and approved as pure drinking water. 636,000 liters already been provided to 3 of the 18 communes of the South department. This is important in view of the cholera and other parasitical water born diseases which are plaguing the local population. Most people are following the hygiene recommendations but access to pure drinking water is a huge help. 

Pure deep-well drinking water being collected at ORE

Daily distribution of drinking water

15.000 litres per day or almost 4,000 gallons

Distribution to date since the hurricane

145,000 litres or almost 40,000 gallons

Bamboo- Guadua variety


We currently have 45,000 Guadua bamboo plants in nursery, the goal for this season is to produce: 50,000. As you know, Guadua Bamboo is one of the largest, strongest, and most economically important bamboo of the Americas. The demand for bamboo in the current circumstances is enormous. (Photos show one of many batches of plants in the nursery and also the mist-spray technique used to rapidly propagate them).


Other Activities

ORE teams have also been repairing homes, particularly roofing, in the local communities. However, as Dr Mousson explained, they just do it and never think to take photos! We have requested photos of this activity and they will take them in the future, but I’m afraid they are a very ‘hands-on’ group and so we will have to be patient for this one.
Devastation in the South & Grande Anse
The damage from the hurricane is devastating: As ORE’s director Mousson put it, Eliassaint who was at ORE in Camp Perrin was shocked by the devastation he saw! The flooding, the roofless houses, the loss of crops throughout the entire area are overwhelming. So many trees are down. It is a real mess. It hard to estimate the economic impact, the level of suffering this will cause in an area which is already the poorest in the western hemisphere.
Apart from the immediate priority for food, shelter and medicine, we are also looking at the longer term need to source and produce seeds so that the primarily agricultural communities will be able to plant crops and produce the food that will be needed to survive in the future. Corn, beans and sweet potatoes that major staples – current seed stocks are lost – so the goal has to be to make enough seeds available for the farmers in all the affected areas.
Clearly there is a tremendous need for help for the cleaning up, the rebuilding and all the support for those so much in need. Any help you can offer would be most welcome.

Any help you offer will make a huge difference!

Even the smallest gift will go a long way to alleviate the suffering that thousands are going through as a result of this natural disaster… women and children, the old and the needy. thank you for your help. Every donation goes in full directly to those in need.

In the short-term, hundreds are dead, and thousands upon thousand of people are without shelter, they are hungry and have lost nearly all their meager belongings.
In the midterm, harvests were destroyed and there will be no food in the foreseeable future. Fruit trees that provided food and income, are broken and leafless, and will take years to grow back… and many are lost forever.
In the long-term where are the finances, the plant materials and seeds to replant the fields going to come from… with meager funds lost, seeds ruined and plantations decimated? How many acres of fertile land are now covered by sediment carried downhill by flash floods? Where are the resources to replant crops and trees in this desperately deforested landscape? What will people have to eat?
How will the children, the elderly and the weak survive in such dire conditions? So much help is needed to restore some degree of normality to the lives of the people in the South of Haiti.

Eglise St Anne, Camp Perrin: the church before and after the hurricane

Entire homes are blown away in Jérémie. (Photo le Nouvelliste)

The town of Jérémie was devastated by the hurricane. (Photo le Nouvelliste)

The spireless cathedral in the once beautiful town of Jeremie

Roofless-houses and hungry children

Roofless houses and hungry children

Banana plantation destroyed

Banana plantation destroyed

Flooding and wind damage

Flooding and wind damage

Infrastructure destroyed by flooding

Infrastructure destroyed by flooding

Trying to rebuild a home

Trying to save something from the ruins

This was once a home…

Eroded treeless landscape – Port-à-Piment

80% of the houses are reported to be without roofs in Jérémie. (Photo le Nouvelliste)

Buildings in ruins after hurricane Matthew’s passage through Camp Perrin

Trees are broken and leafless, crops totally destroyed…

A cemetery littered with uprooted trees and vegetation in Camp Perrin

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