Caribbean Hurricane Season OCHA Situation Report No. 30



- Preliminary results of the country-wide family and host family survey for the regions of Grande-Anse, North and the commune of Gonaïves (Artibonite department) indicate that 47% of families are still living in host family settings and have thus not been able to regain their homes three months after the series of tropical storms that hit Haiti.

- The contract of the remaining WFP helicopter which was due to end in mid-December has been extended until 31 January 2009 in view of the continuous food assistance needs and malnutrition in remote areas.

- In Baie d'Orange (South-East department), 2 children died out of the 60 severely malnourished children who were hospitalized. Most of them have now returned home. The imminent opening of a school canteen (UNICEF, WHO and WFP activity) would help in curbing the situation of malnutrition in the region.



1. Preliminary results of the country-wide family and host family survey for the departments of Grande-Anse, North and the commune of Gonaïves (Artibonite department) indicate that 47% of families are still living in host family settings; and have thus not been able to regain their homes three months after the series of tropical storms that hit Haiti. A preliminary analysis of data indicates the following:

- Type of damage: In Grande-Anse, floods (53.7%) made more damage than wind (53.7%) while in the North; wind (72.8%) caused significantly more damage than floods (29.3%). In both regions, mud caused relatively little damage to houses (around 13%) compared to the commune of Gonaïves (39.5%). Since the majority of houses are built of wood or mud in these regions, heavy damages were reported on both walls and roofs.

- Needs assessment: With regards to families that participated in the survey, 89% in Grande-Anse and 72% in the North indicated a loss of property or livelihoods. 100% in Grande-Anse and 70% in the North would require assistance in the form of technical expertise for reconstruction. CGI, wood and cement are high priority requirements.

- Available resources: A great majority of families (92.6% in Grande-Anse and 82.6% in the North) indicate that they do not have enough resources to start reconstruction or repair of damaged dwellings. More materials seem to be recoverable in Grande-Anse (CGI 33%; wood 40%) than in the North (CGI 13%; wood 21%).

Situation in Gonaives

2. In the surrounding areas of Gonaïves, besides the 3,300 shelter kits already distributed and the 1,140 soon to be distributed by the IFRC in rural areas, IOM shelter material distribution is planned to reach 2,000 families before the end of the year. Furthermore, IOM will purchase 1,787 repair kits (half-kits and full-kits)1 consisting of wood, cement, CGI, tools and plastic sheeting. As part of the second phase of its strategy, the IFRC is planning to rebuild around 4,000 houses in rural areas during the next 6 months. A Concern Worldwide pilot project in Saut-d'eau (Centre) targeting 33 families is ongoing and technical training will take place by 15 December 2008.

3. In Gonaïves, about 1,965 basic shelter kits were distributed within the first week of November. Following last week's assessments on the last 34 non-school shelters in Gonaïves and its immediate surroundings, efforts are ongoing to assist the return of 2,167 families still living in collective shelters. Following an assessment and physical verification of houses, 1,000 families will receive repair kits for damaged and destroyed houses in the next 4 days. The full kit for destroyed houses will enable families to build a transitional shelter. A 4 days distribution will start soon, targeting 350 families.

4. Results of the assessment of non-school shelters carried out by ACF, CRS, MDM, UNFPA, OXFAM, OCHA, CARE, Hands on Disaster and IOM, indicated that 2,167 families are still living in temporary shelters and collective sites (this includes tent sites). On 5 December, the Civil Protection Unit (DPC) confirmed the availability of five tent sites: Praville, Marché Bienac, Lycée Bicentenaire, Elim/UPAG and Eben Ezer, could to be used as transit sites. Families that are unable to find alternative shelter solutions with the assistance being offered; will be temporarily relocated to the above mentioned transit sites. However, families that are not home owners will not be relocated into transit tent sites as such tent sites could become long-term settlements in increase the vulnerability of those families during the next hurricane season. Actual long term shelter solutions should be identified in coordination with the authorities for this particular caseload.

5. In order to avoid land ownership disputes, a decision was made to adopt different strategies for families that lived in rented houses and homeowners. Homeowners are being offered repair kits while tenants receive financial support sufficient enough to cover the costs of a new 1-year lease. Out of the 2,176 families assessed, 45% are tenants and 55% are owners.

6. On 9 December IOM facilitated a meeting between the DPC, the Haitian Red Cross and Care in order to further discuss a shelter/camp management training program to be undertaken in Gonaïves before the end of the year. The training modules intend to strengthen the management capacity of local authorities.

7. As agreed by cluster members in Gonaïves, repair kit distribution was preceded by an information campaign and coupon distribution. IOM and cluster member's resources were mobilized to ensure a smooth logistics coordination. Approximately 1,000 repair kits for damaged and destroyed houses are being distributed this week at two different sites within the city. Beneficiaries are requested to claim cement bags at selected distribution points within 48 hours. The first two days of distribution will target families with partially damaged houses and the last two, families that have sustained more extensive damage. Technical guidance leaflets are being distributed alongside repair kits. In addition, IOM is contracting students that were trained by Habitat for Humanity in masonry and wood framing; to assist families with repair works and guide them towards making long-lasting improvements to their housing situation. These students were selected by "district committees" in the 13 districts of Gonaïves.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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