Haiti: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 9

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2004/0095
OCHA Situation Report No. 9
Floods - Haiti
21 June 2004

General situation

1. There have been no more heavy rainfalls and the immediate emergency is phasing out. The principal humanitarian issues now are:

  • Distribution of relief assistance to affected areas by road and air (Mapou)

  • Relocation of displaced people living in areas at risk or in temporary shelters

  • Monitoring of the health situation due to contaminated drinking water and poor sanitation, particularly in the area of Mapou, including recovery of bodies from Mapou lake.


2. The situation in Mapou is serious considering food, health and sanitary problems as well as relocation of villages/houses. WHO/PAHO is concerned with possible epidemic outbreaks: dengue, skin diseases and respiratory illnesses have increased while contaminated waters constitute a public health danger. External specialized intervention is urgently required to deal with this issue. Displaced populations, particularly those threatened by landslides, require a claims office to address property disputes.

3. With the logistics support of the Multinational Interim Force (MIF) the delivery of food, water, non-food items and medical supplies to the affected population in Mapou continued until 2 June. During the period 3 to 9 June, the MIF helicopters were no more available for flights to the flooded areas. After a break, the flights could reassume on 10 June, for one day, giving the opportunity to the World Food Program to deliver 15.85 MT of food to Mapou and to IFRC to provide 600 litres of purified water. As of 11 June, a cargo helicopter (MI8) funded by DFID is available for to access Mapou. WFP is also operating a small DFID-funded small passenger helicopter since Monday 7 June.

4. Roads to Mapou are still not completely practicable and reconstruction work is going slowly. WFP has dispatched an assessment mission to visit the road section between Fonds-Verrettes and Mapou on 9th June. A total of 54 kms was inspected. With the exception of missing ramps at the Eau Rouge river near the village of Mare Geoffrey (3 kms SE of Mapou), the rest of the road is open and practicable. However, in view of the present rainy season in the region, there are grounds to justify minimal preventive work to stabilize slopes to guarantee safe permanent passage of trucks. Latest report from the French Red Cross on the 12 June indicates that the road from Pichon to Mapou could be reopened with some work (stabilizing land around the lake). The road from Port-au-Prince to Thiotte is now accessible by 4x4 wheel cars, though roads are reported to be dangerous and the trip takes approximately 5 hours.

5. So far, UNICEF reports 16 cases of severe malnutrition and 68 cases of moderate malnutrition among children. Cibao (South of Mapou) has the highest number of cases of malnutrition. A UNICEF team conducted an assessment mission to Cibao on 18 June and will work with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to develop a nutrition survey.

6. The World Food Program focal point announced the distribution of 200 tons of food during the last three weeks. The distribution of rice and biscuits will continue during the next three weeks. Some 5,204 families (out of an estimated total of 6,200) have received food assistance but a few still have to be identified as potential beneficiaries.

7. UNICEF has distributed 8,000 daily rations to malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women and has set up a nutrition centre providing wet rations of for malnourished children and to patients of the hospital. UNICEF also provided basic health kits and medical materials to MSF for 15,000 people as well as two tents, medical equipment and medicine to MSF. UNICEF has provided water purification materials to the Minister of Health for 160,000 litres of water. UNICEF is also working with Oxfam to assess the water situation and find way to bring water to schools and hospitals.

8. UNICEF and the Red Cross have set up a feeding programme for 371 people over 65 who have lost their families. UNICEF and MSF have set up 2 temporary tents donated by the Japanese government to accommodate the overflow of patients in the main temporary medical centre. UNICEF is working with MSF to set up recreation centres for children in Mapou and Bawa.

9. In collaboration with the Cuban doctors, WHO has set up 4 epidemiological surveillance sites in Mapou, Fonds-Verrettes, Bodari and Thiotte.

10. UNICEF met, and is working with, the education authorities in Mapou to integrate 1000 children who have lost their schools into existing schools and increase the capacity of existing schools.

11. The Netherlands Minister of Development decided on 17 June 2004, to contribute a cash-donation to the Netherlands Red Cross in order to assist the victims of the recent floods in Haiti. An amount of EUR 257,397 has been allocated for the distribution of relief-items and other non-food items in order to assist the victims in (re)constructing houses and household water-supply systems in Mapou.


12. Delivery of food, water, non-food items and medical supplies to Fonds-Verrettes by road transport started on 4 June, as WFP sent 11 trucks with food and non-food items. This was the first distribution by road to Fonds-Verrettes since the floods had begun. A new round of distribution was carried out from 9-12 June. The distributions went smoothly and were well organized through the local committee of Civil Protection. No disturbances reported. An approximate 160 MT of food has been distributed since the last week of May.

13. In Fonds-Verrettes, the situation has stabilized and part of immediate needs have been covered.

14. WHO is assisting the national water distribution company, Centrale autonome métropolitaine d'eau potable (Camep) in supplying drinking water to the population of Fonds-Verrettes (water trucking).

Uncovered needs for Mapou and Fonds-Verrettes

  • Blankets up to 10,000 pieces,
  • Mattresses for 2,816 families,
  • Hygiene kits for 1,500 families,
  • Kitchen set for up to 1,500 families

The transition period requires special attention to measures allowing affected populations having lost their crops and animals to keep an income and to continue to sustain their families. Labour intensive operations are envisaged accordingly particularly in the area of infrastructure reconstruction: secondary roads, clean water adduction, protection dam on river, soil conservation/reforestation, housing and sanitation.

16. The reconstruction of municipal water tanks and latrines will only be possible when the Government has decided where to relocate villages of the Mapou and Fonds-Verettes areas.

UNDAC Mission recommendations

17. The UNDAC Mission arrived on 28 May and has now handed over to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator. UNDAC team members departed on 11 June, except for team leader Max Bonnel who will remain another week. The UNDAC team established on-site coordination centres in Fonds Verrettes and Mapou from 30 May (until 6 June in Fonds-Verrettes and until 12 June in Mapou). Two staff members remained in Port-au-Prince in the operations centre (UNDP Operation and Information Centre) to ensure reporting and logistics facilitation. UNDAC had daily contact with the National Civil Protection and with humanitarian partners in several coordination / bilateral meetings.

18. In Mapou, one UN Volunteer will continue supporting the coordination with the assistance of an OCHA Humanitarian Affairs Officer.

19. The UNDAC mission encouraged the Haitian authorities to position permanent police staff in the affected areas, at least for the rehabilitation period.

20. The focus is now shifting from emergency relief towards immediate reconstruction and rehabilitation. It is important to continue to improve the sector coordination to streamline actions, establish common standards, promote coordination at district and national level, and to avoid duplication of work.

21. The UNDAC Team suggested that attention is given to the following sectors:

  • Health
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Nutrition
  • Infrastructure and Rehabilitation

For each one of these sectors, UN agencies focal points should work closely with a National focal point to define priorities and establish a plan of action for the reinforcement of coordination and local capacity in view of the forthcoming cyclonic season.

Haitian Civil protection recommendations

23. The Civil Protection (DPC) will follow up on the national relief programme and international support for reconstruction and rehabilitation. This coordination effort will be supported by UN agencies by sectors. The focal point for the Civil Protection is Mr. Roosevelt Compère. According to the DPC the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase has to concentrate on the following issues:

  • Creation of an inter-ministerial committee to deal with recovery

  • Creation at the local level of an inter-sectorial committee in charge of the post-emergency program to start its implementation in two months

  • Building two new villages in secured areas

  • Building two or three tunnels to drain the Mapou water with international technical and financial support

  • Reforestation of the Forêt des Pins (pine trees) in the affected area

  • Rehabilitation of the destroyed crops and project for an hydrological agro-infrastructure

  • Social project including an orphanage

  • Rehabilitation project for school infrastructures

  • Micro-credits for the most affected families to resume their economic activities

  • Attribution of transport means and communications to the Haitian Civil Protection in order to be equipped for the emergencies.
  1. At the OCHA Internet website, Reliefweb/financial tracking/natural disasters, a list of contributions reported to OCHA so far, can be consulted. Donors are requested to convey additions or modifications.

25. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int

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