Situation Update: 20% of Haitian population affected by Hurricane Matthew

from ACTED
Published on 10 Oct 2016 View Original

Hurricane Mathew has affected 20% of the Haitian population (more than two million persons), according to the latest figures obtained from the humanitarian coordination, to which ACTED contributes. Up to 100% of the populations of the Grand Anse Department was affected (468,000 persons). The Sud Department was also a victim of the hurricane, with 775,000 persons affected.

The inhabitants of other departments were also affected: 60% of the residents of Nippes, 50% of the Sud-Est’s population, and 10% of the Nord-Ouest’s population.

Today, 1.4 million Haitians are destitute and await emergency aid. They are in need for food assistance, access to drinking water, weather protection, medicine, basic sanitary conditions, hygiene kits and other primary needs. The Haitian people will suffer from this disaster that struck the island’s breadbasket.

The main road linking the principal towns of both the Grande Anse and Sud is open again. Les Cayes is a four-hour drive away from the capital Port-au-Prince. Jérémie, the hardest hit area (48,000 inhabitants), is 6 hours and a half away from the capital. However, a number of rural communities remain isolated in the Momes, with the vast majority of the secondary roads especially affected and cut off. Our teams that are attempting to access these areas have reported landslides blocking roads and the flooding of all rivers. Almost all trees have been snapped; and the coast, as well as a large part of fields, have flooded. These were the findings of our teams who were able to reach the Irois (Grand-Anse) this Sunday.

Accessing populations is one of ACTED’s priorities today, especially since it already proceeded in distributing emergency aid to thousands of Haitians 72 hours ago. ACTED has been providing food aid, rice bags, drinking water, primary needs goods, plastic cans, plastic tarpaulins, blankets, chlorine tablets for water purification, as well as oral rehydration salts, hygiene kits, and mosquito nets.

Briefing from the Dame-Marie team

An ACTED team arrived to Dame-Marie on Sunday evening (October 2). The city was already on alert for the potential arrival of the hurricane, with members of the Civil Protection authorities who were trying to inform citizens of the necessary precautionary measures to take and the localisation of the different shelters available to host people living in areas at risk. According to the emergency messages of the Civil Protection Department, there were three centres available to host people in the centre of Dame-Marie: the EPHACAP, the national high school of Dame-Marie and the Notre Dame de Fatima School.

Upon their arrival, they wanted to inform the authorities of our presence and to get to know the preparations and preventive measures for the hurricane. The mayor informed them that there were three areas within the commune were flooded: Bariadelle, Petite Rivière and Laye.

The situation in Bariadelle is very critical. The floods are a consequence of strong sea waves that dispersed sand and water inside all homes, as well as a graveyard which is situated on the shore. Despite the presence of the city hall and the Civil Protection Department, people did not want to leave their homes to go to temporary shelters. Some of the reasons that were given: the shelters are not adequate and some could take advantage of their absences to steal their belongings. Upon visiting the two available shelters, the team saw that there were no emergency kits for the victims, no water and no lights.