As reports start to trickle in from some of the remote regions of Haiti, cut off by Hurricane Matthew, the sad statistics are beginning to be revealed. Over 2 million people have been affected. Over 1.2 million are in need of urgent assistance. The death toll has now risen to over 1000. The city of Jeremie has seen 80% of it’s homes leveled. In Sud Provence 30,000 homes have been destroyed. People have perished from flying debris, falling trees and flood surges.
While the storm has moved on, the risk to life actually now becomes much larger. The greatest danger lies within the water that people must drink. With cholera and other water-borne diseases widespread in Haiti’s in much of the remaining sources of water, the death from disease will likely be much greater than from the storm itself. This is where ADRA Canada and the ADRA network are concentrating their initial response to the emergency situation in Haiti.
Working with our Canadian emergency response partner, Global Medic, clean water will be provided to affected communities in the Les Cayes area. Global Medic and ADRA will be installing community water filters, distributing household water filters and providing aquatabs to purify water.
Following water, the next most urgent need that hundreds of thousands are facing in Haiti right now is food. The subsistence farmers in the most affected areas have been hungry for the last three years due to drought. This year the harvest looked good, but Matthew took it all away. ADRA will be conducting emergency food distributions in addition to hygiene kits. Plans are also in place to assist with shelter construction and house repairs to those in most need.