• Loading

Haiti, one year on from Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on 4 October 2016, leading to over 500 deaths and affecting approximately two million people. It was the biggest hurricane to hit Haiti, one of the world’s poorest countries, in a decade. One year on, Prospery Raymond, Christian Aid’s Country Manager in Haiti, thanks our supporters for their generosity towards our emergency response.  

A year ago, Haiti was devastated by a huge disaster as Hurricane Matthew struck the south of the country, causing mass destruction.

We received warning that the storm was coming, so we put plans in place to evacuate and protect vulnerable people. Working with local Haitian organisations, we evacuated over 5,000 families at risk, to save lives and made sure that people were safe.

A literacy class in Sierra Leone  

Some time after the hurricane, I remember meeting one women who had decided not to move. Her husband was a fisherman and she could see that before the storm the sea was calm. She didn’t think that they were in danger and decided to stay at home. When the hurricane hit, she realised that their lives were in danger and she was forced to evacuate with her 81-year-old mother on a small boat. It was traumatic for her to leave in such a rush, in the middle of a terrifying hurricane, while caring for an elderly parent. She assured me that she will listen to emergency warnings in future.

This work to help people evacuate before emergencies like hurricanes is absolutely vital. We support initiatives at community level to help people understand how crucial it is to have plans in place to cope with extreme storms and hurricanes in order to save lives and how vital it is for people to evacuate.

I would like to thank people from the North and South of Ireland and the Irish Aid programme for their generosity and support to the Haitian people after Hurricane Matthew. We received €340,000 from the Irish government and because of this we were able to provide 740 families with the means to pay for emergency needs such as food, to send their children back to school and to start new businesses, as they began to rebuild their lives.

Tax of Life Report

Some 430 families got water filters for their homes, which will last ten years, ensuring a clean water supply in the long-term. Preventing the spread of diseases such as cholera is a primary concern in the aftermath of humanitarian disasters. We were also able to repair 416 houses.

Tax of Life Report

In our emergency programme as a whole, we have built and are still building 91 new houses and have repaired over 900 roofs in total that were damaged, by providing corrugated iron sheets.

Tax of Life Report

Many families lost their livestock during the disaster, so we have been able to supply goats, pigs and cattle to poor families, thanks to our supporters.

We supplied 649 families with seeds, so that they could start growing food again, giving them back their sense of dignity and the possibility to recover and have a better life.

It is crucial that we can help families who have lost their homes to stay together and move forward after such devastating emergencies. I recently met a man with three teenage girls. Their house had collapsed and he now lives in a tanker, while his daughters are living with friends and family. It is not a safe situation for the children, who would be best living with their father. We are building a new home for them, which will be finished by Christmas, so that they can move forward and be reunited as a family.

Tax of Life Report

Christian Aid would like to thank everyone who responded to the Haitian people during this emergency one year ago. Thanks to you, we have been able to support people to recover in the long-term and rebuild their lives for the future.

 


 

Please donate

Help people around the world fight their way out of poverty

  • Regular donation
  • Single donation

Follow us

Facebook logoTwitter logoGoogle+ logo
YouTube logoBishop Trevor Williams and Margaret BodenLinkedIn logo

Blog