Road to Recovery: Hurricane Matthew Update
It’s been four months since Hurricane Matthew ravaged Haiti’s southern peninsula, causing catastrophic damage to homes, agricultural crops, livestock and infrastructure. It is estimated that more than 1,000 people died, and thousands more were left homeless with limited access to food, clean water and medical care.
In the days following the hurricane, Project Medishare provided over 110 tons of supplies to affected families, including water purification tablets, mosquito nets, medications, medical supplies, and food and hygiene kits. In addition, our medical staff and volunteers delivered care to more than 4,000 patients at a clinic in Jeremie, treating a variety of conditions from infected wounds to fevers to spinal cord injuries. Dozens of critically-ill and trauma patients were transported to Port-au-Prince for further evaluation and treatment at Hospital Bernard Mevs.
Partnering to Rebuild
While many families throughout hurricane-affected regions have started the long, difficult journey of rebuilding their lives and communities, the humanitarian situation remains fragile. Thousands of people are still housed in temporary shelters, many health facilities have yet to be repaired, and waterborne illnesses like cholera continue to pose a major threat – especially in remote, hard-to-reach areas.
In an effort to help families recover from the storm and reduce food insecurity, Project Medishare has partnered with two local organizations, Smallholders Farmers Alliance (SFA) and Caris Foundation, to provide support to nearly 1,500 families in the Grand’Anse and South departments.
Through our partnership with SFA, 1,200 farm families across eight communities near Les Cayes have been selected to participate in an agricultural recovery project. Each farmer will be provided with the seeds, tools and training needed to make their farms productive again. In addition, they will receive assistance in establishing and operating tree nurseries, which are expected to generate a minimum of 40,000 trees this year. Project Medishare will provide community health services to improve the health of families enrolled in the program.
Immediately after the hurricane, Project Medishare partnered with Caris Foundation to provide critical medical care to survivors; that partnership now extends beyond emergency response. With a grant from Project Medishare, Caris Foundation will launch a pilot poultry farming project in the hard-hit community of Jeremie. As part of the project, 250 vulnerable families will each receive 10 egg-laying hens, along with tools and technical support. The chickens can produce up to 70 eggs per week, which the families can consume and/or sell to generate income.
In the Central Plateau, Hurricane Matthew also affected PM’s communities, though to a lesser extent. A few homes were damaged, and flash flooding wiped out crops and triggered small landslides. Due to the heavy rains caused by the hurricane, the community of Lahoye experienced a cholera outbreak. Fourteen suspected cases were reported. Two people died: a 10-year-old girl and an 80-year-old man. Project Medishare staff transported the other 12 people to a cholera treatment center in nearby Thomonde.
To contain a potential widespread outbreak and address concerns about a surge in cholera, Project Medishare has taken measures to minimize risk to its communities. This includes implementing initiatives to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, re-educating communities and health workers about the threat of cholera, increasing chlorine production and distribution, and providing vulnerable families with hygiene kits.
Our ability to respond to the needs of people affected by the hurricane, both in the immediate aftermath of the storm and during the current recovery phase, would not be possible without the generosity of our supporters and key partners. Thanks to you, many families are on the road to recovery.
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