It’s been four months since Hurricane Matthew wrecked havoc in Haiti, causing thousands to lose their homes. Over the past few months, Handicap International has been distributing emergency kits and household items, benefiting more than 4,700 Haitians including Ulysse Cletide and his family.
Ulysse, who lives in the commune of Petite Rivière in Nippes, tells our team about the night his family lost their home. “It was a nightmare,” he explains. “The wind shook our home and tore off the roof. The rain was falling when our house collapsed and we found ourselves outside, in total darkness.”
“We spent the whole night in the roaring wind and lashing rain. The wind blew down trees and tore roofs off all around us. We stayed with our neighbour for two weeks and then built a small makeshift shelter. Handicap International gave us tools and now we can finally rebuild our home."
Providing care in remote areas
Handicap International sent two mobile teams to the city of Les Cayes immediately following the hurricane to care-manage the injured, assess the state of hospitals and rehabilitation services, and to supply wheelchairs and crutches. Two teams of physical therapists and social workers continue to travel through the mountainous region of the Sud department to provide rehabilitation care and offer psychological support to people affected by the hurricane.
“Our teams sometimes have to walk for hours to reach people,” explains Sylvia Sommella, head of Handicap International’s emergency actions in Haiti. “The victims we’re finding or either injured or otherwise vulnerable–pregnant women, older people, and people with disabilities. These individuals have been made even more vulnerable since the disaster due to the lack of access to health centers.”
More than 150 people have benefited from rehabilitation sessions and approximately 200 have benefited from psychological support and/or taken part in our social cohesion sessions.
Since many roads in the south of the country were damaged, Handicap International set up a logistics platform to transport humanitarian equipment such as shelters, tools, and hygiene kits by road or sea to people living in the hard-to-reach areas of Sud, Grand Anse, Nippes, and Ouest regions. Our teams have made 108 trips by road and 14 by sea to transport more than 270 tons of equipment.
Handicap International's logistics teams have also transported more than 2,800 tons of debris that piled up in drains in Jérémie, Anse d’Hainault, Baumont and Morron. Our teams also helped reopen main roads to transport humanitarian aid and restore economic life.