Hurricane Matthew- The Bahamas and Haiti Update

The Bahamas

On October 22 a team 0f two DAI Disaster Response members arrived in Nassau, (Tore Knos from California and Mike McKeever from North Carolina).Their mission was to meet with local Nassau Rotary leaders to assess the aftermath of destruction resulting from Hurricane Matthew and to explore, determine and report their recommendations to DAI’s board of directors the aid needed in the rebuilding as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

Larry Agee, Disaster Aid USA’s Executive Director and DAI’s deployment manager in communication with Rotary leaders in Bahamas asked DAI for help. They had an assessment from NEMA and a social worker in the island that there was a need for at least 100 DAI’s Family Survival Tents (8 person tents). Immediately DAUSA from its warehouse in MD air freighted 43 tents with 50 more on route from DAI’s warehouse in China. From Nassau the tents were transported to Andros. It was reported that the north end of the island was severely damaged. The area is poor and much of the housing stock is wood construction that would not stand up well to a major storm.

In one instance, for example Tore reported they identified and provided a Family Survival Tent to a single Grandmother who was raising 5 children, her house was completely destroyed. Another tent was given to a homeless man who’s house had burnt to the ground. Mike and Tore will erect the remainder of the tents on Monday, October 31 and Tuesday, November 1 before they feft Nassau to come back to the states.

Response Teams members (Rotarian & non-Rotarians) are volunteers who have received; FEMA training, Salvation Army, Red Cross and DAUSA Training. Mike and Tore are 2 of those volunteers, Rotary club members who give up there time and receive no pay. Thank you Mike and Tore for your humanitarian service.

Haiti

Disaster Aid International deployed Wayne Beaumier and Vicki Brenton (both from Disaster Aid USA). They arrived in Port au Prince on 20th October. Vicki came with considerable experience of Haiti having 15 previous trips under her belt from training hospital technicians. Wayne reported the worst hit areas of Matthew were in the very South and South West areas of the country (Les Cayes and Jerremie are examples of the larger areas) Some very low lying areas of Port au Prince (PAP) were impacted by the storm and rains that followed, such as Cite Soleil, the very poorest section of PAP. Their relief efforts were centered in providing critical needed aid in PAP and the South/West area.

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After the situation meetings it was evident that the worst hit areas were in the South and South West (Les Cayes and Jerremie being significantly affected) but that isolated areas around Port of Prince had also been badly affected. It soon became clear that the main priority was for the provision of shelter and clean water. However, the clear message was that there was no requirement for additional tents and so the team will be looking more closely at the provision of shelter repair kits.

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It also became increasingly clear after contact with Rotary Club Members from the leading Rotary Clubs in Haiti, and after being giving a general brief of the situation and meetings with a range of organizations including the Director of Disaster Relief in Haiti, other representatives of the Haiti Mission control, UNICEF, the Haiti Red Cross and other influential Rotarian there was very high demand for the Sawyer water system. The aid community is obviously very concerned to prevent another epidemic. The 2010 Haiti earthquake resulted in the worst global cholera outbreak in history, spreading to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, with 7,000 people dying and hundreds of thousands being infected. While isolated cases of cholera do normally occur during the rainy season, there is currently a surge of several hundred cases following Hurricane Matthew as water supplies have become contaminated.

Please Donate – Donations save lives by provide clean water and other life saving aid as the Haitians and the Bahamians rebuild their liver after Hurricane Matthew.

Donations can be made by clicking here or by mail to Disaster Aid USA * 9817 Lanham Severn Road * Lanham, MD 20706.

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