World Toilet Day: Hurricane Matthew's impact on Haiti

18 November 2016

Young children collecting water from a broken pump in Bariadel, Haiti.

Young children collecting water from a broken pump in Bariadel, Haiti.

On 3 October, Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti, killing more than 1,000 and displacing hundreds of thousands people who are now living in temporary shelters such as schools.

1.4 million people have been affected overall leaving many people without access to essentials such as water and adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities.

CAFOD has been supporting sister agency Catholic Relief Services (CRS) with their hygiene and sanitation emergency response in two of the most affected areas - Sud and Grande Anse - where up to 70% of the population are in need of humanitarian aid.

2021 Haiti earthquake

A devastating magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday 14 August 2021. As the search continues through the rubble, we are working with local Church organisations to provide urgent humanitarian aid for families.

Find out how CAFOD is responding

CAFOD partners have been working with Louissant Raymonde in Haiti

Louissant Raymonde, 23 – has a son. She is currently living in the Lycee Bernard Pierre along with 60 other families. Her home was destroyed. The only thing remaining was the latrine- which she is going to repair. Louissant shares the latrine with 6 other families.  Her husband works in the capital city, Port Au Prince.

Latrine near Louissaint's home

The Latrines near Louissant’s home in Anse d’Hainault

In addition to providing access to clean water and promoting safe hygiene practices, CAFOD are also supporting CRS to repair clean water sources - such as wells and water pumps - as well as building latrines for households, schools and clinics. 

Hurricane Matthew devastated some of Haiti's remotest areas in the Sud and Grande Anse departments.  People rely on agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods and the lack of clean water, as a result of the Hurricane, is putting their lives at risk. 

Help us to be there when emergencies happen. Please give to our emergency response fund

Residents collecting water filter installed by CRS and Water Missions in Anse d'Hainault.

Residents collecting water at the Water Filter installed by CRS and their local partner Water Missions in Anse d’Hainault.

Anse D'Hainault Well

An unprotected well located near Anse d’Hainault currently being used by families in the local area.

Our Senior Emergency Response Officer, Robert Cruickshank, who visited Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, said:

 "There are few opportunities to make a living; to suffer the storm damage that some families have sustained, is a hard thing to recover from.

"These are remote communities that depend on agriculture and fishing; they've had the 'guts' ripped out of them."

Hygiene promotion in the communities is vital to stopping the spread of the deadly disease Cholera. Already in Sud and Grand Anse more than 1,100 cases of cholera have been recorded. 

By the sea

With lack of sanitary facilities people in affected areas have no choice but to defecate in the sea.

"When you've been stripped of the basics of life, and you are only left with debris around you, it is incredibly difficult to lead an even moderately hygienic life”, said Mr Cruickshank.

"Cholera can kill you quickly - losing fluids from your body is followed swiftly by organ failure if you are not treated promptly. Although easily treatable, if not contained it spreads very quickly attacking the strong as well as the weak."

Latrines in Lycee Bernard Pierre Louis in Anse D'Hainault.

The outside latrines of Lycee Bernard Pierre Louis in Anse d’Hainault. The school is currently providing temporary accommodation to 60 families.

 Cruickshank continued: 

"The country was trying to bring cholera under control after the earthquake in 2010; there is now an upsurge in cholera amongst communities, since Hurricane Matthew and the challenge is to bring it under control and have proper treatment in place."

Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti. 

Help us to be there when emergencies happen. Please give to our emergency response fund

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