30 Nov 2016

ASB's response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

After the great destruction of the hurricane, ASB is providing immediate assistance and reconstruction aid in the Caribbean country.

Due to Hurricane Matthew, which arrived in Haiti on October 4, 2016, about 1.4 million people have lost their lives. Given this situation, the ASB was not absent. As a first action, the team from the ASB national office in Haiti started with the distribution of food and purified water. To support this effort, two international ASB experts in immediate relief arrived in Haiti and went to the most affected regions in the southwest of the country to assess the need for assistance. At this point, the extent of the hurricane's damage was not yet certain. After having visited by boat several highly destroyed sites such as Tiburon, Saint Louis du Sud or Saint Jean du Sud, the decision was taken to extend the ASB's assistance especially in the field of purified water. Many sources were destroyed or contaminated.

To confront this delicate situation that represents a great danger for the propagation of diseases, ASB sent the team known as FAST from Germany to this region. Composed of professionals and volunteers trained in immediate aid, this team brought three drinking water treatment facilities. Since their inauguration in three different communities, these facilities have supplied a total of more than 2,000 people every day with the necessary amount of drinking water. The FAST team also trained local people in the use and maintenance of these installations.

Following this immediate assistance, the ASB is planning reconstruction assistance. One approach will be to build disaster-proof houses and train carpenters in this method of construction. ASB has experience in this area, as it rebuilt several houses, schools, streets and bridges after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Those buildings now survived Hurricane Matthew and remained intact.