Haiti: Confronting and tackling emergencies


Matthew’s documentation from the 4th and 5th of October regarding Haiti and all the damages that occurred is still not final. However, in Tabarre (in Port-au-Prince in the west) and Thiotte (in the southeast part of the country), areas which have benefited in the past from the intervention of COOPI projects, there are approximately 1600 families who now require new interventions in order to deal with emergencies, particularly in regard to the risk of cholera and the lack of infrastructures.

The number of homeless people is growing due to the damage to housing infrastructures: more than 1700 houses have been flooded, damaged and in some cases literally swept away by the river and completely destroyed. From a subsistence point of view, within rural areas, the most extensive damage has been done to banana and coffee crops. Furthermore, the tragic loss of livestock such as goats, chickens and pigs, which are the primary source of income for families, as well as the loss of fishing boats for fishermen, are considered as the greatest damages.

Now we are concentrating on a new start: in addition to repairing homes, schools and rural roads, the team of COOPI is working on raising funds which will help the sanitation of the channels and the supply of hygienic kits and water filters.

The good news is that the tools put in place over the years by COOPI have had positive outcomes for the safety of human life. The information network was successful in its operation and the community was evacuated in time. The emergency procedures learned through the evacuation drills provided by COOPI’s projects and financed by ECHO (The Department of the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection) and by OFDA/USAID (Office of the US Government for Disaster Assistance in foreign countries) were put into practice and thereby prevented tragedy.

Listen to the in-depth investigations of the Swiss Radiotelevisione with Morena Zucchelli, Head of Mission of COOPI in Haiti >>

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