Hurricane Matthew - Haiti Disaster Response

Hurricane Matthew slammed into the Southwestern coast of Haiti on October 4, 2016, unleashing 145 mph winds and torrential rains that threatened to wreak new devastation across a country still reeling from a ruinous earthquake six years ago. The eye of the Category 4 storm made landfall around 7 a.m. EDT near the coastal commune of Les Anglais at Les Cayes. The storm was the strongest Caribbean hurricane in nearly a decade and the most powerful to hit Haiti in 52 years, since Hurricane Cleo struck in the same location. Matthew also made impact at parts of the Bahamas, including the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Matthew has destroyed the southern tip of Les Cayes with flash floods and mudslides, rivers overflow and isolated several southern towns, including Petit Goave, where the Ladigue Bridge collapsed, isolating southwest Haiti from the rest of the country; also World Animal Protection Disaster Liaison Officer (former Environment Ministry) reported serious damages at Petit Goave and Kenscoff. Civil Defence reported 2,703 families affected and 1,885 houses flooded. After a request for aid from Haiti, the United States deployed the amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde; supported by Navy and Marine aviation, to provide relief to the ravaged country after the storm, along with the hospital ship Comfort. Latest statistics posted by PAHO’s SitRep #13 of October 10th, stated: • 2.1 million people have been affected of which 1.4 million require immediate humanitarian assistance. 
 • 752 persons missing, 473 deaths, 175,509 persons are in 224 shelters. Furthermore, there are 477 unofficial suspected cholera cases, and 23 affected health facilities. 
 • Cholera supplies, beds, mattresses and bed-sheets were donated by the Dominican Republic Government to support the restoration of hospitals in affected areas. 
 • MSPP validated Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Evaluation Form. 
 U.N. secretary-general's deputy special representative for Haiti Mourad Wahba told AP. The refuge facilities became crowded and began running short of water. The roof was blown off the hospital in the city of Les Cayes. Wahba called the hurricane's destruction the "largest humanitarian event" in Haiti since the devastating earthquake of January 2010. And according to World Animal Protection Disaster Liaison Officer in Haiti, Dr Jean Francois Thomas, former Minister of Agriculture, more than 810,000 animals of different species are affected in some degree in the impact areas of Kenscoff and Petit Goave. The assessment focused in Haiti’s west department of Kenscoff and Petit Goave, the inhabitants are mostly livestock and agriculture producers where many families survive on subsistence farming and have had all their crops washed away.The Hurricane caused several damages in most of the communities of these two departments, agriculture was devastated and livestock production severely reduced.(eggs, milk). Raising livestock is the primary economical activity year-round; goats and poultry are their main asset, but also large numbers of cattle are in need of medication. The current emergency are blocked roads, destroyed pastures and contaminated water, creating a fear for zoonotic diseases of anthrax and leptospirosis. Food security in the region depends on backyard production, mostly small livestock and cattle breeding and small agriculture production with maize and any green leave seed that can be placed in limited spaces during seasonal periods. Locals switch from one activity to another in order to balance income and ensure food provision. These resources are compromised, because this Hurricane exceeded by far any capability of resilience. As savings are scarce, there are more than 1.4 million people in need of basic food packages. There are more than 810,000 animals in need of help, more than 45000 died in Kenscoff and Petit Goave sections with goats being almost 50% of casualties, followed by chickens representing 30% of casualties, and the remaining cattle, horses and pigs. Surviving animals are currently lacking food and are exposed continuously to contaminated environments, which could lead to outbreaks of diseases; a risk for anthrax and leptospirosis is already high and keeping Health officials on alert. There are no official reports on companion animals affected in these rural areas, however it is expected that there are around two dogs per family. Providing we are helping more than 5000 families, there should be at least 10,000 dogs to provide care for, with dewormers and basic treatment (wounds, skin and eye infections, diarrhoea).

Activities

The proposed intervention is intended to provide vaccination for 100,000 animals in risk of Anthrax (20,000 cattle, 20,000 sheep and 20,000 goat) and Newcastle (40,000 poultry). World Animal Protection will also be providing much-needed veterinarian care during their assessments on the ground.

Locations

  • Haiti

Sectors

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Welfare