7 October 2016
Alliance works for ActionAid in Haiti. He is in our emergency response team currently travelling through Haiti to reach the cut off area of Grand’Anse in the south of the country. He is working with partners and women community leaders to distribute emergency food and water, and to assess the impact of the hurricane and the scale of the further emergency response needed. Yesterday Alliance reached the small town of Vallue, and here tells us how Hurricane Matthew has affected the people there.
“We reached the town of Vallue yesterday and I was shocked to see how much destruction there was.
Homes and livestock destroyed
We visited two communities in the area to assess the damage and saw that about 80% of the homes have been seriously damaged. Almost all of the crops have been destroyed and most of their livestock has been lost in the storm. Before the hurricane struck it was harvest season for many of the people in these villages and now their entire food supply is gone.
"Children are in the midst of the disaster"
Wherever you go you can see that children are in the midst of the disaster. Their homes and schools destroyed, they looked hopeless.
Many people I spoke to were optimistic but there was a stark realism that they have lost everything. It feels like we are stuck in a vicious cycle of disaster.
I met a woman named Illenèse Dercéus in Nan Bon Te whose entire home and crops had been destroyed. She has lost at least three goats. She didn’t think it was going to have such a big impact but she is just glad she is still alive.
Next we will go to the town of Jeremie. ActionAid works with local organisations in the area but haven’t spoken to them since Tuesday morning since the phone line went down. The last we heard from them they were starting to hand out some food and water and gather information.
It’s the first time I’ve seen a major disaster as an adult [Alliance was 23 at the time of the 2010 earthquake and was studying abroad in the US] and I have a feeling of responsibility to my country.
Now I’m seeing all this and it’s painful, very painful. We’re still recovering from the earthquake and each disaster leaves the country more and more vulnerable.”
Alliance and his team are working to deliver food, water and cholera kits to the worst-hit communities. You can help us reach more people.