Hurricane Mathew Response Update

By Mario André, Country Director, Haiti

March 14, 2017 – Emergency Relief Response Update, Les Cayes, Haiti

When Hurricane Mathew struck Haiti on October 3, 2016, the country was fearful of reliving the challenges and chaos that resulted from the 2010 earthquake. However, the international community and the Haitian Government were quick and efficient with their responses.

Pure Water for the World, likewise, was quick and efficient with our response. Although the whole southern part of Haiti was severely damaged by the hurricane, we focused our efforts in Les Cayes. Why? The reason for this choice is primarily the network of Methodist Churches we have worked with in the past that have proven to be very dedicated and efficient.

Like most disaster areas, there tends to be a bit of chaos during the distribution of aid. Unlike the larger NGOs, we did not have the resources to have a government escort, so we had to work smart to get aid to the people. Using our network of Methodist Churches was very effective with these efforts.

During our first round of hurricane response, in November, we reached 1,000 families in Les Cayes, distributing 1,000 5-gallon water buckets to them and supplying 2 months of Aquatabs (water treatment tablets).

During this second round of response we delivered 2,000 plastic gallons, donated from Dow Chemicals, to the same 1,000 families, along with another 3-month supply of Aquatabs.

We are slowly moving away from an acute situation with these hurricane victims into planning for sustainable solutions. The people still need drinkable water, as cholera and other waterborne pathogens continue to plague their water sources, but providing Aquatabs on a continuous basis is not sustainable and/or feasible.

Our plan for long-term intervention is to introduce a comprehensive, sustainable, household water treatment solution, that includes clean water filters and hygiene and sanitation education, to these families.

PWW’s ability to efficiently and effectively respond to Hurricane Mathew was made possible by generous supporters, including DOW Chemical, The Tribe Music Fundraiser (learn more), Rotarians, and individual donors, who quickly responded to the need for help. We are truly grateful for their collective support.

Stay tuned to learn more about our continued work in this area.