On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew ripped through the Caribbean destroying everything in its path. The southern coast of Haiti experienced one of the worst hurricanes in almost a decade.
The city of Jeremie, Haiti, was especially devastated by the storm. Wind speeds reached up to 165 mph and large amounts of rain caused flooding and mudslides. An estimated 546 people lost their lives because of the hurricane. Those who survived were left in disbelief at the amount of damage Hurricane Matthew left.
For those who survived, the loss of physical possessions was great. Thousands lost their homes, personal belongings and livelihoods. In these areas are farming communities, the strength of the storm caused severe loss of crops and livestock. Buildings were completely destroyed and trees were down everywhere; the city was unrecognizable. Read on to see how your generosity provided immediate aid and helped create a long-term plan to help families recover and begin to rebuild their lives.
Within a few days following the storm Danita’s Children deployed a disaster relief team to the southern region of Haiti. The team assisted in immediate relief efforts, distributing emergency supplies that included clean water, food, medical supplies and tarps. The team partnered with local missionaries and organizations in Baie de Orange and Jeremie to assist the communities that had been affected. Haiti Bible Mission was an integral part of our relief efforts. By joining forces with this local organization, we were able to quickly and safely distribute supplies and help those who desperately needed aid.
In Jeremie, thousands of homes were destroyed, almost every roof was blown off of the buildings left standing and people were seeking emergency shelter at local schools. Some school shelters had more than 900 people staying in them following the storm. Clean water sources were difficult to find because so many of the sources had been contaminated in the storm. As a result, thousands of people became infected with cholera in the days and weeks following Matthew.
The public hospital in Jeremie, Saint-Antoine, was functioning out of one building because all of the other buildings had been badly damaged. Our team provided medical supplies and ended up rescuing a special needs baby who had been abandoned a few weeks prior. The hospital did not have the resources to properly care for a baby with such severe special needs and child services found it to be in his best interest to be relocated to our ministry. Micah found hope and his forever home in the midst of total devastation.
Two weeks after the storm we chartered a plane from Ouanaminthe to fly 1,000 tarps to hurricane victims in Jeremie. People lined up for hours to receive the tarps. These small blue tarps were life giving & provided a temporary refuge from the rain that continued to pour daily in the weeks following the hurricane.
For long term relief, we partnered with local organizations who were already working in Jeremie prior to the hurricane. These organizations have relationships with the local people and are best equipped to serve these communities. The generosity of donors in the weeks following Hurricane Matthew allowed these local organizations to recover 94 of roofs, rebuild a church & provided the incredible gift of 16 new homes to families who lost everything. The hurricane was devastating but thousands of families received immediate assistance because of your quick action. The resilient nature of the Haitian people has helped them rebuild and your support allowed them to face the devastation with hope.
Read about some of the home recipients, Hurricane Matthew Report