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Haiti: “the job is huge”

This is my final blog post from the Haitian island of La Gonave. We have a massive task ahead of us.

There are thousands of other families like the Valbuens on La Gonave and the numbers are growing. In a place like this, the supply of food and clean water isn’t steady at the best of times. Add the earthquake, and the hurricane season, which is four months away and the difficulties are obvious.

Massive problems

The challenge for organisations like Concern is immediate and massive. Assistant Country Director Brian Tabben, who led the assessment team, summarised his thoughts:

It's sobering – if the population is increasing by something like 20%, that puts a major stress on communities that are already on the edge. Obviously we need to move quickly to respond here. Fortunately we have a long history on La Gonave. We have close links with the mayors, the ministries, other NGOs here on the island and with the communities themselves.

The job is huge. It's going to mean finding the displaced, making sure that their needs for water, food and shelter are taken care of, and making sure the host communities do not slide back, that we can preserve some of the development gains of the last several years. The situation is critical and the response begins today.

More to come

The team brought plastic sheeting to families living outside at Grand Source. We’ll be starting larger scale distributions in the coming days.