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Rains cause havoc in Haiti

Heavy rains and flooding in Haiti have resulted in thousands of families losing their homes. Concern has responded by distributing essential supplies to those in need.

Heavy rains and flooding in Haiti have resulted in thousands of families losing their homes. Concern has responded by distributing essential supplies to those in need.

The annual rainy season in Haiti runs from April to June with the hurricane season following until November. Having just recovered from Hurricane Dean in August, the country has suffered another period of extreme weather. According to reports, this is the longest period of consecutive rain for years.

Impact on the people

For many Haitians the rainy season creates havoc, however this year the ongoing rains have caused even more damage than usual through flooding. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and other government bodies, 14,150 families have been affected so far this year, 37 deaths have been reported, 78 people have been left badly injured and 3,264 have been left homeless. Most of the deaths occurred in Cabaret, which was hit by a flash flood.

Concern operates programmes in several parts of Haiti. Only one of these was directly affected by the floods – Saut d’Eau, a rural community in the lower Central Plateau. There, four houses were completely destroyed and over 100 families will need support to rebuild their lives as the overflowing river destroyed fields, crops and livestock.

Responding to the crisis

As part of Concern’s Disaster Risk Reduction programme, there are essential emergency supplies and kits available on demand. Concern has two types of kits: a kitchen kit that contains cooking utensils, dishes and cutlery; and also a hygiene kit, that contains basins, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and buckets. Concern also supplies blankets.

Responding to a request by the National Civil Protection Authorities, our Emergency Response Coordinator, Paul Denis Caton, travelled on 11 October to the affected town of Cavaillon in the south of Haiti. There, Concern distributed 500 kitchen kits, 500 hygiene kits and 1,000 blankets. National authorities also requested Concern’s support for further distribution in the area of Cabaret, located not far from Port-au-Prince, which has seen scores of houses devastated and crops destroyed. After this initial response, Concern will work with its partners in Haiti to help rebuild affected communities. 

In addition to Concern, other non-government organisations and the UN are providing food support to families displaced by the floods.