We are distributing essential supplies to storm-torn Haiti as disease and desperation threaten its people
Outside the city of Les Cayes, Haiti, Samaritan’s Purse recently distributed heavy-duty plastic sheeting, water filtration systems, and hygiene kits for 400 households—families who, in some cases, have lost both houses and relatives to Hurricane Matthew.
As roads are made passable and airdrops possible, we will deliver these supplies in Jesus’ Name to many more households reeling from the Category 4 storm. The timeline for these distributions is growing more urgent as disease and desperation threaten to plague the region.
The people of Haiti are mourning the loss of so much.
“I can’t really keep anything in my stomach,” Junior Felix said. He’d been in Port-au-Prince when Hurricane Matthew made landfall on Haiti’s southern peninsula. When he arrived in Mount Brille, he couldn’t find his sister or his eight-year-old niece. Finally they clawed through the rubble of the home where they found the two under a mattress—crushed by a toppled wall.
Junior’s older brother, Tores, remained silent. The eight-year-old was his daughter.
More than 1,000 people are reported dead, nearly every home and other structures are affected, and the threat of disease grows with each new day.
“I’ve been here since September 26, but I can’t just leave,” said Magreta Voltaire, a native of the area visiting from Boston when Hurricane Matthew churned through Haiti. “They don’t have food. They don’t have water. I am from here, and I can’t leave here without doing anything.”
Magreta joined with Samaritan’s Purse staff to organize the community for the distribution that addresses many of the concerns people have about the coming weeks. Shelter from the sun, cleanliness, and water sanitation will prevent exposure to the elements and the spread of diseases such as cholera.
We plan to expand distributions to include 4,000 households in Les Cayes and in Jeremie. Mobile medical teams are deciding on locations for cholera clinics.
“The Water Is Heavy. It’s Very Bad.”
“This is the worst-ever, most powerful hurricane we ever had,” Anthony Vital said. “When I lost the roof of my house I tried to run with my kid. Then the wind blew and threw me on the ground, then I tried to run and it threw me again and threw me again. Then our family, we had to hold onto each other, and the bond was so strong the wind couldn’t lift us all together. We stayed under some bushes trying to recover until sunrise.”
Spread out in locations across Mount Brille, Anthony’s family is, like many others, exposed to the dangers of disease and the weather.
“Now there are no more trees, no more shade to stay away from the sun. When we have to sleep, we just sleep where we can. People are drinking from the river. The water is heavy. It’s very bad.”
With cholera deaths on the rise and the threat of epidemic looming, providing for hygiene and sanitation amid the widespread devastation will help avert a future crisis.
“My most urgent need is clean water,” Anthony said. With water filtration and purification supplies from Samaritan’s Purse, he will supply his family with more than 40 liters of drinking water per day. The heavy plastic sheeting we supplied is enough to construct durable shelter for the eight people who once lived under his roof.
“I’m really amazed. It’s like God come to me directly.”
Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and for the Samaritan’s Purse disaster response team as they address growing needs in this weary region. More DC-8 flights filled with relief supplies from Samaritan’s Purse are headed to Haiti in the coming days.