After the storm UNICEF distributes blankets and tents in Port au Prince
Port-au-Prince, 24 September 2010 -Carradeux the camp Caroline Noel, a 34 year old woman and her family live in, together with 1999 other families, has been hit severely by a strong storm passing through Port au Prince yesterday. Many tents have been swept away by the storm and flash floods.
In response to the destruction after yesterday’s storm UNICEF has taken action and distributed blankets, tents and hygiene kits.
“The situation here is really terrible.” I live here with my husband and three children. They are 9, 8 and 6 years old.” she says.
Caroline is standing in line for a distribution of blankets by UNICEF. There are three long lines with people who have been affected by the storm. She has arrived in Carradeux in April from another camp she says. “After the earthquake I lost everything, there was no other solution than moving to a camp.”
The camp now is a scene of partial destruction with people sitting on chairs or on the ground next to what used to be their home for the past months. Parts of tents and household items are scattered around all over the field.
“The wind and rain have destroyed everything, I have lost everything, my house … everything is gone. Already after the earthquake I had lost everything, now I have lost everything again” says the mother of 3 who still seems to have hope after everything she’s been through.
It’s her faith that seems to give her force to go on. “I am not really desperate. There is the almighty god!” she says with a confident smile.
Since her tent is gone now she needs to find a replacement quickly to at least provide her family with a “roof” over their heads. The past night she spent with neighbors that took her and her family in. But that can only be a temporary solution as the neighbors tent is very small and there already are 6 people living in it.
Living conditions in the camp had already been very difficult before the storm. “There is not enough food and I struggle to feed my kids. Thank god I have friends and family to support me” she says.
In another camp of the capital called Petionville Golf a tent clinic providing out-patient health care for about 1,200 patients a week was torn down during the storm. UNICEF re-established the clinic along with hygiene kits. “This is the first time we’ve worked with UNICEF and we’re impressed with their quite efficiency in supporting us to restore our healthcare services.” says Allastair Lamb country director of Jenkins Penn Haitian Relief Organization (JPHRO) the organization managing the camp.
UNICEF is also sending two 72 square meter tents and six recreational kits to a camp managed by its partner the American Refugee Committee in Terrain Acra in order to provide shelter to children. In Port au Prince a total of 10,040 blankets, 1,350 hygiene kits, 416 family tents as well as mosquito nets and buckets were distributed.
According to the Civil Protection Department in Haiti there were five people killed in different camps during the storm among them three children and a 93 year old woman.
“This is the result of only half an hour of heavy winds and rain” said UNICEF’s Representative Francoise Gruloos- Ackermans who visited Carradeux before adding “and it really underlines the need for us to work with all our partners on prevention and disaster risk reduction. As the hurricane season is still upon us we have to put all our efforts together to move these families into more solid structures. Some children have lost all their belongings twice in nine months, this is very traumatic.”
For more information
Benjamin Steinlechner, firstname.lastname@example.org, UNICEF Haiti
Tamar Hahn, email@example.com, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
UNICEF is on the ground in over 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.