Hurricane Matthew One Year On:

Surviving Tropical Storms in Haiti


When Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti last year it devastated 2.1 million people across 3 of Haiti’s departments.

Almost a year later, slow and steady progress is being made to help families in the Nippes, South and Grande Anse departments of Haiti pick up the pieces.

Alongside our partners, we are bringing the following in order to maximise support:

A struggle for all ages

Hurricane Matthew left many in desperate circumstances, but, the people having the hardest time bouncing back from hurricane Matthew are the elderly.

As recent rainfall continues to impact vulnerable communities during Haiti’s rainy season, our colleagues in Haiti recently rolled out additional kit distributions for those whose homes were severely affected by the storm.

Thankfully, with the help of our friends at AARP, ADH and Islamic Relief, we were able to provide shelter recovery kit distributions in 3 communal sections of the Nippes department.

As part of the project, 99 beneficiaries over the age of 50 were served, and each received:

  • A shelter recovery tool kit
  • 11 metal sheets
  • 10 bags of cement
  • 8 planks of wood to help rebuild and/or reinforce homes damaged by the hurricane


A closer look: Solange’s story

Solange, 62, lives in Petit Trou de Nippes with two of her five children and two grandchildren. In her younger days, Solange used to farm and work the fields so that she could support her family. Unfortunately, because of growing older she hasn’t been able to work for over 10 years.

Solange a beneficiary in Haiti

“We still plant on our property, there are mouths to feed and whenever possible we sell the rare surplus nearby or exchange with neighbours who plant different items.

“I am so thankful for these supplies. Our home was severely damaged by Matthew and we didn’t know where or who to turn to for help. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I was worrying about all of this and then a delegate came to tell us that help was on the way.

“Thank you, Habitat, God bless you and the people who all make this possible. These supplies are going to allow me to fix the roof and help give my grandchildren a dry place to sleep at night. We would return the favour if we could, but for now we offer thanks and blessings.”

WASH, and what this means for Simon Pele

Water and Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH)

“WASH is a key component of any healthy thriving community and Simon Pele is eager and ready for this change” – WASH Officer, Kesnel Narcisse.

Life in the densely-populated neighbourhoods of Simon Pele includes a daily struggle to access adequate water and sanitation services including drinking water:

  • Only 200 families have access to latrines – in a community of 7,000 families
  • Women and children often queue to pay for the water they will use for cooking, washing and drinking which they collect in plastic receptacles daily.
  • Natural disasters only exacerbate the problems, offering free range to waterborne diseases such as cholera and malaria

A group of children from Simon Pele

So, we launched a WASH programme in Simon Pele earlier this year. We want to make a durable impact by using a holistic approach that is addressing the problem on multiple fronts.

The programme aims to improve access to:

  • Drinking water
  • Adequate sanitation facilities such as toilets, taps and so on.
  • Knowledge of good hygiene practices for families in the area. To be done through door-to-door awareness raising as well as formal training for community leaders and local organisations

According to Kesnel Narcisse, our WASH Officer in Haiti, our community mobilisers have already reached 3,692 residents. This was done through door-to-door awareness raising around important WASH information. It included water treatment and storage and food-prep safety at home. The team is moving forward and continuing with this community wide awareness campaign to help educate residents on proper WASH practices.”

“14 schools (1,245 children) have already benefitted from this campaign. And the kids are taking the message home with them.” (Kesnel Narcisse)

We will also work with local businesses, to create more work. By introducing new water treatment products and storage backpacks – at affordable prices – which will both help us to achieve our main objectives. All while helping local small and medium companies make proper sanitation practices profitable business.

Our team is currently working with 5 SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) to introduce new water treatment products on the local market. We are helping them structure their businesses so that moving forward they will be able measure the return on this new product.

Wash Programme in Simon Pele

The 2017 annual affiliate summit

Earlier this summer several affiliates participated in Habitat for Humanity Haiti’s, third annual affiliate summit. To help connect our valued partners to our work in Haiti, we created this event so that our partners can learn about our programmes and interact with us. It’s a great opportunity to put communities first and learn about their needs!

With a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from:

  • Advocacy in order to spread awareness of land tenure issues
  • Supporting local businesses, corporations and so on.
  • Providing training and microfinance projects so that new knowledge is gained.

… Our participants learn and see first hand the holistic interventions that we use.

We have so far completed several large projects in the area that include repair and refurbishment of homes, infrastructure that built roads and paved corridors, and an investment in the training of livelihoods, business development and more.

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