Hurricane Matthew Update | “The community has been particularly badly hit”

Sourcing matieral and support for repairs to houses and community water systems damaged by Hurricane Matthew leads to a busy day for our Programmes Manager, Ailish O’Reilly, in Haiti.

November 14

On Saturday, we had a few runs to the airport in Port au Prince as our visitors head back home to Ireland, and then I head home to Île à Vache.

On the way home, I’m stopping off to price some material for a community water system for the town of Les Irois.  Les Irois can be translated as ‘The Irish’.  One account suggests the name comes from 17th century Irish Catholics who left Ireland and were blown to shore in Hispaniola, or Saint Domingue, as it was known during this time.  The claims of a Gaelic link are supported by the name given to the neighbouring coastal town, Les Anglais (‘The English’).

In truth, the reason we offer to help is that the community has been particularly badly hit by the hurricane.  The quote a Canadian group received for the material needed is very high and has a long lead time.  The area serves a population of over 17,000 people and the community water system has been out of commission since 3 October.  We can source the material closer by and deliver it sooner.

On Sunday, we have a visit from ShelterBox to see the situation with housing on Île à Vache.  Lunch and a cup of Lyons tea later, we are negotiating shelter kits and school kit: they shouldn’t have shown me the brochure!  They are extremely supportive, and the meeting with Mayor Amazon goes very well.

Monday is all preparation: we follow up on Les Irois as we try to go for delivery on Wednesday.  We have some information to prepare for Shelterbox and a delivery of food due in, so the depot needs to be cleared.  Our first set of material for the housing repairs is also due in, and we have more houses to visit in the area around where I live.  It is well after 6pm when we review our last house of the day.


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