Haiti: Tropical Storm Hanna, Gustav, Ike OCHA Situation Report No. 19

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Date: 03 Oct 2008


According to 'Weather Underground', 2 named storms and one hurricane are expected for the month of October. There is a 50/50 chance the hurricane will be an intense one. October is part of the peak portion of the hurricane season. Activity does not begin to drop off significantly until mid-October. Populations living in areas at risk must comply with the security advisory instructions in case of flooding and landslides.

Coordinated humanitarian relief operations are ongoing with regards to Food, Nutrition, Shelter/Non-Food Items, WASH, Protection, Health, Logistics and Early Recovery.

Food: As of 2 October, in coordination with its implementing partners, WFP has distributed 2,944 metric tons of food to 563,454 beneficiaries including 369,116 from Gonaives. However, recent WFP missions in some locations of the Artibonite and North-West departments highlighted an increase in food prices as a result of difficult access to those locations hindering food availability.

Water Hygiene and Sanitation: A draft WASH strategy for Haiti covering the next 6 months has been elaborated with UNICEF WES, government, and NGO partners. CEPA in collaboration with UNDP have initiated a national inventory on the condition of 300+ water supply systems at commune level. The object of the inventory is to provide a rapid overview of those systems requiring rehabilitation/repair, differentiating between pre and post-hurricane damage. Costs for potential emergency interventions are currently being assessed.

Health/Nutrition: Apart from some isolated rural locations the Health system is progressively retrieving its usual functioning state. However, while no epidemics have been reported, a sporadic over morbidity is being reported. Although data are not available, the nutritional status of the population is of concern as sporadic cases of severe malnutrition in isolated locations are added to the possible aggravation of chronic malnutrition. WHO, in conjunction with its partners, is closely monitoring the situation.

Early Recovery: A UNDP high-intensity labor project in partnership with ILO, WFP, Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation and community federations has started in Gonaives. Urgent works to repair breaches in the banks of the River Quinte, reinforcement of previous anti-erosive works and extension of these works in 10 areas of Gonaives are included in the project, which will employ 10,130 people between 25 and 50 days. Field visits in Gonaives and in the South-East have confirmed the need to extend labor-intensive activities.

Shelter and Non-Food Items: In view of fluctuating information being reported regarding the numbers of persons in emergency shelters, the cluster coordinator has urgently asked all members with field personnel to collect information regarding the origin of IDPs and to report back. IOM and its distributing partners in Gonaïves - OXFAM, CARE, CARITAS, WFP, ACF and MSF - continue distribution to both shelters and the broader communities.

Logistics: A WFP helicopter facilitated yesterday a medical evacuation from Cap-Haitian. A USAID and OFDA assessment was also facilitated by a WFP helicopter. Three members of the Swedish Rescue Service Agency arrived this week to support the WFP logistic team. I. RESPONSE BY SECTOR



As of 2 October, WFP has distributed 2,944 metric tons of food to 563,454 beneficiaries including 369,116 from Gonaives.

In Gonaives, distributions were carried out in coordination with CARE, AMURT and CARITAS. WFP distributed some 151MT to 25,260 people in three sites in Gonaives (Bienac, Zetrene and Sans Raison) and in Villard, a communal section of Marchand Dessalines.

In Jacmel, WFP's partner CROSE distributed 12MT of food to 1,760 people. Since the beginning of the emergency response, WFP has distributed some 568MT of food commodities to 51,931 beneficiaries in the South-East.

On Wednesday, WFP visited the communes of Terre Neuve, Saint Michel de l'Atalaye (Artibonite department) and Bassin Bleu (North-West department) and made assessments in order to prepare the relief response for those areas.

In light of the assessment, it seems the situation is getting worse with people requiring food and medical assistance as well as drinking water. There are also reports that food prices are increasing in the local market and that local agricultural infrastructure has been damaged. At Saint Michel de L'Atalaye, at least 840 houses were destroyed by the floods. Tropical storms left a lake 26 km long and seven feet deep in a locality called Marmont.

Shelter and non-food items


The cluster coordinator urgently asks all members with field personnel working with shelters to collect information as to origin of IDPs and report back. This is because some cluster members reported that the number of people in shelters in Gonaives is growing (could be a possible indicator of rural to urban migration) while some reports are highlighting decreasing numbers.

On 1 October, the following IOM items were sent to Gonaïves: 5,000 bed sheets, 676 bottles of disinfectants, 36,000 soap bars, 3,670 plastic sheets, 2,780 blankets, 3,000 Hygiene kits, 5,960 Mosquito nets, 828 wash basins and 310,000 liter water bladders. IOM and its distributing partners in Gonaïves - OXFAM, CARE, CARITAS, WFP, ACF and MSF - continue distribution to both shelters and the broader communities.


There is a serious gap in tarpaulins which are missing in the large quantities needed in the city of Gonaïves. Only 8,041 tarpaulins are anticipated to cover the entire disaster which has affected 95,143 families according to government figures. There is a gap of at least 50,000 tarpaulins if we make the assumption that 30% of homes received only minor damage.

In order for families to repair their homes temporarily, tool kits are critical items which will ensure families are sheltered from the elements and stabilize their lives from the effects of the emergency phase. Therefore there is a gap of at least 8,000 additional tool kits.

According to WHO, 160,000 mosquito nets are needed. As of today, only 15,190 mosquito nets have been distributed throughout the country. To respond to this critical need, on 29 and 30 September, IOM has sent 21,200 mosquito nets to Gonaïves. There is still a shortfall of 116,110 mosquito nets countrywide.

For Gonaïves in particular hygiene kits and disinfectants are still a priority to improve sanitary conditions. 13,973 have been distributed in Gonaïves. 19,517 are pending countrywide; there is a gap of around 35,000 of which another 15,000 should be targeted for Gonaïves.

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