Nicole Robicheau, IFRC
The view along the coastal road from Les Cayes in southwestern Haiti is dramatically changed since Hurricane Matthew tore through the area one week ago.
Not much remains of the towns and villages along the ocean. Downed coconut trees are everywhere and the banana trees that many people depend on to make a living are largely gone.
In the town of Port Salut, Jean Marie Delva and Rose Yvette Dorismon sit outside the local hospital. They lost their home and have been living on the street since the hurricane. Their son fractured his ankle during the mayhem, and can’t walk. They’ve come to see if anyone can help him.
The hospital used to see about one hundred patients a day, but since the hurricane that number has increased to 150 daily and they have treated more than 150 injuries caused by the hurricane.
Further down the coast in Côteaux, Caleb Raphael and his wife Loudy Roberson sit on their neighbours’ porch. They point to piles of clothes, books and broken furniture. This used to be where their house was.
“We weren’t able to salvage anything,” says Caleb.
She’s a schoolteacher and he’s a driver but there’s no work right now, so they’re struggling to get food.
Across the street from where their house used to stand is the local health centre. Since the earthquake it’s doubling as an evacuation centre.
Andre Diefort waits to see a doctor. Something fell on him during the hurricane a week ago, but he only managed to come today because he lives in the community of Despas, which isn’t close by. He had to take a 30 minute motorcycle taxi ride.
“Other people are hurt in my community also from the hurricane, but it’s difficult for people to get here,” says Andre.
Mandy Chantale, Haitian Red Cross coordinator in Côteaux, says the needs are enormous. “There is an urgent need for clean water, sanitation, food, shelter and access to medical assistance and other services.”
The IFRC has launched an appeal to support people affected by Hurricane Matthew, donate here.