Guerda Previlon is head of IDEJEN, who Y Care International began working with after Haiti’s devastating earthquake of 2010. IDEJEN is experienced in responding to emergencies, and has trained hundreds of young people in how to reduce risks before, during and after disasters. Previlon and her team were quick to visit the worst affected areas of Haiti after Hurricane Matthew struck so they could begin providing support. She reports on what she witnessed.
I have just got back from the Southern Department where I was reviewing the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew and offering IDEJEN’s support to people who have been affected. I am exhausted and depressed by what I have seen in Les Cayes.
Communication is still very difficult in Port-Salut and Les Cayes and there is no internet connection.
On the ground
The situation following Hurricane Matthew is catastrophic.
The circumstances of inhabitants is very difficult. They have no housing, no clothing, no food, and the risk for cholera and other associated disease is very high.
People have lost all of their possessions; I saw children and young people in the streets without even shoes.
Our own training centre at Les Cayes is badly damaged and half of our other building in Jeremie has been destroyed.
We will start urgently providing hygiene education so people can stay safe, and helping them manage their conditions after Hurricane Matthew. The young people we have already trained will help reduce risks in their communities in Port-Salut.