Haiti update: Rain in the forecast
Weather-resistant shelter an urgent need for displaced Haitians.
by Karen Gleason –
The rains expected to descend on Haiti this spring—usually in early May—could wreak havoc on the thousands of temporary shelters housing the Haitians who were displaced by the Jan. 12 earthquake. Many of these people currently inhabit makeshift tents in Port-au-Prince and outlying areas.
Along with providing food and other necessities, The Salvation Army is working to arrange weather-resistant shelter for the residents of the camp adjacent to the Army’s main compound in Port-au-Prince. The United Nations designated The Salvation Army the lead agency for the care of this community, home to around 20,000 people. Re-locating these people before the rainy season is a priority for the Army.
Dangers from the upcoming rains include not only flooding with the possibility of homes being washed away, but also the spread of disease. A further challenge could come in June with the hurricane season.
Moving forward, The Salvation Army—active in Haiti before the earthquake—will continue to “do the most good” as it rebuilds damaged facilities and continues to run established programs. The Army will continue to stand with the Haitian people, providing medical clinics, education, long-term relief and reconstruction, community development projects/income generation, child nutrition and HIV/AIDS prevention/treatment.
The earthquake affected an estimated 3 million people. The Haitian government reported fatalities of between 217,000 and 230,000 persons, with approximately 300,000 injured and an estimated 1 million homeless. The government also reported that around 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or sustained severe damages.
You may continue to make donations to the Army’s work in Haiti at salvationarmyusa.org. As of March 5, 2010, donations from all sources totaled $14, 278, 292.