Tropical Storm Isaac passed through Haiti and the Dominican Republic (DR) early this morning. The FH Emergency Response Unit has been in regular contact with the field. FH Haiti Country Director Bekele Hankebo and FH DR Program Director Cristopher Garrido reported that while it is still raining in both countries, the worst has passed, and that the damage does not appear to be as bad as feared.
In Haiti, Bekele spoke with many of the staff members who confirmed that they are safe and doing okay. He has been able to contact FH’s communities in Bellevue la Montagne, Kenscoff and Belledere, and everyone is reported safe. He has not been able to reach Aux Cadets yet (there is no cell service there), and it will not be possible to know their situation until Monday after floodwaters subside a bit, and staff are able to reach the community site physically. There is currently no internet access available in Port au Prince. In the DR, in preparation for the storm, FHDR ensured all FH offices were stocked with clean water, first-aid kits, flashlights, generators, fuel and rain and safety gear, two way radios, ORS and other distribution items. A key communications person for each area was also designated to raise awareness about the storm in FH communities. Cristopher indicated that there is significant flooding in FH communities, but besides one home that lost their roof, there is not much damage reported in terms of infrastructure.
In the aftermath of the storm, the biggest concern now in both Haiti and the DR is the risk of a cholera outbreak and FH will be engaging with the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and UN systems to collaborate and focus on cholera prevention activities in the coming weeks, as funding allows.
Please join us in praising God for His protection of these communities through this storm – and also continue to uplift these countries in your prayers as there are still a few months left of the hurricane season. Pray also that God would continue to grant FH Haiti and DR staff wisdom and strength in the coming days and weeks as they continue to assess the damage from Isaac and determine how FH can best work with communities to address the needs.