October 15, 2016 | By Parmjeet Singh
Haiti: On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew reached the coast of Haiti – a nation still recovering from a massive earthquake in 2010. Matthew wrecked homes and destroyed communities along the southwestern tip of the country. As per a community update by the United Sikhs, a volunteers’ team of the US based Sikh NGO is in Haiti and the is currently working on delivering emergency relief materials and pure drinking water to avoid cholera.
The United Nations stated that with at least 1.4 million people needing emergency aid after Hurricane Matthew, Haiti now faces a crisis that requires a “massive response” from the international community.
United Sikhs Sikh Aid National Director, Jatinder Singh said “The flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew has created a risk of potential contamination of the drinking water by raw sewage. It is extremely concerning, as the contaminated water might cause a surge of cholera cases among the survivors. Hence, the top priority right now, is to provide clean water and emergency relief supplies”.
Luna Charles, our program coordinator in Haiti said, “Cholera, which is spread through water or food, contaminated with Vibrio cholerae bacteria, can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting and can lead to extreme dehydration. It can quickly become an outbreak and untreated patients can die within hours.”
According to the United Nations, the disaster has affected 350,000 Haitians and left the country facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the devastating earthquake six years ago. The southern part of Haiti, on the western peninsula, got hit the hardest and is difficult to reach. United Sikhs’ Emergency Response Team has arrived in Haiti to assist in the emergency relief efforts.
“During the 2010 Haiti Earthquake,United Sikhs Aid launched an immediate massive response by providing emergency supplies, medical assistance and food. At a later stage the team also provided temporary shelters to the disaster survivors and continued its projects till 2014. United Sikhs AID team worked tirelessly to ensure that the distribution of dry food, emergency and medical supplies reached the various Port-au-Prince communities and orphanages in need”, a statement by the United Sikhs reads.
“We need your support. The United Sikhs AID emergency response team in Haiti is distributing emergency survival kits including food, water and blankets. There is a need for temporary shelters and security for which we are working with the UN Clusters”, said United Sikhs while issuing an appeal for donations.